In 2012, the average American consumed over 2 pounds or 1,071 grams of sugar every week. According to The American Heart Association we should consume less than 350 grams or 70 teaspoons of sugar every week. It is safe to say Americans are addicted to sugar.
Now that you know about the Consequences of Sugar from last week’s post, I’m sure you are searching for ways to reduce your sugar intake. The bad news is that non-calorie sweeteners can do more damage than the real deal. Our bodies do not know how to process the chemicals found in diet soda and other artificial sweeteners. According to Dr. Mercola, artificial sweeteners can cause more weight gain than real sugar. So don’t try to replace your sugar with artificial alternatives.
How to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
- Read the ingredients! The more ingredients an item has the greater chance it has added sugar or artificial sweetener.
- Avoid no-calorie flavored water or drinks
- Read the list of artificial sweeteners here.
- Discover common items where artificial sweeteners hide.
Natural Sweetener Options
The good news is that there are tasty, healthy options to sweeten your food! We love organic, pure maple syrup and raw honey. The raw honey has health benefits of its own. Other options include coconut sugar, stevia, and fruit purees. These sweeteners, although natural, should still be used in moderation.
You can also try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cocoa, or essential oils to enhance the flavor of your foods, reduce the amount of sweetener, and retrain your palette.