Oh how we love our sugar. Did you know that the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day? Seventeen! That’s equivalent to 119 in a week or weigh it out and you are eating more than a pound of sugar every week!
Too much sugar in your diet may not only lead to unwanted weight gain, but also to increases in your risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The American Heart Association Recommends: Limit added sugars to no more than 100 calories a day (6 teaspoons) for most women and no more than 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons) for most men. (Added Sugar is Not So Sweet-Infographic, American Heart Association, 2019)
That means that men are consuming about double what they should be and for women, triple!
Added sugar is found in many other products as well, so a quick glance at the Nutrition Facts Label will blow the whistle on them as the amount is required to be listed. If you look at the list of ingredients, which is also required, added sugars might show up as molasses, cane juice/syrup, or fruit juice. Another thing to watch out for are ingredients that end in “-ose” like fructose or sucrose.
Wipe those tears away, no need to despair, even though you can consume them in the foods you eat without even thinking about it. Just as easily, your added sugar intake can be reduced with a few conscious swaps.
Soda can be swapped with sparkling water, you can even drop fruit such as berries or citrus slices into your water. If you can do without the carbonation, infused water can be made with any natural ingredients that appeal to you such as basil and strawberries, or mint. Even cucumbers will take your water up a notch. Just have a pitcher sitting, ready in your fridge. You can still have juice, just be sure to opt for unsweetened. Make your own salad dressing and sauces, with a few simple ingredients and you’ll also eliminate other additives and preservatives from your diet. Yogurt, which is always thought of as a healthy food, if flavored, is loaded with sugar. Switch to adding fruit to plain yogurt. Want something sweet, but don’t want to jump through hoops? Super simple; eat a juicy orange, a handful of fresh berries, a crisp apple, a fleshy peach or nectarine, summer ripe watermelon or go tropical with a mouthwatering mango, sweet like candy kiwi and so many others.
Be informed and make smart choices and you can enjoy a long, healthy and SWEET life!