Despite its association with all things chaste, white hardly reveals innocence with sugar. Those seemingly pure-as-the-driven-snow granules are in fact typically refined at least six times, which means that any ensuing nutritive value is nil. But our collective sweet tooth has only been growing -- and the health risks, increasing.
Americans currently consume an average of 60 pounds of sugar a year. "That's about 20 teaspoons a day in added sweeteners -- more than twice the amount recommended by the USDA for the average American, explains naturopathic doctor Cathy Wong, author of The Inside-Out Diet. (When you add other sweeteners, like corn syrup, those numbers jump to about 140 pounds a year, and 44 teaspoons a day.) All the extra calories, along with the boomerang effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, contribute to our obesity and diabetes epidemics -- and conditions like Crohn's disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and elevated triglyceride levels (a risk factor forRead More »from How to Use Sugar Substitutes (and Which Ones Are Worth the Swap)