Saturday, February 26, 2011

Empty Sweets

Refined sugars make up around 21 percent of the calories most people eat -- more than 30 teaspoonfuls per day. Much of this sugar is well hidden in food and beverages. To reduce the sugar in your diet, start by substituting naturally sweet foods for sugared snacks.

Reducing the Sugar in Your Diet
Sugar contains no nutrients or fiber. It's high in calories and can crowd more nutritious foods out of your diet. If Sugar has a grip on you, here are three simple tips to help you reduce your dependence without eliminating sweet treats altogether.

1. Indulge Less Frequently
    How often do you eat desserts or sweet snacks? You may choose one.
          * 1-4 times/week
          * 1-2 times/day
          * 3-4 times/day
          * More than 4 times/day
   If you answered more than once a day you would benefit from reserving treats for special times.

2. Eat Smaller Servings
   When you do eat sweets and sugared foods, learn to savor small portions. Eat slowly, and make your portion last. You can train yourself to be satisfied with a smaller serving.

3. Make the Low-sugar Choice
   Choose low-sugar alternatives when shopping. It's not always easy to tell how much sugar a product contains, because sugar can be disguised as fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, and other ingredients. When possible, however, buy products you know are low in sugar.

Your Turn
Think of some ways you can reduce the amount of sugar you are eating. You may list them on a sheet of paper.

Your Challenge
Try a fruit smoothie. Also, observe how many sweets and other sugary foods you are eating and then cut back to a healthier level.

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