Are you aware of the right amount of daily sugar intake that you should consume?
If you don’t know that then we may have a problem.
Eating too much sugar can cause health diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, obesity and non-fatty liver disease.
Also, it is definitely bad for your teeth causing tooth decay and other oral health problems.
Natural sugars are found in fruits and these are safe to consume.
However, added sugars are the real problem. They are in your processed foods, candies, chocolates and drinks.
They exist mostly in the form of sucrose and fructose corn syrup.
Reducing your sugar intake should begin by decreasing the consumption of added sugars in your diet.
This article discusses the ways you can achieve that and live a healthier lifestyle. Keep reading to know more.
What Is Normal Daily Sugar Intake?
The amount of sugars that you should consume in a day depends on how well and fit you are.
A person with type 2 diabetes should be more careful and eat fewer sugars in comparison with one who does not have any medical condition.
Though, American Health Association lists the amount of added sugars you should not exceed in a day.
For men, it is 150 calories and for women, it is 100 calories.
150 calories equal to 9 teaspoons and 37.5 in grams.
100 calories equal to 6 teaspoons and 25 grams.
However, another measure of daily intake indicates that you should consume only 10 percent sugars of the total amount of your daily calorie intake.
That means if you consume about 2000 calories in a day then you should eat up to 50 grams of sugar which is about 12.5 teaspoons.
However, it is even better if you consume only 5 percent of all calorie consumption in a day.
Though, not many people follow these guidelines as the average adult consumes about 77 grams of sugar per day.
Hence, it is quite unhealthy to consume sugars over the limit.
But how to reduce them? Keep reading to know that.
Ways to Reduce Daily Sugar Intake
In order to find out about the quantity of added sugars in processed food, you will need to check the labels.
Though not all labels differentiate natural sugars from added sugars hence, it can be quite a task.
Also, sugars do not necessarily exist only in sweet food.
You will find them in savory starchy foods such as bread and chips.
But looking for the word, “sugar” will take you nowhere.
You need to look for other forms of sugar such as maltose, molasses, caramel, high fructose corn syrup, table sugar (sucrose), dextrose, cane sugar and rice syrup.
Take a good look at the order of these sugars, as the ones at the top usually have the highest quantity.
Remember your daily intake of sugar and select your food items and processed foods based on that.
Beware of Healthy Processed Snacks and Drinks
If you want to make healthy food, cook yourself at home.
Good marketing can easily deceive you to believe that healthy snacks in the market are actually good for your health.
In fact, some of the healthy alternatives to sugary cookies and candies such as granola bars and dried fruit contain more sugars than a chocolate bar.
Similarly, healthy drinks may have more sugars than unhealthy drinks.
Fruit juices contain more sugars than fruits and some of the market alternatives may have even more added sugars.
While buying dried fruit look for the label saying 100 percent fruit as it may also contain added sugars besides it high natural sugar content.
You can look for other alternative snacks like fruits full of vitamins and minerals.
Also, it will fulfill the daily natural sugar intake.
Other healthy snack options include nuts with proteins and fats and a boiled egg with proteins and minerals.
Substitute Drinks and Foods with Sugars
Sports drinks, coffee, tea and soft drinks contain a lot of sugar content so do healthy alternatives such as smoothies and fruit juices.
Also, drinking these sugary drinks does not make satiate you, hence you may still continue to eat which will not help you lose weight.
The higher sugar content in these drinks helps to increase weight.
Don’t take fruit juices lightly as even 15 oz of pure apple juice contains about 12 teaspoons of sugar.
Therefore, by drinking a glass of apple juice you will already cross your daily intake limit.
So, what are your options?
Drinking water is completely sugar-free and calories-free.
Instead of juices and soft drinks, go for water during meals.
Even give your child water instead of fresh juices and if they do not like the taste, put a few fruit slices to add some flavor.
For hot beverages go for herbal teas, green tea and unsweetened coffee and tea.
When it comes to food, try to avoid desserts.
We understand that this is a big task if you have a sweet tooth.
However, you can at least limit the amount you consume in your day-to-day life.
Hence, cut back on your cupcakes and cookies rather than choose to go for eating fruits full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
If you want to experiment a little and savor more sweetness then try baking fruits with cream. It goes well with apples and plums.
Also, if you have never tried before, eat dates. They can fulfill your sweet cravings and also are nutritious.
Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks will help to decrease the chances of getting dental problems such as tooth cavity.
Also all of these alternatives a rich source of fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Isn’t that already better than sugars?
Reduce Sugars in Your Daily Lifestyle
When you think of sugar, the first thought may be normal sugar, caster sugar, brown sugar, cupcakes, chocolates, biscuits and other unhealthy snacks.
However, there are also sugars in your condiments and in your cereals.
The ketchup you take with fries contains about 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Similarly, barbecue sauce and chili sauce are also loaded with sugar content.
Though thankfully, they too have many alternatives with fewer sugars or no added sugars.
- Mayonnaise- sugar-free but contains fat
- Mustard paste-no sugars and no calories perfect for diet
- Fresh herbs and spices-no sugar and good flavor
- Pesto paste-no sugars and nutty
So, it is time to switch your condiments with better options.
Moreover, your breakfast cereals contain a lot of sugar.
Your child may already like a certain kind of cereal before going to school.
However, that is building up plaque and cavities inside their mouth and they will soon need medical advice and a dental checkup.
In fact, one serving alone contains about 12 teaspoons of sugar.
Neither should you nor your child take this many sugars right at the beginning of the day.
Not only cereals but you will also find sugars in other popular breakfast menus such as jams, peanut butter and pancakes.
Though there are several breakfast alternatives where you can cut on your sugars.
Eat Greek yogurt or oatmeal and add fruits to it so that your child finds it sweet but it is still healthy.
Or you can resort to eating nutritious eggs and or avocados on toast for good health and fitness.
What’s more, is that these alternatives are rich in proteins and healthy fats which will keep you satiated till lunchtime and you will avoid munching on snacks in between.
Decrease Daily Sugar Intake By Cooking Your Own Food
It is better to avoid canned foods, snacks and processed foods as they all contain high sugar content.
Hence, you will be left with cooking on your own which is a really good alternative.
Cooking on your own gives you the freedom to control the number of sugars you use.
If you and your children are not fond of decreasing the quantity of sugar then you can easily switch the sugars with artificial sweeteners in your desserts.
The popular options are Stevia and Xylitol.
Stevia derives from a plant and will give you the right amount of sweetness without any calories.
Even better than it does not cause blood sugar levels to rise and also controls blood pressure.
Xylitol acts in a similar way and does not increase the blood glucose levels in the body.
Furthermore, if you cook on your own, you can add more proteins and fats to your diet.
A low sugar but high fat and protein diet decreases appetite and results in weight loss and not weight gain.
Hence, you will not find yourself munching on snacks after eating lunch full of sugars.
Both proteins and fats are a good source of energy and decrease appetite.
Hence, instead of sugars, go for the likes of dairy products, meat, eggs, avocado and fish.
If you follow a healthy diet, so will your child.
Cook food for them so that they do not have to resort to unhealthy sugary snacks.
If you have a sweet tooth then it is understandable that reducing your daily sugar intake will be difficult.
However, you can gradually reduce it rather than completely dropping it.
Incorporate these ways to ensure that you keep your sugar intake within limits.