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Ways to Reduce Your Added Sugar Intake

By Alexis Mills

The amount of sugar unnecessarily added to our foods is creating sugar addiction and becoming a huge health issue. Once you pay attention to the nutrition facts by reading the labels on packaging, it can shocking at how much sugar is added to what you are eating. It is everywhere, making it hard to escape is grasp. Because sugar cravings are very real, it makes decreasing the amount of sugar you eat even more difficult. Here are some tips to cut down on sugar without going crazy.

To be clear, these tips are for cutting down on added sugar, not natural sugar in whole foods. In my opinion, sugar in natural foods isn't what the problem is because those foods are also packed with nutrients we need to survive. As far as added sugar in foods such as processed foods, candy, cereals, or sugary drinks, that's where people need to focus. The World Health Organization recommends that we have less than 50 grams of added sugar per day. A can of soda has about 40 grams alone. However, to receive health benefits, the WHO recommends sugar intake to less than 25 grams per day.

Read Labels Carefully

If you are eating packaged foods, you should always read the label to see what actually is in the food you're eating. When looking at the ingredients, sugar has more than 60 different names but mainly look for sugar or syrup to indicate added sugar. Do your best to find foods with the least amount of sugar.

Eat More Whole Foods

Eating foods in their natural forms like fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains all have no added sugar because they aren't processed.

Don't Drink Your Sugar

When you are drinking sugary beverages, they don't fill you up and can easily fill your sugar intake for the day. Instead ask for unsweetened beverages or read labels to make sure your drinks aren't loaded with sugar.

Eat More Protein and Fat 

When you eat meals that don't have sufficient fat and protein, but are high in sugar, you won't stay full for long. You're likely to have a sugar crash, so make sure you eat sufficient protein and fat with every meal.

Remove Temptations

If you have unhealthy, high-sugar snacks at home, chances are you will eat them because it's convenient and it's there. When you remove the temptations from your home, it helps you reach for a healthier alternative when you have a sugar craving. Keep low-sugar treats on hand, such as fruit and dark chocolate, to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Don't Rely on Sugar to Reduce Stress

When you are feeling overwhelmed, sugary treats are an easy fix to make you feel better. The thing is that it doesn't last and only creates a short-term solution.

When it comes to sugar, it can be hard to have it in moderation. But it's important to know that it is OK to treat yourself with a special occasion and find a balance with your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Davie, Fla.

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