The average American consumes an average of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s almost double the recommended amount. Obviously we don’t consume this sugar just in our coffee or even in candies and sweets. Let’s take a look at where all this sugar we eat each day is coming from and how we can start to reduce our overall sugar consumption.
Sugar is obviously in anything sweet we consume including candy, cookies cakes and also sweet drinks like soda and fruit juices. But that’s only the beginning. Fairly large amounts of sugar can also be found in white breads and rolls. The sugar is needed to feed the yeast that helps make the dough rise. Most ready-made meals both frozen and canned have a lot of sugar to make them taste good.
The first step to reducing your sugar intake is to become more aware of where that sugar shows up. Start to read the nutritional label on foods you eat. You will find the amount of sugar per serving right under the carbohydrate listing. You can also look at the list of ingredients. Unfortunately sugar isn’t just called sugar. Different types of sugars are also referred to as sucrose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses and sorbitol. If you see a lot of these ingredients listed, or they show up early on the list of ingredients, be aware – you are eating a food that’s high in sugar.
Let’s take a look at how you can start to reduce your reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and drink water with ice and lemon instead. Use a natural sugar substitute such as stevia instead of sugar in your coffee. Limit the amount of fruit juice you drink to 6 ounces a day and eat a few pieces of fresh fruit instead. Stick to healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables and lean meats. Fix a salad with dinner, but pay attention to your salad dressing. Low-fat salad dressings in particular can have just as many calories as the regular their regular counterparts, but a lot more sugar to make them taste good. Play extra close attention to sugar content on anything with a low-fat label.
Make small changes, like exchanging your sugary bowl of morning cereal with a yogurt and fruit or a breakfast smoothie sweetened with fresh or frozen berries. During dinner heat up a can of black beans seasoned with cumin instead of the baked beans you are usually having. Small changes like this in addition to giving up a soda per day will make a big difference in how much sugar you consume each day.