Eat Less Sugar with These Easy Tips
January 17, 2022
There are many ways to improve your eating habits. Even small changes can make a big difference.
If you want to focus on changing just one behavior, try this: Eat less added sugar.
What are added sugars? A few examples include:
- brown sugar
- cane juice
- high-fructose corn syrup
- fruit nectars
- malt syrup
- raw sugar
Sugar is hard on your body. It adds calories but has almost no nutrition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating a lot of sugar can lead to:
- weight gain
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
The CDC also notes that children under 12 months old should never eat honey.
Babies can develop a severe type of food poisoning from honey. Be sure to check all labels before giving new foods to your young children.
Tip #1: To eat less sugar—drink less sugar
Sweet drinks can add a lot of sugar to your daily total. Check this list for your favorites. Can you switch to an option with less sugar?
Water 0 teaspoons
Unsweetened tea 0 teaspoons
Sports drinks 2 teaspoons
Lemonade 6 ¼ teaspoons
Sweet tea 8 ½ teaspoons
Cola 10 ¼ teaspoons
Fruit punch 11 ½ teaspoons
Root beer 11 ½ teaspoons
Orange soda 13 teaspoons
Instead of high-sugar drinks, try:
- water, plain or sparkling
- adding berries or fruit to water
- add a splash of fruit juice to sparkling water
- pouring your favorite drink into a smaller glass
- black decaf coffee
Learn more ways to increase your water intake: “Easy Ways to Drink More Water”
Tip #2: To eat less sugar—use more fruits and spices
Sugar is added to many foods. Here are some tips for “subtracting” it:
- use half the amount you would normally add to cereal, pancakes, coffee, or tea
- keep bananas, grapes, and other fruit handy
- drain juice and syrup from canned fruit
- add almond, vanilla, orange, or lemon extract to “jazz up” foods
- try using spices like ginger, allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg
- always check the label! Choose products with less or no added sugar when you can.
Remember, when it comes to healthier habits, every small step makes a difference.
Complete your annual Health Risk Assessment—earn $20 in Parkland rewards!
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Parkland Community Health Plan offers health plans for families that are eligible for Medicaid (STAR) and CHIP. We also offer health plans for pregnant women.
Learn more at https://parklandhealthplan.com/learn/family/
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