How Much Sugar Should You Be Eating?
Nationally, we are eating more sugar than necessary. Our current intake levels come out to about 20 bags of sugar per person, per year. Consuming all this extra sugar has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cavities, obesity, and more. Reducing your overall sugar intake is beneficial, but how?
Read the Label to Learn How Much Sugar It Contains
When looking to purchase food, be sure to check the label. Each item will let you know how much sugar it contains. While “grams” may not help you to visualize the sugar content, be aware that four grams is equivalent to one teaspoon. In order to determine how many teaspoons of sugar something has, divide the total by four.
What Does Added Sugars Mean?
This term refers to sugar that has been added during the manufacturing process. They may include things like fructose, corn syrup, glucose, or sucrose. If you’re worried about added sugars, be sure to read the ingredient list to see if any extra sweetening agents are included.
What Are Naturally Occurring Sugars?
Natural sugars are any sugars that occur in foods or drinks without needing to be added. Many items such as fruits, dairy products, and some vegetables contain natural sugars. These items are still fine to eat, as they also contain important vitamins and nutrients.
How Do You Minimize Sugars in Your Diet?
Avoid consuming these foods too often. They have been listed in the order of importance:
Soft Drinks – Whenever possible, avoid drinks that have been sweetened with sugars.
Fruit Juices – Some juices can have as much sugar as a soft drink. Eating the fruit itself is a better option than drinking juice.
Candies and Sweet Treats – It’s best to limit the amount of sweets you have, even if you aren’t watching your sugars.
Baked Desserts – Things like cookies and cakes are often high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Canned Fruit in Syrup – The syrup contains a lot of sugar. Again, fresh fruit is a better choice.
Low-Fat or Diet Food – When removing the fat from food, sugars are often added to make up for the flavor. Do not consume artificial or sugar substitutes as they are toxic to your nervous system.
It is advised that you lower your intake of added sugars to below 10% of your daily calories, whatever that may be, and preferably less than 5%. The best and easiest method to help decrease your sugar intake is to select sugarless drinks, eat at home more often than getting takeout, and reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet.
Eating less sugar and maintaining a nutritious diet is essential if you wish to stay healthy.