As though we needed more reasons to put down those candy bars and stop adding so much sugar to our morning coffees, the World Health Organization (WHO) has now released a statement that recommends that we cut back our daily sugar intake to a maximum of 5 percent of our total daily calories. This is half of what had previously been recommended by the WHO.
The expert panel at the WHO made this recommendation after having conducted a massive review of about 9,000 studies. It is now advising people to decrease their sugar intake to a level that will help to decrease the instance of both obesity and dental cavities.
Here’s where it gets a little bit complicated. While this recommendation does include the sugars that are added to foods in the form of white sugar, glucose, fructose, honey, syrups, fruit juices, and other added sweeteners, it does not include those that occur naturally in whole fruits and vegetables.
Western nations such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and others, are known for eating far more sugar than the daily recommendation from the WHO. In fact, the sugar intake of the average American would need to drop by two thirds in order to comply with the newly recommended limit.
Many doctors are thrilled to see this latest report from the WHO, as they have already felt that this limit to daily sugar intake should be suggested. Added sugars are not something that is required in order to be healthy, but consuming too much of them can lead to serious health concerns. Therefore, the less sugar that an individual consumes every day – and as a whole – the better.
While a great deal of attention has been placed on eating bad fats over the years, a great deal of research is starting to show that added sugars can be even worse for a person’s health than the equivalent caloric value in unhealthy fats.
The last time that the WHO conducted a review and revision of its sugar guidelines was more than ten years ago. At that time, it had recommended that sugar consist of no more than 10 percent of an individual’s daily calorie intake.
Now that the latest report has been made from that U.N. health organization, the American sugar industry was so angered that it has started lobbying Congress to threaten to reduce its WHO funding by millions of dollars.