Tips to Eat Less Sugar
By Sara Butler
Chances are, you’re having about twice the recommended amount of sugar per day in your diet. The American Heart Association reports that Americans eat an average of 82 grams of sugar every day. That means that you might be eating somewhere around 66 pounds of sugar per year! Needless to say, your health can benefit from paying more attention to the sugar you’re eating and cutting it from your diet. Here are some easy tips to help you eat less sugar.
So, how much sugar should you be eating? In the average 2,000 calories per day diet, women should have about 25 grams per day while men should have about 38 grams per day. Eating more sugar than you should contribute to a variety of health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
To put your sugar intake in perspective, just one can of soda has about 39 grams of sugar -- more than you should probably have in a whole day. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to how much sugar you’re really eating.
A Few Tips
Instead of going cold turkey, it’s probably best to taper down how much sugar you eat over time. You can easily do this by:
- Knowing what added sugar is – Added sugar is any sugar that doesn’t occur naturally. A piece of fruit right off the vine has natural sugars, but no added sugar. Canned fruit probably has added sugar, though.
- Looking at food labels – The biggest tool in your sugar-free arsenal is understanding food labels. Look for sugar under its other names such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, sucrose, corn syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, barley syrup, maltodextrin, and evaporated cane juice.
- Starting with half and half – To help ease yourself off sugar, try going half and half on things you normally eat or drink with sugar. Instead of just having unsweet tea, mix half sweet tea with half unsweet and slowly wean yourself.
- Going high quality – There will be times you’ll want to indulge in some sweets, so really make it count. Go for options that are high quality but naturally low in sugar, such as dark chocolate.
- Cut out soda – Work your way to completely cutting soda and other high-sugar drinks from your diet. It’s usually not a good idea to drink calories, anyway.
Sugar is everywhere, so be smart about how much you’re getting and know where to look for it!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Farmington, Utah.