Do you know there is a limit to how much added sugar we should be taking in?
Too much sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, obesity, kidney issues, and weakens the immune system. It can also damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease. It can ruin your teeth, skin and can leave you feeling sad and depressed. The addictive nature of sugar can keep your cravings rabid and leave you wanting more.
So how do you know if you’re consuming too much sugar?
According to the American Heart Association women should be consume only 26 grams or 6 teaspoons and men should consume 37.5 grams or about 9 teaspoons of sugar for the entire day.
Some foods like soda, breakfast pastries, yogurts, and cereal bars contain between 14 and 39 grams of sugar. This is 40 to 150 percent of what the daily intake should be.
Want to know how to cut back on the sugar? Read below for 8 ways to decrease the amount of sugar in your diet:
- Cut the sweetened beverages- Sodas and other sweetened beverages have double or more the allowed added sugar for a day. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided as well since they cause you to crave sweet foods. Ditch the sweetened beverages to cut the sugar in your diet. There is an array of beverages on the market now that have no sugar in them. Opt for a seltzer or add some fruit to your water
- Read food labels-often times people will pick up a food product and not even realizing how much sugar is in a product. If it has more than 10 grams sugar per serving opt for another brand. If it has sugar as one of the first ingredients that is a sign there is a load of sugar in it.
- Cut back on your dried fruit –So you’re saying it’s fruit it has to be good for me right? Not always. Dried fruit has all the sugar with none of the good fiber benefits. So you may want to cut back on your dried fruit consumption. Opt for fruits higher in fiber like apples, pears, and berries. Eat them only one time a day. If you have Diabetes or other health conditions check with your physician about how many fruits you can have in a day.
- Cook more meals at home or get a clean eating take out delivery service- You have no idea how much sugar and added preservatives are in take out food. Chinese food sauces, breads, steak sauce, salad dressings, etc. And it is more than likely the amount of sugar in those foods are two or three times more than the added amount of sugar you should have. To combat this, eat more meals at home. When cooking at home opt to steam, foods, or cook with spices and avoid sugary sauces. Olive oil is a great alternative. Sauté foods in olive oil with garlic and other spices. Don’t want to cook? Look for a clean eating meal delivery service that offer meals with no added sugar like Factor 75, Fresh Direct, Hello Fresh, Picnic, Green Chef, and Freshly.
- Cut the sugar from your coffee or tea – If you add milk or cream you are already getting a dose of lactose which is the sugar naturally occurring in milk. If you add sugar on top of that you are getting a hefty dose of sugar. 1 sugar packet is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar. If you add 4 packets of sugar you are adding 4 teaspoons to your drink. That totals up to 16 grams of sugar just in your coffee or tea!! That is about 61% of your daily added sugar intake for women and 42% for men.
- Ditch the sugary desserts– do you have dessert every night? Ice cream, cookies, cakes, and pies pack a hefty amount of sugar in them especially if they are store bought. A 1/2 cup of ice cream has 14 grams of sugar. If you’re going to have dessert only have it once in a while on special occasions and make sure you’re not consuming too much. Alternatively, you can opt for a healthy dessert of unprocessed cacao nibs with coconut flakes and a tbsp of nut butter.
- Pick your snack bar wisely – There are a ton of breakfast bars and snack bars on the market. A lot of them have almost all your day’s added sugar allotment. Be wise an read the label. Opt for brands like Go Raw, Qia, Mediterra, and Kind which offer bars that have less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
- Increase your vegetable consumption– filling up on fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables throughout the day will help to keep you fuller longer. It will also keep your cravings at bay and decrease your need to snack all day. Want more information on on how to spot sugars in your food? Sign up to get my FREE webinar on finding Hidden Sugars in the Diet.Learn how to spot hidden in your diet with my FREE webinar HERE!