The average American consumes around 132 pounds of sugar a year.
Probably because it’s hidden in so many processed foods like ketchup, salad dressings, sports drinks and breakfast cereal, not just cookies, candy and pop. Excess sugar has been linked to all kinds of ailments, including obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, migraines, diabetes and even cancer. According to the American Heart Association, a person should consume 7 percent or less of their daily calories from sugar (that’s just 6 tablespoons).
Here are some ways you can curb your sugar intake:
Read every label. Sugar by any other name is still sugar. Be on the lookout for barley malt, agave, honey, brown rice syrup, cane juice, dextrose, fructose, lactose, sucrose, fruit juice, malt, molasses and maltodextrin.
Wean yourself off artificial sweeteners. Studies show that artificial sweeteners are so sweet they may actually make you crave more foods with sugar later. So swap the diet soda for unsweetened iced tea.
Eat protein and fiber. Protein and fiber help fill you up. So if your tummy is full, you’ll be more satisfied and less likely to crave sweets.
Retrain your sweet tooth. Take some candy from nature, and grab a peach or slice of watermelon when you crave something sweet.
Indulge yourself a bit. Eating a bite or taste of what you are craving will help you avoid feelings of being denied. Treating yourself every once in a while to something decadent, in moderation, is a good strategy.
The less sugar you eat, the less you will crave. And the closer you will be to losing 10 percent of your body weight.