How much sugar is too much

Sugar

Most people have a sweet tooth. And if we are honest, most of us would love to eat a dozen cookies vs eating a dozen carrots. To be fair sugar is not a bad thing, but the what makes it bad is the amount that one consumes. So how much is too much sugar? Well according to the American Heart Association, women’s daily consumption should be no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams), while men should not go over 9 teaspoons (36 grams). On average most Americans get over 22 teaspoons a day! To give you an idea how easy it is to over indulge, a 12 ounce can of soda has over 10 teaspoons of sugar! (WebMD)

Too much sugar can lead to significant health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and aging. Now we are not saying abandon sugar all together but make a few adjustments to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Below are a few tips from Heart.org on how you can reduce the amount sugar you take in daily.

  • Toss the table sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
  • Swap out the soda. Water is best, but if you want something sweet to drink or are trying to lose weight, diet drinks can be a better choice than sugary drinks.
  • Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice.
  • Compare food labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Dairy and fruit products will contain some natural sugars. Added sugars can be identified in the ingredients list.
  • Add fruitInstead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, try fresh fruit (bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  • Cut the serving back. When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
  • Try extracts. Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts like almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • Replace it completely. Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Substitute. Switch out sugar with unsweetened applesauce in recipes (use equal amounts).
  • Limit Non-nutritive SweetenersIf you are trying to lose weight, a temporary fix to satisfying your sweet tooth may be with non-nutritive sweeteners. But watch out! Make sure that swapping sugary options for non-nutritive sweeteners now doesn’t lead to eating more later.

Sources: WebMD & Heart.org