How to Cut Back on Your Daily Sugar Intake

July 20, 2016

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Lauren
Lead Copywriter

 

We don’t know about y’all, but cutting back on sugar is hard. REAL HARD.

If you have trouble like us, you are not alone though: Americans eat 2-3X more sugar in a day than what is recommended by The American Heart Association. Women are recommended to consume six teaspoons of sugar in a day, while men are recommended to consume nine. Instead we consume 20 TEASPOONS of sugar in a day. Too much sugar in our diets can increase our risk of developing obesity, which can lead to diabetes, or dying from heart disease.

But don’t just blame yourself for high sugar intake. Cutting back isn’t easy when many non-sweet foods such as tomato sauce or salad dressing have added sugar (meaning not naturally occurring sugar). Let us be clear: It’s not that all sugars are bad–it’s just that we should eat naturally occurring sugar which helps give us energy and is more easily processed in our bodies.

And please: Don’t replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. Of course there is the famous study that saccharin caused cancer in rats, but according to the National Cancer Institute there is “no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. cause cancer or other serious health problems.” However, a recent study found that artificial sweeteners can alter bacteria in your intestines, which can alter your tolerance for glucose and potentially cause you to develop type 2 diabetes.

If you’re having trouble cutting out or cutting back on sugar, here are some recommendations on how we’ve cut back on added sugar from our lives.

White bread, cereals and protein bars often contain added sugars. Try to be aware of the food you are eating daily and check the labels to see how much added sugar is in your food.

Avoid diet foods which often have added sugar or artificial sweeteners to help with flavor. If it’s labeled fat-free, it’s too good to be true.

If juice or soda are an absolute must, dilute them with water or seltzer water. We like to cut a cup of Coke in half with seltzer water (believe us–it’s still sweet) or create our own sodas by mixing two-third seltzer water with one-third juice.

If you have a sweet tooth, try to keep a lot of fruit on hand. We know that fruit doesn’t replace the taste of a nice Snickers bar or donut, so that’s why we often eat a banana with peanut butter (without added sugar). It tastes like a decadent dessert each time!

Make your own salad dressings. Salad dressings are easy to make and you can get creative with “sweeteners” such as adding citrus, or, use balsamic vinegar which is already sweet.

-Yogurt in the morning seems innocent enough, right? Well, many yogurts contain more than half of your recommend sugar intake for the day. Trying buying plain yogurt instead and add fruit to sweeten it up.