It is no shock that Americans consume more than their fair share of sugar. But, did you know that according to Dr. Mao a health expert on Yahoo.com Americans eat 180 POUNDS of sugar each year? That’s the weight of a typical adult man ... in sugar!
But how do you know if you are eating too much sugar? In the April 2010 issue of Shape Magazine, author Cynthia Sass, wrote about specific ways to know if you’re going overboard and how cutting back can help you. She wrote: “If you currently spend more than a few hundred calories a day on sweet treats, especially the really processed kind, you're eating too much. Cutting back or taking a break from refined sugar altogether can help you feel better immediately, upgrade the quality of your diet, and even shed a few pounds.”
Now that you know you eat too much, what can you do about it? In an October 7, 2011 article for Yahoo Health, Dr. Mao provided four easy tricks to help Americans cut back on sugar intake:
1. Look out for hidden sugar on labels. Most of the massive quantities of sugar we eat come from processed and prepared foods with added sweeteners.
2. Head off the sugar spikes with more protein. Break the sugar habit by eating food that sustains your energy level, heading off a snack attack caused by a dip in blood sugar.
Introduce more protein foods into your diet, including eggs, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds. These foods take a longer time to digest and absorb, slowly releasing sugar and nutrients into the blood stream.
3. Everything in moderation. Whatever your sweet substance of choice — sugar,honey, or even natural fruit — eat it in moderation. Your body simply was not designed to cope with multiple daily servings of sweeteners.
4. Sugar substitutes. Sugar is a mainstay in your tea or coffee, breakfasts, and baked goods. How to replace? Add more flavorful spices like cardamom, clove, or cinnamon to help you cut back on the sugar content. A handful or berries or chopped dates can sweeten up a dish.
Like anything in life, moderation is the key. Be sure to pay attention to what you're eating and remember that each teaspoon adds up!
Yahoo Health Experts. Web. 7, October 2011. "Four Tricks to Cut Sugar Treats". http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/4-tricks-cut-sugar-treats
Shape Magazine. April, 2010. "Should you start a sugar fast?".
Reviewed October 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith