How to Get Rid of Refined Sugar in One's Diet

How to Get Rid of Refined Sugar in One's Diet

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Sugary beverages contain significant amounts of refined sugar.

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On average, Americans consume about 22 teaspoons -- or 355 calories' worth -- of added sugar per day. That is equivalent to about three times the American Heart Association's recommendation of 100 to 150 calories. Because sugar offers no nutritional benefit and actually contributes to poor health by causing weight gain, increased triglycerides and cavities, it is wise to reduce the amount of refined sugar you consume.


Cut out desserts. After dinner sweets, like ice cream, cookies and cake, aren't just packed with calories, they are full of refined sugar, too. Replace these desserts with a bowl of fresh berries or a piece of dried fruit. This can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding a lot of refined sugar to your diet.


Read labels. While it may be obvious that things like cookies, donuts and cake contain sugar, sometimes the sweetener is hidden in other not-so-obvious food items, like ketchup, peanut butter and pasta sauce. Check food labels for sugar content. Manufacturers are required to list the grams of sugar directly underneath the “carbohydrate” heading. Choose foods that contain less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of carbohydrates.


Familiarize yourself with the different terms for sugar. Unfortunately, sugar is not always listed as “sugar” on a nutrition label, so you may have to do some digging. Look for words that end in -ose, such as sucrose, fructose, dextrose, glucose and maltose. Scan the ingredient list for agave nectar, corn sweetener, honey, molasses, syrup, evaporated cane juice and fruit juice concentrates. These terms indicate the presence of sugar.


Switch to sugar free. Using sugar-free condiments and toppings, like jams, jellies and syrups, will help you cut out a significant amount of refined sugar. Opt for sugar-free gum, mints and hard candies. While you may not think these small things matter, every little bit of sugar adds up during the course of the day.


Reach for water. Sugary beverages, like soda and iced tea, are major contributors of refined sugars to your diet. Replace these beverages with plain water or water flavored with a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice. If you drink a lot of soda, cut down gradually until you're able to cut the sugary beverage out completely.