You know that the sweet stuff isn’t healthy in huge amounts, so it’s a good idea to do what you can to reduce sugar intake. That’s easier said than done considering the sheer number of foods that have added sugar. Reading labels is an excellent way to take stock of how much sugar you’re downing each day. The average women should get no more than 6 teaspoons, or 24 grams, of added sugar each day. Keep track so that you know just how much you need to reduce sugar intake to get healthy and stay that way.
The average can of soda contains nearly 40 grams of sugar, so if you’re the type of girl who gets your sodas in huge cups from the gas station, you’re doing your health a serious disservice. One can and you’ve almost doubled what you should be getting in a day. Learning how to reduce sugar intake can cut your risk of developing insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Plus, sugar equals calories so you can shed some excess weight by slashing your sugar habits.
2. Packaged Snacks
Granola bars, packaged desserts and fruit snacks are just three examples of snacks that weigh heavy on the sugar. If this is the only sweet indulgence of the day, you might be fine, but if you down more than one or eat lots of other sweet stuff, cutting back on packaged snacks can really help you take control of the sweet stuff. Again, read the labels and stay away from anything with a mega sugar gram count.
3. Fruit Juice
Yes, fruit is totally healthy and the natural sugars it contains don’t count toward your added sugar goals. However, fruit juice often has added sugar to make it sweeter, so skipping it can help you get things under control. If you can’t go without your morning cup of juice, consider juicing fruit yourself so there isn’t any added sugar. You’ll love the natural sweet flavor of fresh juice! And you can make any combination or flavor you have a hankering for.
Because you typically use condiments in small amounts, you might not think they matter when it comes to sugar intake. However, many are loaded with added sugars. That includes ketchup, salad dressings, olive tapenade and hot sauce. A small dab now and then is fine, but if you tend to glob it on, you might be getting more sugar than you realize. Look for unsweetened versions of your favorite condiments, or think about making your own. It’s simple and quick and tastes oh so good!
Don’t worry. I am in no way suggesting that you never eat cereal again. However, it is important to make the right choices when you’re standing in the breakfast aisle at the grocery store. Stay away from cereal that contains several grams of sugar per serving, or you might find yourself way over the quota before you’ve even made it to lunchtime. Look for cereal that’s high in fiber and low in sugar and your body will thank you.
6. Canned Foods
They are so convenient when it comes to cooking, but many canned goods are packed with sugar. That includes fruit, vegetables, soups, noodle dishes, tomato pasta sauce and beans. The sugar helps preserve the food, but it also enhances the flavor. The problem is that if you rely on canned goods a big majority of the time, you’re probably eating way more sugar than you should be. Choose fruits and vegetables packed in water or opt for frozen versions. Make your own soup and pasta sauce. You’ll really be surprised at how the lack of sugar brings out the yummy natural flavors of the ingredients. The fresher the better, so only use canned foods if you absolutely have to.
Yes, you can enjoy dessert now and then without wrecking your diet, but if you eat a lot of ice cream, cake, cookies or brownies, chances are your sugar intake needs some attention. These items have lots of the sweet stuff to make them, well, sweeter. If you bake your own sweet treats, sub unsweetened applesauce or other fruit purees for half the sugar to keep things better controlled. And save your sweet splurges for special occasions so you can really enjoy them.
Are you addicted to sugar? Is it hard to cut back? I guarantee you’ll feel better in no time if you forgo it most of the time.