It may make it taste better. A spoonful of it might help the medicine go down. Maybe it’s the answer as to why you’re so fly, but ultimately, sugar is not worth the high. Did you know that the average woman is only supposed to consume 100 calories of sugar per day? That’s approximately six teaspoons, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). The average male can have just a bit more, with nine teaspoons per day.

However, despite these guidelines, the average American is consuming 22 teaspoons of sugar per day which is equivalent to 355 calories, stated by the AHA So why do so many Americans believe the hype?

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According to, sugar is addictive because it releases an opiate-like substance that engages the brain. Remember in “Mean Girls” when Regina George tried to lose three pounds–but ended up gaining weight and had to go to Sears for her Spring Fling dress?

Regina George: “It’s called the South Beach Fat Flush and all you drink is cranberry juice for 72 hours.”

Aaron Samuels: “Lemme see that… this isn’t even cranberry juice, it’s cranberry juice cocktail. It’s all sugar.”

Regina George: “I wanna lose three pounds.” Karen: “Oh my God, you’re so skinny!” Regina George: “Shut up.” KSC Registered Dietitian Rebecca Briggs said one of the most common ways students take in too much sugar is through the consumption of soda.

Briggs said soda remains the greatest factor to sugar intake for most students, but said cereal is another food area where students are eating too much sugar. “If it’s the bubbles you’re looking for—have seltzer and add fruit juice for flavor—you have more control over the sugar you add,” she said.

According to, Americans drink 53 gallons of soft drink per person every year. Each can of soda contains about 40 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is what contributes to most Americans’ dependency on sugar. Briggs said, “Innately, humans are designed to respond to and like sugar. It’s sort of a survival mechanism that sweet foods are good.” She continued, “From a survival standpoint, that’s what our bodies are designed to do—to take in calories. Sugar is pleasant and there’s a positive effect there.”

While sugar may initially make you happy, that initial high will slowly start to wear off, leaving you as the consumer depleted. Instead of looking to an artificial source to obtain your sugar intake, it is important to make sure that you are getting your daily sugar needs from an organic, natural source.

Briggs said, “When you’re choosing foods, go back to eating foods that are as close to where they came from as possible—so whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains. There’s natural sugar in all of those fruits, but because it’s a limited quantity and your body knows how to process that, it’s packaged together with other nutrients and fiber and sometimes fat, naturally occurring fats, your body just assimilates that to a much more even level.” When considering sugar in your diet, Briggs warned against another hidden trap–fat-free foods. Briggs explained the problem with fat-free foods and said, “What happens when manufacturers create low-fat foods is they’re taking out the fat, and they have to add in something else, and what they add, generally, is more sugar,” she continued, “So the calories in those products, it’s just the lower fat, but it might be higher in sugar.” To have more control of your sugar consumption, Briggs suggested adding your own amount to food items so you physically see how much sugar you’re consuming, starting with sugar.

“With cereal, sweeten it yourself. Even hot cereals-don’t get the instant packets of oatmeal because they already have the sugar in them,” she continued, “Do a plain one, throw it in the microwave and add your own flavors—fresh apple cut up, a little bit of maple syrup or honey. When you add it yourself it tends to be less there. You still get the same flavor but just not as much sugar.”

It is important to remember that if sugar becomes the sole focus of your diet, sweatpants will be the only thing that fits you. And if that happens…you can’t sit with us.

    Julie Conlon can be contacted at


Sam Norton can be contacted at









    Julie Conlon can be contacted at


Sam Norton can be contacted at



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