5 Tips to Reduce Sugar Intake
One of the significant causes of weight gain is a high-sugar diet. A recent study confirms that most American adults are still consuming more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet.¹ Reducing sugar intake or eliminating it from your diet may be easier said than done. Here are a few simple tips to help you get started...
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars to less than half of the daily discretionary calorie allowance.² For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men. These findings aren't really news to most of us. For years, study after study has been proving the adverse health effects of a high sugar diet.
Here are a few simple tips to help you start reducing sugar intake from your diet...
- Be realistic
Unless you've been advised by your doctor, don't attempt to go cold turkey on sugar. You are more likely to stick to the changes if you start cutting back slowly. Try decreasing your intake by 1/3 to start with and slowly cut more.
- Eat more fruits
Instead of adding sugar to your yogurt or oatmeal, add fresh, frozen or dried fruits for flavor. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
- Drink more water
Replace sugary drinks with water. Not only are you cutting on zero-nutrient calories but you are also aiding your body to function better. If you are too bored by the taste of water, try adding watermelon chunks, mint or orange slice. Eventually your taste buds will adjust and you might even start craving it!
- Read food labels
Make a habit of reading food labels at the grocery store. You may be surprised to learn how many of your favorite foods contain high amounts of added sugar. By comparing food labels you would be able to select products with lower amounts of added sugar.
- Spice it up!
Replace sugar with spices to enhance the flavor of your meals or snacks. Ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, citrus zests, and nutmeg are easy ways to add a punch of flavor without the calories. The added flavor could enhance your favorite hot beverage or morning breakfast just enough to help you not miss the sugar.
1. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx? articleid=1819573 - April 2014
² http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/ HealthyEating/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp - November 19, 2014