Sugar pie honey bunch…let’s keep sweetness as terms of endearment. We’re here to put the kabash on this sugar sh!t, get smart and stay fit!
The Real Facts: The American Heart Association recommends that women limit added sugars to 6 teaspoons, and men to 9 teaspoons per day. That’s the equivalent of 100 and 150 calories, respectively (not very much). However, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 (the most up to date guidelines) the average American consumes nearly 17 teaspoons of added sugar – about 270 calories per day which can add up to over 8,000 calories a month and end up as 2.5 additional pounds on your frame. No, thanks.
Here are 5 ways to break up with added sugar (even the sugar you didn’t know you were eating):
- Sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar
Added sugars disguise themselves under names like sucrose, syrup, cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate, brown rice syrup and evaporated cane juice, to name a few. And sorry to burst your bubble but even “natural” sugars like honey, maple syrup and molasses are considered added sugar. So know your source and count your servings, even if it’s from Bees.
- Read the ingredient list and be your best 007
Sugar is hidden in all sorts of products , (I’m looking at you, ketchup and salad dressing) even if they don’t taste sweet. So don’t rely on your taste buds to be your detectives, look at those labels, read beyond the fancy names listed above and don’t let sugar sneak up on you.
- Make simple swaps and gain additional health benefits
We’re not saying eat bland food, but instead experiment with spices. Use cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon to sweeten up your yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea. They are free of calories and also help fight inflammation, support digestion and balance blood sugar as well. Go sweet without sugar!
- Catch your zzz’s
Our bodies tend to crave simple carbs and sugary food when we are sleep deprived. Get adequate sleep (we recommend 7 – 8 hours per night), reach for high fiber foods and heart healthy fats, like unsweetened nut butters, for a sustained energy boost when you’re feeling less than alive.
- Get real
Don’t be fooled by fat free or low fat labels. When fat is removed from a food, often times more sugar is added to make it taste better. However, with that “low-fat” halo, we tend to eat more, in the end, more than we would have if we ate the real deal. Eat real foods, watch your portions and remember to focus on whole foods when possible. Yes we know we sound like a broken record but nuts, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and real whole fruit will fill you up without filling you out every time!
Now you know! Be an educated consumer, read your labels and treat your body with the respect it deserves. Now that’s healthy eating!