The average American consumes more than 126 grams of sugar per day (think: three 12-ounce cans of soda), which happens to be more than twice what the World Health Organization recommends for daily intake. Countless studies reveal the incredibly addictive nature of sugar, which releases chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure center — much like drugs.
Excess sugar negatively impacts weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And don’t forget about chemical-laden high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in most packaged snacks and junk foods, and almost makes sugar look innocent. There are many ways to sweeten foods without adding sugar — try these healthy sugar substitutes!