Sweet Solutions for Cutting Back on Sugar - Carolina Country

Sweet Solutions for Cutting Back on Sugar

By StatePoint

Sweet Solutions for Cutting Back on Sugar

Photo by Karen Olson House

It’s common knowledge that eating too much sugar isn’t healthy. Fortunately, minimizing the processed sugar is your diet doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy treats for Valentine’s Day or always skip dessert. A key element to successfully changing food habits is balance and moderation.

Before getting started, it’s important to remember that many healthy foods naturally contain sugar, a carbohydrate your body burns for energy. Processed sugars are different, adding calories that provide no other nutritional benefit. At excessive levels, they disrupt your metabolism, and can pose serious health risks.

The USDA’s dietary guidelines recommend that added sugar account for less than ten percent of your daily calories. That means a maximum of 50 grams a day for women and 62.5 grams for men. To keep your sugar consumption in the healthy range, Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem, offers these tips:

  • Hold the ketchup.
    Just one tablespoon of ketchup can have four grams of sugar. Salsa, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce and even bread are also hidden sources of sugar.
  • Sweeten with spices.
    Replace sugar from coffee, hot cereal and other foods with spices that have a naturally sweet taste, such as vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Start with plain.
    The fruit in the bottom of your yogurt can come with 25 or more grams of added sugar. Buy plain yogurt and add fresh or dried fruit.
  • Flavor your water.
    A 12-ounce can of soda has as much as 40 grams of added sugar. Skip it and drink water sweetened with fresh fruit and herbs, such as strawberries and basil, or lime and mint.
  • Snack on fruit.
    One cup of blueberries, for example, has seven grams of natural sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. Its fiber helps you feel full and slows the breakdown of the sugars, so you don’t crave more calories soon after eating.
  • Eat right and often.
    When you’re hungry, you crave calories and that too often leads to sugary snacking. Reduce between-meal munching by eating healthy, filling foods four to six times a day.
  • Bake with applesauce.
    Eating fewer baked goods can reduce your sugar intake, but if you need to make a cake, replace a third of the sugar in the recipe with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.

Here is a delicious, no-sugar added recipe to try. It makes a great snack or side dish.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

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