Top Tips for Sugarholics

August 2018

Do you find yourself stressing out over making decisions about sugar and sweeteners? The University of Washington has some sound advice.

  1. Read the Nutrition Facts label when food shopping. Pay attention to what you put in your body, whether it’s a natural or an artificial sweetener.
  2. Think of sugar in teaspoons. Divide the number of grams of sugar in a serving by four. That’s how many teaspoons of sugar you’re about to consume in a serving.
  3. Eat nutrient-dense sweets when possible. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a nutrient-dense dish instead of a straight shot of sugar. An orange is better than a glass of orange juice.
  4. Ask, “why do I want this?” If you’re craving a sweet treat, ask yourself why. Often it’s because your last meal left you hungry. Choose satiating meals and supplement with filling, healthy snacks.
  5. Consult the Glycemic Index. Not all carbs are created equal. The Glycemic Index tells you how fast your body absorbs them.
  6. Substitute low-sugar natural flavorings. Cinnamon adds flavor to your oatmeal with only 0.1 grams of sugar per teaspoon, compared with 4 grams per teaspoon of table sugar. For other dishes, try lemon juice (0.2 grams per slice) and balsamic vinegar (0.8 grams per teaspoon).
  7. Don’t overdo the artificial sweeteners. Just because there’s no sugar in Diet Coke doesn’t mean you should drink three cans per day.
  8. “Diet” sugars shouldn’t be replaced elsewhere. If you avoid 40 grams of sugar by opting for a diet drink, don’t convince yourself that you have 40 “free” grams of sugar you get to eat later.
  9. Don’t stress out or shame yourself over sugar. There’s no perfect way to eat. Starving your sweet tooth might be less healthy than feeding it a small amount occasionally. Aim for balance.

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