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Escape from Sugar Addiction

By Sandy Schroeder

Do you drink a lot of sodas, sweetened teas or flavored coffees?  How about ice cream, coffeecake, donuts or pastries? And where do you stand with pastries, pies and cakes? Most of us have favorite sugary treats and we sometimes overindulge. At the same time, we often consume more sugar in breads, canned goods, and condiments. 

If you agree, it may be time to cut the sugar ties to stay healthy. Addiction sounds like an extreme term, but if we look at our sugar consumption the word fits.  Most of us are taking in way more sugar than we should and our health numbers confirm that. Check the normal limits and see where you stand. 

Real Simple.com reviews the daily sugar limits. Women are allowed 6 teaspoons of sugar daily and men can have 9 teaspoons. Children should have less than 6 teaspoons per day. There are 4 grams in a teaspoon which means women and children are allowed a maximum 24 grams of sugar daily and men are allowed 36 grams. Children under age 2 should have no added sugar. 

What's Actually Happening 

The American Heart Association says American adults average 77 grams of sugar daily, which is 60 pounds a year. Children are getting 81 grams, which is 65 pounds a year. Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart trouble are all linked to excess sugar.

How to Fight Back 

See your doctor for a readout on your blood sugar and  get checkups for the whole family. Discuss what a healthy, normal sugar diet should look like and start shopping, cooking and eating with tips like these from the American Heart Association. 

Skip soda and sweetened teas - Choose water with lime and diet drinks over sugared ones. 

Eliminate table sugar - Give up honey and molasses and cut sugar added by half on cereals, coffee, tea and pancakes.  

Eat fresh, frozen dried or canned fruit - Avoid heavy syrups and drain and rinse canned fruit in a colander 

Read the labels - Check sugar amounts on yogurt, canned fruits, sauces, condiments and breads.  

Bake with less sugar - Cut sugar amounts by a third or half in brownies, and cakes. 

Add fruit to cereal - Use blueberries, raspberries, bananas or strawberries in place of sugar. 

Try substitutes for cravings - When you want a piece of chocolate cate, but you are really not hungry, go for a run, call a friend, or work on a craft until the craving passes. 

Gradually you and your family will lose your taste for excess sugar as you improve your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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