Cut Down Sugar

Ahhh, promises, promises. Why is it that most New Year’s resolutions tend to fall by the wayside come Valentine’s Day? Perhaps it’s because most of us make resolutions with an all-or-nothing mentality—goals that are simply not practical nor achievable. This year, it’s time to find the real you rather than try to reinvent yourself. If you love sweets, you may want to come to terms with your taste and allow yourself sweets—in moderation—on a daily basis.

5 tips for cutting down on your added sugar intake and still satisfying your sweet tooth:

  1. Use low-calorie sweeteners. The use of low-calorie sweeteners has been studied extensively in animals and humans and has been proven safe, so no worries on getting cancer from these products! Find one that appeals to your sweet tooth, there are plenty on the market such as NutraSweet and Equal; Sweet ‘n Low or Sugar Twin; Sunett or Sweet One; and my favorite, Splenda.
  2. Bake with Splenda sugar blend. This half sugar, half Splenda concoction offers your recipes the sweetness, volume and moistness you expect from your baking but with half the calories.
  3. Drink calorie-free beverages. Soda is the leading source of simple sugar intake in the American diet. Aim to cut down on your soda intake by switching to diet soda or better yet, satisfying your liquid sweet tooth with iced green tea (sweetened with a low-calorie sweetener).
  4. Feed your sweet tooth–but in small portions. Don’t aim for perfection…if you love sweets then allow yourself a daily treat—albeit a small amount—such as a few squares of dark chocolate. Just be sure to cut back on added sugars elsewhere in your day.

The not-so-sweet facts: Americans eat an average of about 30 teaspoons of sugar a day (this equates to nearly 500 empty calories per day). “Added sugars” have made the American Heart Association (AHA) blacklist of foods that if eaten in excess contribute to heart disease—our nation’s leading cause of death in men and women. The AHA prudent guidelines on sugar intake call for an upper limit of no more than 100 calories per day in women (about 6 teaspoons of sugar) and 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons of sugar) in men.

How much added sugar do you eat? This year make a New Year’s Resolution that improves your health and well-being and is doable. Cut back on your added sugar intake but still allow yourself a daily sweet treat and you will be finding the real sweetness in YOU!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2016,

Dr. Janet

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