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Healthgrades for Professionals7 Ways to Cut Sugar from Your Diet

Here is what you should tell your patients about cutting back on sugar for improved health.

Sugar consumption is a significant concern in the modern American diet, contributing to various health issues. Here are some strategies to help reduce your patients’ sugar intake:

  • Beverage Choices:
    • Avoid soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks.
    • Opt for fruit-infused water or milk post-workout.
  • Redefine Celebrations:
    • Replace sugar-centric celebrations with activities or non-sugary treats.
  • Flavor Alternatives:
    • Use spices like ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon.
    • Experiment with flavored extracts for added taste.
  • Nutrient-Dense Foods:
    • Prioritize fruits, vegetables, cheese, and lean proteins.
    • Avoid prepackaged snacks with high sugar content.
  • Home Cooking:
    • Prepare meals from scratch to control sugar content.
    • Reduce sugar in recipes without compromising taste.
  • Dessert Strategies:
    • Choose sugar-smart desserts like yogurt with fresh fruit.
    • Share desserts to reduce individual sugar intake.
  • Label Reading:
    • Check for added sugars in prepackaged foods.
    • Be wary of terms like “sucrose” and “high-fructose corn syrup.”

Additional Points:

  • Sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Commercially prepared foods, like spaghetti sauce, often contain high sugar levels.

Say This:

  • “Many of my patients are surprised to learn that 15% of the average American’s calories come from added sugars. It’s not just about avoiding the obvious sweets; it’s about making informed choices in everyday meals and snacks. Let’s discuss some strategies that can help you reduce your sugar intake and improve your overall health.”

Did You Know?
According to the CDC, the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons (around 71.14 grams) of added sugar every day. This is more than double the recommended limit of 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women and exceeds the 9 teaspoons (38 grams) recommendation for men.

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