How to eat less sugar?
Do you know how much added sugar you eat every day? It is recommended to limit added sugar consumption to prevent weight gain, hyperactivity, dental caries, and chronic diseases. According to the World Health Organization, the recommended daily intake of added sugar is 6 tsp. (25g).
It is important to differentiate between natural sugar found in nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and dairy products and the added sugar typically found in processed, non-nutritious and rapidly digested products. Here are 4 golden rules that will help you eat less sugar.
1) Limit processed foods
The best technique to limit your added sugar intake is to simply consume fresh foods. Processed foods often contain hidden added sugar to improve taste, texture, and cost.
2) Fast food: avoid sugary beverages
As shown in the following table, a drink is sufficient to exceed the recommended daily limit of 6 tsp of added sugar. To reduce your intake of beverages with added sugar, set a small and clear goal every week. For example “this week I’m only going to put 1 bag of sugar instead of 2 bags of sugar in my morning coffee”.
3) At the grocery store: take the time to read nutrition labels
The ability to read a nutrition label is essential to make the best choices when buying processed foods. When you have a choice between different flavors of a similar product, compare the amount of sugar.
An easy trick to remember is that 4g of sugar is equal to 1 tsp of sugar. It is easier to visualize the amount of added sugar in teaspoons than in grams. As an example, here are two quick comparisons:
4) At home: reduce or substitute the amount of added sugar
Firstly, one can easily decrease the added sugar by half or more without neglecting the taste. Try this technique the next time you make a recipe that requires sugar.
It is also possible to substitute the added sugar with natural sugars, such as fruit purees, which will make the recipe more nutritious. There are several strategies for different types of recipes, a quick online search will give you plenty of ideas.
Remember that other sugars such as brown sugar, agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, have nutritional values very similar to sugar. They are not significantly better for your health than white sugar. It is better to put more emphasis on reducing the amount of added sugar in our diet than the quality of sugar.
What strategy do you use to reduce your sugar intake?