Why we crave sweets

It’s no secret that consuming too much sugar is bad for you. Many people are taking notice and trying to cut back. But replacing sugar with sugar substitutes may have other health risks. Consumer Reports explains why limiting both is your best bet.

Sugars found in milk, fruit, and other whole foods are generally fine.

Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and that’s just for starters! And weight gain that’s connected to sugar consumption can cause other health problems, like high blood pressure, stroke, and even some cancers.

So what are the guidelines for how much sugar a healthy person should consume? Sugars found in milk, fruit, and other whole foods are generally fine. The trouble begins with added sugars, which are everywhere.

Added sugars should make up 10 percent or less of your daily caloric intake. So that’s about 10 teaspoons on a daily diet of 1,600 calories.

Many people turn to low-calorie sweeteners, but some research has found that they do little to help with weight loss. In fact, they may actually promote weight gain, and they’ve been linked to possible heart problems and type 2 diabetes.

If you’re trying to get yourself off sugar, substitutes can be a useful tool, but just for a limited amount of time. Your body can get used to a certain level of sweetness, whether it’s from real sugar or sugar substitutes.

There’s some good news about how to keep better track of your sugar intake. Next January nutrition labels will change, listing both natural and added sugars.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.


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