The new Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020 are based on the most up-to-date food science research by health experts. The biggest news in these guidelines? Well, it may surprise you!
Here it is, folks: We eat entirely too much sugar - almost three times more than the recommended daily amount!
America has been on the low-fat bandwagon for a long time. We thought fat was the enemy, and did everything possible to eliminate it from our diets. However the fact is that Americans are as unhealthy as ever. How could this be? Maybe it's because while we were so concerned about eliminating fats, we began to eat more of the true wolf in sheep's clothing: sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends that we consume only about 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which is equal to about 24-36 grams. In reality, we consume around 77 grams per day - that's equal to 19 teaspoons!
So what to do? Here are some great tips to cut back on your daily sugar consumption.
Easy Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake
Don't be fooled by 'health foods'.
Low-fat yogurts, dried fruits, granola - they're all loaded with added sugar! Even if you think you're eating healthier versions, don't be fooled. They still contain sugar, and your body still converts the excess to fat. Just ask Damon Gameau, a sugar-free documentarian who went on a sugar-eating binge in That Sugar Film. During his 60-day experiment, he chose to eat typical so-called 'health foods' and even ate fewer calories than he did before, and instead made sure that more of his daily calorie intake came from sugar. He gained almost 19 pounds, and went into the high-risk range for fatty liver disease and diabetes. This goes to show that it's not just about the quantity of the calories you eat, but about the quality.
Be careful not to drink your sugar!
According to the American Dietary Guidelines, beverages account for almost half (47%) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population. That is pretty huge. Put down that sugary soda (about 40 grams of sugar per can), and try True Lemon Lemonade (only 1 tiny gram of sugar per packet).
Read those labels.
Sugar is hidden in foods you wouldn't normally expect like sauces, dressings, jams and jellies, soups, marinades, etc. There are even many different names for sugar that are hidden on ingredient lists, for example: High-fructose corn syrup, honey, cane juice, dextrin, maltodextrin, caramel, malt syrup, and the list goes on.
Opt for full-fat versions.
Low-fat products often include more sugar to make the taste more appealing. It is better to choose a product that is higher in fat and lower in sugar, and just use it in moderation.
Sugar can be a hard habit to kick due to its addicting nature. Curbing the craving with natural sweeteners like Stevia with True Citrus will make it a little easier (and more appealing).
Before long you will be happier, healthier, and feeling better than ever!
[Credit: Hungry for Change. "How to Spot Sugar on Food Labels."]
[Credit: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Eighth Edition.]
[Credit: Gunnars, Kris - BSc. "Daily Sugar - How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?" Authority Nutrition.]
[Credit: Marturana, Amy. "New Dietary Guidelines Are Officially Here to Remind Us How Bad Sugar Is." Well And Good.]
[Credit: Hozer, Michele. "Sugar Coated." Documentary Film.]