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By: Lauren McRae
Valentine's Day is usually coupled with boxes of chocolates, heart-shaped sugar cookies, slices of cake and other sugary items. This V-Day try taking a different approach by passing on the sweets. Consuming foods with added sugar provides empty calories, no nutrients and it’s linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Did you know the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day? Our nation’s sweet tooth likely contributes to the increase in diabetes, childhood obesity and other health problems. The new recommendation states that sugar should be no more than 10% of our daily caloric intake.
How much sugar is that? For someone with a 2,000 calorie daily diet, that equates to no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. Sugar is not only found in pop, sweets or baked goods – it is hiding elsewhere.
Stella Moreno-Cortes, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at NorthShore, offers these ways we can cut back on sugar:
Moreno-Cortes does not recommend quitting sugar cold turkey, as it is too unrealistic. Start with the recommended swaps: cutting back on sweetened beverages and limiting desserts. These swaps can have a huge impact on improving overall health. Over time, you will find that meeting the new dietary guidelines is easy.
When you were cutting back on sugar, where did you find sugar hiding?