Did you know that the average american consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day? That adds up to an extra 350 calories per day with no added benefits of consuming vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that we need. What's the biggest source of added sugar in the average American's diet? If you said sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks then you are correct! These culprits alone account for more than one-third of the added sugar we consume.
All that being said, I have a few tips for you to reduce your intake of added sugars.
#1 - Choose natural and whole fruit to sweeten cereals, beverages, and even as desserts (stay tuned for Friday's recipe). #2 - When snacking, make sure you are pairing foods with a protein or fat source. This helps reduce the fluctuation in blood sugar levels so you aren't hungry and hour later. Examples include carrots & hummus, apple & nut butter, pear & walnuts and more.
#3 - Get more fiber! Not only does fiber help you stay full longer, it is an important nutrient involved in detoxification and digestion. Aim for roughly 35g per day through sources like vegetables, nuts, and seeds like chia and flaxseed.
#4 - Switch to natural sweeteners for the time being. Sugar is still sugar, but natural sources like raw honey, dates, and maple syrup provide many nutrients that we need like manganese, magnesium, zinc, and even antioxidants.
Which one of these tips resonate with you the most and which would you like to start practicing?