The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is an added 350-400 calories that equate to an entire meal! It is no surprise that we are dealing with a growing rate of individuals who are overweight, and young children suffering from obesity. Our caloric intake should be focused on foods that are rich in nutrition and are better for our overall health.

There are so many factors that make sugar consumption easy to do. There is never a shortage of soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, desserts, over-priced coffee drinks and so on. It can be challenging to keep track of just how much sugar is in the items you choose to consume. Paying attention to what your putting in your body can be difficult when it’s not on the priority list. However, with the amount of sugar that is found in a great majority of what we eat should be a call to action.

Ever notice how irritable you get when you’re hungry? (If you don’t then you’re very lucky). Consuming large amounts of sugar creates the secretion of additional insulin and since insulin transforms sugar into energy for your body it gives you a little bit of a “sugar high”, especially refined sugar. This is a short-term fix for people who use a candy bar as energy, once the “sugar high” wears off, it can have the reverse effect. Refined sugar has been shown to exacerbate mood swings, and adds an increase in irritability. It is also, as some may know, highly addictive. It is important to know that sugar triggers the brain’s reward system hence making it difficult to eliminate. Here are just five reasons why you should cut your sugar intake.

1. Refined sugar increases the avid levels in your digestive system, which can be harmful to the calcium for your bones and teeth.

2. It has absolutely no nutritional value.

3. Blood flow made difficult. Refined sugar makes it challenging for blood to flow; affecting aging, teeth, dry and aged skin.

4. Refined sugar has been linked to hair loss!!

5. It is also closely tied to obesity.

If you are someone who absolutely needs sugar on a daily basis and are thinking about quitting, consult your physician. By removing it from your diet completely, it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Noticing what we eat on a daily basis is important to our overall health. Bringing about small changes to our lifestyle provides long-term effects. When trying to find a replacement for sugar, opt for a more whole or natural sweetener. These provide your body with more nutritional value and make you feel better in the long run.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: and visit her website

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