Sugar is considered the main sweetener used in many processed foods. Its sweetness makes cakes and pastries delicious, along with other food products like sodas, candy bars and chocolate. The sweets can become so addicting that people seem to long for it day in and day out. The result is that most people today consume sugar at very unhealthy levels.
According to statistics, the average American consumes about 100 pounds of sugar yearly. That is equivalent to around 226 cups of sugar per year. Many people may not be aware that they can consume that much sugar in a year. That is because most of the sugar intake comes from processed food, the sort of hidden sugar that people will not notice.
Eat less processed food.
One of the main reasons for increased sugar intake is processed food. The more you eat processed foods, the more sugar you usually consume. Consider eating whole unprocessed food this time. Go for whole foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables and less of junk food, sodas and other sweetened goodies. This will help bring down your sugar intake.
Read labels carefully.
If you cannot avoid eating processed foods, then you might want to consider reading product labels more carefully. You need to find out if they contain too much sugar or not. You need not just look for sugar content in the labels. Many manufacturers can hide added sugar by using different names. It may show in the labels as maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, molasses, corn syrup, cane juice and many others. These are all added sugar that you may not be aware of. Try to consider consuming processed food products that have no added sugar instead.
Be careful of “Low Sugar” products.
Although it might seem a healthier alternative to eat foods labeled “Low Sugar” or even “Lightly Sweetened”, it is not always what it seems. The truth is such labels are not included in FDA regulations. There are no guidelines yet available on the use of such labels on products. Manufacturers may use them how they see fit. Because of this, the labeled product may still contain the same sugar content as the others. Its only advantage is that it comes with a label that can easily market itself as a healthier option.
Beware of artificial sweeteners.
Some companies make use of artificial sweeteners for their products to avoid the talks of them having too much sugar content. Artificial sweeteners are known to offer that sweet taste to foods but without the calories that usually come with ordinary sugar. But studies show that artificial sweeteners can cause people to feel hungry and unsatisfied. It provides a sweet taste but without the calories. Try to diminish your consumption of artificial sweeteners just as much as your sugar intake.