Achieve the Less-Sweet Feat
For many of us, baking became a treasured endeavor during the pandemic. But it might be time to scale back the sweets because regularly consuming too much sugar can lead to serious health conditions, even for those who maintain a healthy weight. Read on to see four fast ways to reduce your sugar intake today!
Knowing how much sugar we really consume helps us adhere to the ages-old idea of ‘’everything in moderation.’’ Aim to stay within the American Heart Association’s daily limit recommendation, which is 25 grams (6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.To put those numbers in perspective, one regular can of soda contains roughly 35 grams of added sugar. That’s less than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar.
This is where reading food labels comes in handy. So much of the sugar we consume is hidden in processed foods that aren’t even considered sweets, like yogurt, cereal, pasta sauce or salad dressings. There are more than 50 different names for sugar and 74% of packaged foods have added sugar! As of January, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued new regulations to the Nutrition Facts labels on packaged food. Labels must now show the percentage from added sugar.
Drinking more water is perhaps the quickest, most effective way for reducing our sugar intake. Sweetened beverages are the leading sources of added sugar in the American diet. Ordering a vanilla-flavored latte adds up to 20 grams of sugar to your cup. If you’re not a big fan of plain water, try infusing it. Place fruits, veggies, herbs and/or spices in a pitcher with water and pop it in the fridge. For the most flavorful infusion, let your creation steep overnight. You can also use naturally sparkling mineral water for a new twist.
Finally, redesigning recipes without much effort can help us chisel away at our daily sugar intake. Try new takes on dessert. For “nice cream,” Freeze a ripe banana overnight; blend it with a splash of milk of your choice and enjoy right away. It might not be identical to traditional ice cream, but it’s certainly sweet and beats the overload of calories from the original dessert! Or something as simple as adding a dollop of whipped cream atop a bowl of strawberries can make a healthy treat decadent. Plus, two tablespoons of Reddi-Wip contains less than 1 gram of added sugar.
“How to Eat Less Sugar,” Sally Wadyka, consumerreports.org, July 18, 2021.
“The FDA Is Giving the Nutrition Facts Label a Makeover,” Jessica Malen, motivatehealth.com, March 9, 2020.