Valérie Fernandez

By Valérie Fernandez

November 27, 2014


The Sugar Shocker!

Article revised on 19 June 2017

Our sugar consumption has tripled in the last 50 years. A number of experts are ringing the alarm. Over-consumption of sugar can lead to the following health problems: Insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, obesity… Sugar may be sweet, but it sure isn’t innocent!

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Heart & Stroke Foundation agree that our daily intake of added sugar should not be greater than 10% of our total energy intake, so around 50 g/day.

Of course, some foods (fruit, milk, honey, etc.) are natural sources of sugar.

However, the main culprit is processed foods and the added sugar they contain.

Sugar sweetened beverages, which people often down too quickly, are among the worst.

  • 1 (710-ml) bottle of cola = 66 g or 16 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 (355-ml) can of ice tea = 33 g or 8 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 (200-ml) box of fruit punch = 24 g or 6 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 (591-ml) bottle of vitamin water = 32 g or 8 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 (591-ml) bottle of sports drink, such as Gatorade = 32 g or 8 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 (355-ml) can of energy drink = 39 g or 10 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 small (286-ml) French vanilla cappuccino = 25 g or 6 teaspoons of added sugar
  • 1 small (286-ml) hot chocolate = 35 g or 9 teaspoons of added sugar

What should you do?

Rediscover water to quench your thirst. It has no calories, and there is no better source of fluid. To give it some flavour, add some berries or citrus slices. You could also make your own ice tea!

Find where the added sugar may be lurking

To see if a food item contains added sugar, check the list of ingredients. It may be hiding under an assumed name, such as molasses, brown sugar, honey, glucose fructose syrup, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, etc.

*For an average diet of 2,000 calories/day.


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