It is known that added sugar can bring many health problems.
Recent research suggests that women should eat no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of added sugar every day. For men, the amount is nine teaspoons or 36 grams.
But many people include processed food in their daily meals, and they may eat much more sugar than recommended.
Kara Shifler Bowers, a registered dietitian and project manager at Penn State PRO Wellness, provides useful tips to help people reduce added sugar in their meals.
Eating whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The sugar in fruit is different from the sugar in a doughnut. Food with natural sugars can carry fiber as well as many antioxidants and vitamins such as A and C.
On the contrary, healthy choices like yogurt, fiber bars, protein bars, and spaghetti sauce can hide loads of added sugars.
Eating whole foods could help reduce added sugar intake.
Saving sugary sweets for special occasions.
People should not eat sugar regularly. Instead, they can save sugary sweets for special occasions like holidays or birthdays.
This can help curb a sweet tooth.
Try healthy alternatives to sweet chocolates.
Sometimes people may actually be craving the magnesium in real cocoa. If this happens, they can try a few dark chocolate-covered almonds. The snack is high in magnesium.
Cut sugar and chocolate gradually.
Although cutting out all added sugars could solve many health problems, it may cause binge eating, which is even more harmful.
Instead of totally eliminating sugar and chocolate, people can have a small piece of chocolate such as dark chocolate to curb cravings.
Introduce sugar to children as late as possible.
The researcher suggests that when it comes to children and sweets, the longer parents wait to introduce them to sugar, the better. This includes sugar in the juice.
In young children, taste buds are still developing. If they get used to sweet foods, they will want to eat as they get older.
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