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Eat Less Sugar with These Easy Tips

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:

  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • sucrose
  • cane juice
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • fructose
  • fruit nectars
  • malt syrup
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose

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
  • obesity
  • 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.

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”

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.

Regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet are important for staying in good shape. Click here to learn more about tracking your body mass index (BMI) and other measurements. Use the MyPlate guidelines to make sure you're eating the right portions of certain foods.

Complete your annual Health Risk Assessment—earn $20 in Parkland rewards!

As a Parkland Health Plan member, you can earn reward points for completing certain wellness activities. Then, you can spend those points on items in the Rewards Catalog.

Want to earn $20 in reward points? Simply complete a yearly Health Risk Assessment on the Member Portal. You will receive your reward points in approximately three months.

Do you need health insurance for yourself and your family?

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.

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