Healthy Action Step of the Day: Reduce Added Sugars From Your Diet

1020 - bite-breakfast-cake-1166418

Reduce added sugars from your diet. This is one of the most effective ways to start getting your weight and many health issues under control.Unless you have a health condition in which your doctor has advised you to limit sugars entirely, focusing on the ones that are added to your food can be the best way to start. That means not necessarily worrying about fruits and vegetables that naturally contain sugar and concentrating on the sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Foods with a lot of added sugars contribute extra calories to your diet but provide little nutritional value.” That means all those desserts, sodas and energy and sports drinks are crowding out the really good stuff. If you fill up on those types of things, you’re less likely to want to eat the foods that give you the most bang for your nutritional buck. Mayo Clinic experts also say that eating too many foods with added sugars can contribute to health issues such as poor nutrition, weight gain, increased triglycerides (which may increase risk of heart disease) and tooth decay.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to “no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance.” For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, which is about 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, which is about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams.

While limiting added sugars may seem tough at first, your taste buds will adjust. Your definition of sweet will fairly quickly change so that a piece of fruit tastes just right, while a piece of sugar-sweetened cake may seem like too much. Trust me. From someone who used to be able to sit down and eat a bag of jelly beans or candy corn in one sitting and now eats hardly any added sugar, cutting back or out entirely is do-able and well worth it!

Leave a Reply