Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar

We are unfortunately eating way too much sugar. Don't eat lots of sweets you say? Even if you are not gulping large pops or taking a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, you are likely getting much more sugar than you need. 

Frighteningly  sugar is hiding in mostly everything we eat.  Yogurt, pasta sauce, granola bars, you name it. What may seem healthy has way too much extra sugar. When food companies remove fat and calories, they add sugar because otherwise we wouldn't buy that stuff. We are only recommended to get an additional 9 teaspoons of sugar for me and 6 for women. However, on average Americans take in about 22 extra teaspoons of sugar per day. Over a period of time this once sweet treat, is beginning to kill us. 

And with that morbid thought in mind I leave you with a few tips from Time Magazine to reduce your sugar intake. Also please do not be fooled by all the names sugar can hide under, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup.  Many of those man made sugar substitutes are not any better for you, do not fall victim to that.

1. Nix sugary drinks. Pop, fruit juices, flavored teas, energy drinks, are all a huge source of sugar. Besides from tasting good for a few minutes this beverages are doing nothing for us. They give very little or no nutrition and they very easily will pack on weight. They are also very addicting. With so much sugar intake our brains begin to crave it all the time. 

2. Look for hidden sources of sugar.  Make sure when you are reading food labels your eyes are scanning the entire thing. Even if something is not sweet, there very well be lots of sugar in it. Eating a nice healthy granola bar may be giving you close to your full days sugar allowance. When you are making food choices, take the amount of sugar into consideration too. 

3. Buy plain foods and sweeten them yourself. This is a big one for me. I tend to like to buy plain yogurt and oatmeal and sweeten them with some honey or maple syrup. These are both more natural sources of sugar and I am also controlling how much goes in. Sweeten plain water with some fruit or cucumber. 

4. Limit sugary treats to once or twice a week. We all know what we will still crave a brownie or a Snickers once in a while. In our society it's unrealistic to think that we can be strong all the time when we are literally bombarded by sweet snacks in every store we enter. If you try these above tips and get good at them, this last one will be okay for you to do once in a while. 

If you have some time and care more about this subject, take a look at the documentary Fed Up about our increasing problem with sugar. It can be viewed online here.