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Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?

By Sara Butler

Most people understand that sugary foods aren’t ideal. But people also crave sweet treats several times per day -- and in the process eat far more sugar than they may realize. Sugar can be in everything from your morning coffee to your yogurt and salad dressing. According to the National Institutes of Health, Americans eat about 17 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is about 71 grams of sugar, which is way more than the 25 grams or six teaspoons that are recommended. If you feel as if you’re eating too much sugar in your diet, then here are some easy changes you can make to try to curb it.

Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods containing natural sugars should be the major sources of sugars in your life. On a chemical level, sugar is the same no matter where it comes from. But if you get it from fruits and vegetables, you’re also getting a dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need to stay healthy.

The sugar you should be cutting back on is the added sugar found in items such as soda and candy bars. Instead of soda in the afternoon or a sugary coffee drink, go for some nuts to tide you over and give you energy.

Understand Portion Control

When you crave something after a meal, it’s probably not because you’re actually still hungry. Cravings are often the results of habits. Plus, the hidden sugar you may have had during your meal in bread, pasta sauce, marinades, or salad dressing can trigger your brain to want even more sugar.

You don’t have to cut out sweets entirely, but you should practice portion control when you have them. After a meal, have one small cookie or just one scoop of ice cream. Look at the nutritional information and have just one serving of your favorite treat. Remember, everything in moderation!

Go for More Minerals

You may be able to decrease your cravings for sugar by getting more minerals in your diet, especially the minerals zinc, chromium, and magnesium. Your body needs these minerals for several functions, such as regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. You can find them in avocados, seeds, nuts, quinoa, brown rice, eggs, sweet potatoes, broccoli, apples, and dark, leafy greens.

Remember, when it comes to sugar it's the added sugar that is the problem. Eat a balanced diet and you should be able to cut added sugar out of your diet to embrace better health.

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

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