In the past couple of years, the average daily intake of added sugars was 17 teaspoons for children and adults. Keeping in mind that the recommended amount of daily added sugars is less than 10 percent of your daily calories (12 teaspoons), those numbers aren’t looking so good.
Americans are consuming too much sugar. Over-consumption may lead to more serious issues down the road, such as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. An easy way to decrease the risk of developing physical health problems is by decreasing your sugar intake. Here are a few easy ways to get started:
- Drink smart, live smart.
Soft drinks, teas and coffees are all sources of high sugar consumption. A single soda has an average of 39 grams of sugar, or almost 10 teaspoons. Drinking a single can of soda leaves only two teaspoons left of the recommended daily consumption, so substituting them for a healthier option makes a huge difference. Try swapping out your soda for a flavored water, or start with a sugar free version. If you still crave the sweetness of a sugary drink, replace the artificially sweetened choice with something containing natural sweetness. Juices are a great alternative – especially when you’re craving a can of coke!
- Try natural sweeteners.
Most people will instinctively reach for the jar of sugar when needing to sweeten things up. Instead, you should try easing the sweetness craving by using a natural, calorie-free version of sugar. Stevia and monk fruit are two excellent options, and stevia is actually 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. These sweeteners are available at your usual grocery stores. They typically come in packets and can be used in any recipe that calls for sugar, making it an easy way to substitute out the unhealthy sugars you would usually consume.