Marie Antoinette never said, Let them eat cake.
Some version of that callous pronouncement was uttered about 100 years earlier, around 1660, by the wife of the French King Louis XIV. Back then, the average peasant ate way less than 2 pounds of added sugar a year; thats what the average American downed in the 1800s.
And today? On average, Americans eat 152 pounds of added sugar annually almost 3 pounds a week. But cake isnt where youre getting added sugar; its mostly soft drinks and juice beverages. They account for 43 percent of added sugar intake.
Weve waged war against added sugar and syrups for years, but it pays to repeat the warnings about their health hazards, especially when a startling study comes out. When mice (OK, its a cautionary tail, but listen up) were fed the mouse-size equivalent of a healthy human diet PLUS the sugar found in three cans of soda a day, females died at twice the normal rate and males were 25 percent less likely to reproduce.
Human studies show that added sugars are directly related to obesity, reduced brain power, elevated triglycerides, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, premature aging (wrinkles, too) and some cancers.
So, if you find yourself hankerin for a sweet treat, snack on six walnut halves and a piece of fresh fruit (do that 30 minutes before a meal for appetite control).
And for dessert, try frozen grapes or mashed, frozen bananas, flavored with your favorite seasoning (cinnamon, basil, cayenne, anything goes). Then life will be truly sweet.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.