On average, Americans eat 3 pounds of sugar each week or 130 pounds each year. Most of this sugar (49%) comes from soft drinks, candy, and sugar added to foods. These are called added sugars, offering little nutrition value while providing a lot of extra calories.
Many foods, including fruit, milk, and some vegetables, contain natural sugar. It is important to eat some of these foods each day to make sure you are getting the nutrition your body needs.
What is the benefit of cutting added sugars from your diet?
Although sugar provides an initial rush of energy, blood sugar levels quickly drop leaving you more tired than before. The natural response is to eat more sugar to maintain blood sugar levels and give another energy rush. However, too much sugar can contribute to weight gain, cavities, and can result in high blood sugar levels. By cutting back on added sugars you may lose weight, have better oral health, and decrease your blood sugar levels.
Currently, experts recommend eating 10gm or less of added sugar each day (~2-3 teaspoons). Although reducing added sugar intake to 10gm might seem like a big stretch, cutting back on sugar might be easier than you think!
Here are some tips for reducing sugar intake:
- Try sparkling water in place of sodas. Add lemon or lime to add flavor
- Using ½ diet and ½ regular soda or ½ sweet and ½ unsweet tea to cut your sugar intake by half
- Have healthy snacks available that contain less sugar such as trail mix, fruits, or vegetables with dipping sauce
- Place your candy bowl out of sight to avoid mindless snacking
- Eat desserts less often – try limiting dessert to once daily or once weekly depending on where you are now
Try these Mindful by Sodexo recipes for dessert options with less sugar than a traditional dessert
Broiled Figs and Mascarpone Cheese
5 fresh mission figs, sliced into quarters
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup non-fat sour cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the broil. Lay the quartered figs cut side up on a sheet pan. Place under the broiler for 8minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese and sour cream. Divide the mixture between four small ceramic ramekins. Top each ramekin with five fig quarters, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place the ramekins under the broiler for 5 minutes, serve warm
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 168, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 4g Fat: 6g, Sat. fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 36mg, Fiber: 2g
Iced Mocha Pops
1 ½ cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled
½ cup fat free milk or milk alternative
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp unsweetened cocao powder
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until well combined.
- Evenly pour into 6 popsicle molds. Place tops and freeze for 4-5 hours. Note: If using a wooden stick, freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and insert sticks. Place in the freezer for another 4 hours
- When ready to enjoy, run popsicle mold under
warm water until pop releases from mold. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 35, Carbs: 9g, Protein: 1g Fat: 0g, Sat. fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0g, Sodium: 10mg, Fiber: less than 1g