At one time, most of us thought that by avoiding an “extra teaspoon of sugar” in our coffee or tea, we were doing enough. The truth is, if we want to escape the many health issues related to too much sugar in our diet, we have to educate ourselves that most foods contain sugar (glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose). It is so common that the average North American consumes about 3 pounds each week. Many aren’t even aware of how this happens.
The list of physical, mental and emotional disorders made worse by sugar, and even caused by them, is long. Let’s just find ways to reduce sugar intake.
Here are some tips to help:
- Avoid food and beverages with added sugar. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, pick sugar that occurs naturally, like fresh fruit, vegetables and milk.
- Reduce and eliminate your sugar intake. Within a few months you’ll notice when something tastes too sweet.
- Look for the label “unsweetened”. Most juices contain added sugar. Check the ingredients.
- Add plain soda water to unsweetened fruit juice. Soft drinks contain about 10 teaspoons in each can.
- Watch out for alcohol. Light and sweet alcoholic coolers really can fool you. They are easy to drink quickly, but have high sugar content.
- Don’t be fooled by low-fat diet food. They often contain extra sugar (and salt) to help improve their taste.
- Be aware of prepared foods. Store bought soup, frozen entrées and sauces contain sugar, even though if you were making them, you wouldn’t add it.
Ways to satisfy your sweet tooth:
- 70% dark chocolate bars.
- Crushed fresh fruit with a tiny bit of sugar, used as jam or a topping.
- Fresh brewed iced tea with fresh mint leaves.
- Dilute fruit juice with half sparkling water.
- Try reducing sugar in baking by about one quarter of the recommended sugar. You’ll probably not notice the difference.
- Use herbs and spices in sauces (like tomato sauce), not sugar, to highlight the flavour.
Suggested daily sugar intact is 30 grams – A medium-sized apple has about 15 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 4 sugar cubes.