Where Sugar Hides in Your Diet

Where Sugar Hides in Your Diet

You may have a problem that many nurses struggle with: a ferocious sweet tooth. Here are some simple ways to cut sugar from your diet. You will see big health benefits—including weight loss—with fairly minimal effort.

We’re advised by the American Heart Association to limit added sugar: 6 teaspoons or less for women, and 9 teaspoons or less for men. Sadly, we consume way more – an average of 22 to 30 teaspoons a day.

See if you can find— and cut out—the sweet stuff in these ways daily:

What’s better than that first cup of coffee in the morning? Nothing can beat it, when it’s not heavily sweetened. If you normally use two sugar packets, scale back to one and save 3 grams of sugar.

You say Starbucks’ Grande Vanilla Latte is your eye-opener? Switching to plain coffee with one packet of sugar will save you a whopping 32 grams of sugar!

Instead of the sugar bomb cereal you’ve grown up with, sub a bowl of Cheerios for a savings of 13 grams (or more) of sugar. Dowse it with unsweetened soy milk and save another 6 grams over the sweet stuff.

At lunch, a small Greek yogurt seems like healthy choice. Not if it’s doused in honey. (Sugar is sugar, regardless of the type.) Go for plain yogurt and top it with fruit to save 13 grams.

A yummy bottled iced tea is less sweet than some soft drinks, but it’s still way more sugary than a brewed iced tea with one packet of sugar. Save 21 grams for a one-cup serving.

You had such a light lunch you’re tempted to treat yourself to a slice of cake. Skip it and you’ll save 37 grams of sugar.

After work there’s a get together with friends at a Mexican cantina. A Margarita sounds fine. But the sugary mix adds 22 grams of sugar, versus a beer, which has zero.

For dinner, spaghetti sauce from a jar is a quick choice. But for jarred sauces, sugar is often the one of the top ingredients after diced and pureed tomatoes. Make your own (sugarless) sauce and save 7 grams in a one-half cup serving.

Ah, time for dessert! Resist the pie ala mode and serve up a cup of cubed cantaloupe instead. This sweet fruit has 7 grams of sugar, but a serving of pie and ice cream has 39!

Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer living in Portland, Oregon. You can visit her at www.jebra.com.