As American’s we consume an insane amount of sugar each year. 150 pounds or more each year to be exact. While sugar is not the sole culprit of our health problems in the United States, it certainly is one of those ingredients that has been shown to cause many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A big problem is the added sugar that is hidden in almost every food; salad dressings, sauces, dairy, frozen meals, etc.
Reading food labels can become incredibly important when trying to watch what you put into your mouth. If a label says FAT FREE, be careful! Essentially they are taking all of the flavor out of the food, and in order to make it taste better for us as consumers they replace that fat with sugar. So, when trying to cut down on your sugar intake be mindful of food labels and ways that the food industry “tricks” us into not realizing what we are actually consuming.
Below are some names for added sugars you might see on food labels and a few tips to start cutting back on your sweet tooth. Always remember with anything in life, it is all about moderation. Choose good options more times than not and that allows you to be able to fill that sweets craving we all get!
Names for added sugars on labels include:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Corn syrup
- Brown sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Raw sugar
- Organic sugar
- Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
Get started with these tips:
- Cut back on white and brown sugar, syrup, honey and molasses. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference. It is recommended no more than 9 teaspoons per day for men and 6 teaspoons per day for women. (Be careful, it adds up fast!)
- Swap out the soda. Water is always the best choice!
- Eat fresh, or frozen fruits. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice. Try to follow the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen shopping lists to know when to buy organic!
- Add fruit. Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, try fresh fruit (bananas, cherries, strawberries, or blueberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
- Try extracts. Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts like almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
- Replace it completely. Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Substitute. Switch out sugar with unsweetened applesauce in recipes (use equal amounts). Tastes great!
As a chiropractor here at Oahu Spine & Rehab, the overall health of my patients is my main focus. As an integrated health center, we offer treatments for your chronic pain but also focus on your metabolic health with our branch OSR Weight Management. If you have any questions or you or someone you know are suffering from chronic pain, give us a call today to set up an appointment at 488-5555.