erecipe blog

Simple Substitutions to Cut Down on Sugar Intake

Pile of sugar cubes against a black backdrop. Posted: Author: admin

The average American eats around two or three times the daily recommended amount of sugar – about 19 teaspoons. Compare that to the American Heart Association guidelines, which dictate 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men, and it becomes obvious that sugar consumption is out of control in most of our diets. And all that extra sugar is hurting us. Added sugar amounts to empty calories – calories that provide no nutritional benefit – which lead to weight gain, type II diabetes, heart disease, and other, less predictable problems like acne.

But with the help of erecipe, you don’t have to fall into that sugar trap. Make these easy substitutions to drastically reduce your sugar intake and improve your health.

Put down the…

Soda. And energy drinks, and juices. Experts point to soft drinks – defined as beverages that are sweetened with added sugar – as one of the biggest contributors to obesity in Americans. And the research is damning. Just one can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar.

Instead, try…

Water. On top of cutting down your sugar intake, it keeps you hydrated, which is great for your skin and metabolism. If still water is boring, try seltzer water. There are even plenty of flavored varieties that are better options than a can of cola. And instead of fruit juices? Reach for an actual piece of fruit. Even if the fruit juice you’re drinking doesn’t contain added sugar, it lacks the fiber in real fruit that is so important to offset its natural sugar content.

Put down the…

Breakfast cereal. Even the brands that are advertised as healthy alternatives likely contain lots of extra sugar. Although there are exceptions, the average breakfast cereal has 4 teaspoons of sugar in a one-cup serving. And since it’s so convenient and tasty, most people eat well over a serving in a typical day.

Instead, try…

Steel-cut oatmeal, plain yogurt topped with fruit, muesli, whole-grain toast topped with avocado, or any other of many low-sugar options. It does take a bit more creativity and time, but meal-planning makes low-sugar breakfasts on the go a lot more feasible. If you spend a half an hour on Sunday making a big batch of breakfast smoothies, you’re set all week.

Put down the…

Low-fat diet foods. Surprising, right? But foods advertised as low-fat like yogurt, pasta sauces, and salad dressings often contain loads of added sugar to make them taste better without the fat.

Instead, try…

Making your own! Again, meal planning is key, here. It’s easy to improvise low-sugar salad dressing if you’re an oil-and-vinegar type of person. But when it comes to sauces and snacks, you’re often better off making your own. Buy a big tub of plain yogurt and spruce it up with your favorite berries. Or, make a big batch of pasta sauce and freeze most of it – It will last a few weeks.