The newest research suggests that sugar rather than fat is contributing to the obesity epidemic in our country. When thinking about sugar there are two different types, the first is naturally occurring sugars such as in fruit, and the other is “added” sugars like table sugar or the sugar in fruit juice. Along with the occasional dessert or sweet treat we eat, there can be added sugars in everyday processed foods like bread, pasta, cereal and soup. According to the American Heart Association the daily recommended amount of sugar is 37.5grams (9 teaspoons) for men and 25grams (6 teaspoons) for women.
It can be hard to stick to the daily recommended amount of sugar where there are hidden, added sugars in so many of our everyday foods. Below are 5 tips for cutting down on sugar:
1. Get Familiar with Nutrition Labels
The most important step to avoid added sugars is to read nutrition labels religiously, even for basic items like bread, cereal, sauces and soups. Because you know that your daily allowance is 25grams, if a cereal you are looking at in the store has 16grams per serving, that is almost your total sugar allowance for the day from one food.
2. Clean Out Your Pantry
We all have foods that trigger over eating, and many of these foods are high in added sugars. If you know that realistically you will not be able to eat just one cookie, and the one cookie will likely turn into eating the whole bag…toss those. Keeping high sugar foods out of your pantry will help you cut sugar out.
3. Avoid Sugary Drinks
One of the worst places sugars love to hide is in fruit juices, coffee creamers, and of course alcohol. Sticking to infused water, tea and coffee with cinnamon instead of sugar are a good way to avoid extra sugars. One soda or glass of juice can easily take up your entire sugar allotment for the day.
4. Make Healthy Low-Sugar Desserts
We all have the occasional sweet tooth, but finding ways to get a little sweet dessert treat without overdoing the sugar is helpful. Some of my favorite low sugar desserts are dark chocolate covered almonds, a bowl of berries topped with cinnamon or “nice cream” made with frozen banana blended with cinnamon and cocoa powder.
5. Add Spice to Your Foods
Spices are a great way to add amazing flavor to your meals without adding sugar. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are delicious, sweet spices that tastes amazing in coffee, on berries or in desserts. Herbs, pepper and lemon are also delicious ways to flavor meats or salad without added high calories sauces or dressings.
If you struggle with emotional eating check out my emotional eating tips video below with Eating Psychology Coach Peter Craig! >>
Hope these tips are helpful! Let me know in the comments section below what steps you have taken to cut extra sugar out of your diet.