So you’ve kicked the habit of eating candy and sweet treats, a huge step in changing your eating habits; but don’t forget there are other sources of sugar. In fact many are sneaky foods that have hidden sugar content added as ingredients. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), added sugars are actually a major nutrition problem. Most of them have no essential nutritive value in terms of making the human body function well.

On the average, an ordinary American adult consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar daily, which is equivalent to 270 calories. Over time, as sugar consumption adds up, more of it can come from added sugar. High-sugar intakes increase risks of becoming overweight, obese, develop insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and increase the occurrence of free radicals that cause inflammations and at worst, cancer.

When Exactly is Sugar Bad for the Health?

To understand when consuming too much sugar can adversely affect your body, you should first understand what sugar is exactly.

Sugar is a simple form of carbohydrate, which during the process of metabolism, is broken down into glucose form that provides energy to the body. However, sugar comes from different sources, natural and from processed foods.

Natural foods are fruits and some vegetables like carrots, squash and beets. Processed sugar on the other hand, started out as natural sugar. They undergo some kind of processing before they are offered as a commercially viable product. Some examples of processed sugar are agave, white cane and high fructose corn syrup.

As processed sugar they can be added as ingredients to processed foods. However, some natural sugar like honey, can be added as an ingredient without undergoing processing. Once honey is added as an ingredient of baked cookies, cured meat or as sweetener of a beverage, honey becomes added sugar that increases the average sugar intake of a person.

So if a person consumes several kinds of processed foods during the day, the large amount of calories contributed by the added sugar and reguarly taken in by the body has to be burned and used up as energy. Otherwise, the glucose will be absorbed and stored in fat cells.

Minding the Recommended Guidelines for Added Sugar Intakes

The most recent recommended dietary guidelines for added sugar is that it should not be more than 10 percent of one’s calorie intake. The guideline suggests that women on a 1500-calorie diet should not have more than 38 grams of added sugar. Men who are on a 2000-calorie diet should not have more than 50 grams of added sugar.

Exercise should still be part of one’s daily regimen. This is to make sure the additional glucose from the carbohydrates broken down by the body, will be burned as energy by the muscles, rather than stored as body fat tissues.

While you may be tempted to do some rigorous exercise when thinking about the excess fats already stored in your body, it would be wise to first consult with a physical therapist who will assess your muscle strength. Stretching exercise should be included in the consultations as many contend that stretching exercises is not a one-size-fits-all regimen.

However, there is a new program called Hyperbolic Stretching, which the stretching expert of this program claims is a standalone, fits-all types of user. Allys Bar experts who tried the program said the 8 minute stretching techniques are completely safe and broken down into smaller steps. If the stretching program is followed religiously, the user will eventually be able to achieve a full split.