Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Recently, during one of my last rotations during my dietetic internship, I made a display of the everyday foods that many people concern that have surprisingly high amounts of sugar.

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This visual stopped so many people as they walked by. It was a good visual to really see how much sugar are in some of these everyday foods. For example, the first picture of the snickers bar, a woman explained how she could easily eat that snickers, but wouldn’t ever just eat that much sugar by the spoonful.

Just when I was typing up this post, my friend Lauren posted this picture on facebook about sugar:

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(source)

 

Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar:

Cut down slowly. Forget going cold turkey. If you normally have two candy bars a day, cut to one a day. Then next week, one every other day. The following week, have one candy bar every three days, until you’re down to just one a week. The more sugar you eat, the more you’ll crave. So cutting down slowly is the best way to tame a sweet tooth gone wild.

Swap out your sugary drinks. Mix half a regular ice tea with half unsweetened ice tea. Try this for two weeks, and then cut back to one-quarter sweetened to three-quarters unsweetened. Continue until you’re only drinking the unsweetened version. Think water is too plain? Try adding lemon, lime, or orange slices to sweeten it up.

Grant yourself a daily sugar “quota,” and use it on foods where it matters most. For most of us, that means desserts. Don’t waste it on dressings, spreads, breakfast cereals, and soda. Not only will this reduce your sugar intake in a day, but it will help you lose your sweet tooth. Sugar is incredibly addictive: The more you eat, the more addictive it becomes and the more it takes to satisfy you.

Keep triggers out of the house. A half gallon of ice cream in the freezer is temptation defined. A tip recommended: Don’t keep ice cream at home. Ice cream should always be a treat worth traveling for.

Go light on the condiments. Condiments like Ketchup and BBQ sauce have hidden sugar them in them that you may not realize. Skip the condiments all together and flavor your foods with flavorful herbs and spices.

Watch for these code words found on ingredient lists. The only way to know if the processed food you’re buying contains sugar is to know its many aliases or other forms. Here are the common ones: brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, raw sugar, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, turbinado sugar, and xylitol.

Substitute applesauce or pureed prunes for half the sugar in recipes. You can also use them in place of the recipe’s fat.

Get your chocolate in small doses. Dip fresh strawberries into dark chocolate sauce, scatter chocolate sprinkles over your plain yogurt, or eat a mini-piece of dark chocolate — freeze it so it lasts longer in your mouth. Think rich and decadent but in tiny portions.

Choose the right breakfast cereal. Many of them are loaded with sugar. You want one with less than 8 grams sugar per serving or, preferably, unsweetened altogether (like plain oatmeal- not the packets). Use diced fruit to sweeten your cereal.

Don’t skip meals. Too busy to eat? When you go without breakfast, lunch, or dinner, your blood sugar levels drop, propelling you toward high-sugar (often convenience) foods to quell your cravings.

  

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