It’s no secret that obesity rates are increasing and added sugar is thought to be one of the main culprits.
Sugary drinks such as sodas, juices, and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar. Fructose actually increases your hunger more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods. Sugary beverages lead to weight gain because they don’t curb your hunger, but instead, make it far too easy to consume a large number of liquid calories.
Did you know that sugar actually drains your energy? Sugar does not boost your energy in the long term like so many people believe. Foods high in added sugar quickly spike your blood sugar leading to an initial increase in energy. However, this rise in energy is short-lived. Foods that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber, or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash.
So how can you reduce your sugar intake?
• Replace sodas, energy drinks, sweetened teas and juices with water
• Replace fruit yogurts with plain yogurt and fresh fruit
• Eat whole fruits instead of premade smoothies
• Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
• Combine olive oil and vinegar in place of store-bought salad dressings
• Swap your cereal for rolled oats topped with nut butter and berries or an omelet with greens
• Replace jelly with banana in your PB&J sandwiches
• Eat nut butter instead of chocolate spreads
• Shop the perimeter of the grocery store; sticking with fresh and whole foods instead of reaching for processed foods, which are likely to contain added sugar
The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid processed foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.