Sugar, depending on the type, does not add much nutrient-wise to our diets. Consuming too much sugar can contribute negatively to our well-being as it has been linked to chronic illness, gut dysbiosis, and inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends staying below 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar per day for optimal health.
To give you a frame of reference:
1 tsp= 4 g of sugar
Simple ways to reduce added sugar intake:
Consume balanced meals.
Getting enough of each macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) can reduce our cravings for sugar. Make sure to include these in your main meals and snacks!
Gradually reduce your daily amount.
For lasting change, work on slowly reducing your sugar intake. For example, if you use 2 tbsp of sugar in your coffee, reduce it to 1 tbsp! It takes a small adjustment but your palette will adjust. Over time, you will find that you won’t need as much!
Buy unsweetened and add your own.
Added sugars can be sneaky! They may be found in some products that you would not expect. Some examples of these include sauces, yogurt, and even milk! Look at where it says “added sugar” on the nutrition label and opt for the unsweetened version. Remember, food companies do not create their products based on your unique individual needs. Choose "no added sugar" versions of products so you can control not only the amount but the quality as well.
Use natural sweetness that comes from fruit like dates, bananas, and apple sauce.
This is also a great way to reduce added sugar in baked goods.
If you are using sugar, choose un-refined sugars like coconut sugar, stevia, raw honey,100% maple syrup.
*Note, added sugar does not include naturally occurring sugars in fruit and dairy.
Need help incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle? Click the link below to schedule your free consultation with one of our licensed dietitians.
Written by: Luciana Perasso, M.S, R.D.N
NextGeneration Nutrition Registered Dietitian
Jessica Mantell M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N.
CEO & Founder of NextGeneration Nutrition
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle.
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