Limiting sugar intake can be difficult. Sugar is pretty much an everyday staple in the US. The USDA recommends decreasing sugar intake to 10 teaspoons per day, but the average American consumes 34 teaspoons per day. Limiting sugar intake is not only important as you pursue your weight loss goals, it’s also important for your overall health.
Here are 4 tips to cut back your daily sugar intake:
1. Divide and conquer to reduce sugar.
Gradually switch yourself from regular/sweetened beverages and foods by mixing them with unsweetened counterparts. For example, combine half a serving of sweetened yogurt with half a serving plain yogurt. Mix sweetened juice with water to dilute the sugar content. After a week or so, gradually increase the portion of unsweetened food or drink to a ratio of ¼ sweetened to ¾ unsweetened. Before long you won’t even miss the extra sweetness.
2. Plan ahead when it comes to dessert.
Establish a plan for when you’ll indulge in dessert and when you won’t. For example, sweets twice a week with dinner only – never lunch. Or dessert at the office birthday parties only twice a month. If you have desserts daily, consider outlining a plan to alternate fresh fruit – have dessert one day, fruit the next.
3) Watch ingredient lists.
Sugar can easily be hidden in food just because you don’t know how to pronounce half the words in the ingredients list, let alone understand what is sugar. Here are some common terms for sugar: 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.
4) Switch to all-fruit spreads.
All-fruit spreads are a great alternative to jams and jellies. They are just as sweet and flavorful but with much less added sugar. Check you grocery store to see your options next time you shop. All-fruit spreads go well on toast, mixed with plain yogurt, and slightly heated to drizzle on pancakes and waffles in place of syrup.
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