Just in time for Halloween! Did you know that Americans, on average, consume 19 teaspoons on sugar every day? While added sugar in the diet is okay, most Americans consume too much. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
So here are some ways to reduce your added sugar intake:
Cut back on the amount of sugar you use in your coffee, tea or add to cereal
The first step in cutting sugar is… cutting out the sugar! If you add a lot of sugar to your coffee, tea or cereal, start to decrease the amount. If you need that extra sweetness, switch out the sugar for stevia or other low-calorie, natural sweeteners.
Check the label
Many ‘healthy’ foods, like certain oatmeals and granolas, can hide lots of added sugar, especially in flavors like maple and brown sugar. Fruit cups and canned fruit can seem healthy, but if the fruit is packed in syrup, it adds a lot of sugar. So, make sure to look for ones that are packed in 100% juice instead.
Know the names
Sugar comes with many names, which can be tricky to spot on a label. Some of the other names for sugar are:
- fruit juice
- hydrolysed starch
- invert sugar
- corn syrup
Know what is considered low in sugar and high in sugar
Ideally, women should consume 25 grams of sugar per day, and men should get no more then 38 grams per day. Knowing this, you can start to determine which foods are high in sugar, according to your nutritional needs. For example, some yogurts can have more than 22 grams of sugar! That covers most of your sugar intake and that’s only breakfast!
So many foods have added sugar these days that it can be difficult to make healthy choices. Make sure you always read the labels of the products you are buying to make the best choices for yourself.