The average American consumes about 160 pounds of refined sugar every year. That sounds pretty crazy…that’s a lot of sugar!
Most of us know that that much sugar isn’t good for us. The bad thing is that added sugar has found its way into all sorts of foods we consume on a daily basis and it isn’t just the sugary breakfast cereal or the ice cream that is the culprit. There’s sugar in our salad dressings, our frozen dinners, and pasta sauce to give you just a few examples.
So how do we cut back some of the sugar consumption in our regular diets?
Cut the Soda and Other Sugary Drinks
This will have a huge impact. Stop drinking soda and other sugary drinks. That includes seemingly innocent things like the sweet tea you’re enjoying or the fancy coffee drink but, it could also be your favorite juice beverage. Start by taking a look at the labels of the drinks you typically consume and figure out how many teaspoons of sugar you’re actually drinking each day. Then cut them out. Stick to water, black coffee and herbal tea for a few days. It’s not an easy transition, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Stop Indulging in Super Sugary Treats
Next it’s time to give up your favorite sugary treats. Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or scramble up some eggs instead of pouring a bowl of sweet cereal. Skip the muffin, cake, cookies and candy. Instead reach for a piece of fruit or cut up some fresh veggies.
Find sugar free or low-sugar replacements for your favorite treats. Fix a sandwich if you’re hungry in the afternoon instead of raiding the cookie jar. Or grab some cheese and crackers. Do your best to train your brain and taste buds to not crave sweet treats all day long. This habit will come easier to break if you plan ahead. When do you tend to get munchy? Make sure you have healthy alternatives on standby to grab.
Stick to Real Food
Last but not least, work on reducing the added sugars that sneak into your diet via all sorts of convenience foods. Anything that’s labelled low fat, fat free or gluten free is worth avoiding since the fat is usually replaced by lots of sugar and salt to make it palatable. Your best bet is to stick to real food. Stick with single ingredients and cook your meals from scratch. This allows you to control what’s going into the food you eat – including the sugar.