Recommended daily intake
There isn’t currently a recommended daily intake for sugar, but the World Health Organisation has suggested that no more than 10% of our total energy intake should come from sugars. For an average Australian consuming about 8700kj a day, that equates to about 55g or 13 teaspoons of sugar per day.
One of the biggest sources of added sugar to our diets is sweetened drinks – this can be soft drink, cordial, sports drinks and even fruit juice. Sweetened drinks are heavily advertised, cheap and readily available. In Australia, the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks has increased by 30 per cent in 10 years. The standard serving size for soft drink has also increased. Ten years ago, soft drink was available in 375 ml cans. Soft drinks are now commonly sold in 600 ml bottles, which provide up to 16 teaspoons of sugar.
Whether you have a meal with water or with a drink high in sugar, your calorie intake for the meal itself remains fairly similar. So essentially we are adding all those extra calories in sugar, without taking any calories away anywhere else. All of these factors make it very easy to overindulge in sugary drinks, and unfortunately any extra calories we consume above what we need will be converted to fat for storage, thus contributing to our obesity epidemic.
Break free of your habits
Now we’re not saying you can NEVER have a soft drink. At Fitness Enhancement we firmly believe in the phrase ‘everything in moderation.’ If you have one can of Coke every once in a while, you’re probably fine. The issue arises when you’re having multiple sweetened drinks a day, and adding all those empty calories to your diet.
We all know, how hard it is to break free of your habits. So, if you’re use to having a sugary drink multiple times a day, you could try reducing the amount of drinks you have and bring the number down slowly. This way the change doesn’t overwhelm you, and you’re more likely to stick to your new habits. You could even try substituting a can of Coke with a glass of soda water. Try adding some fruit in your water to make it more appealing to you. Slowly your body will get used to the new flavours!