Don't sugarcoat it

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommends reducing sugar intake to 6% of your daily calorie intake, a significant decrease from 10% recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. What does that mean?

If you eat around 2000 calorie per day, this would reduce the recommended sugar intake from 50 grams of added sugars (200 calories) to only 30 grams per day (120 calories).

What does 30 grams of sugar mean? There are many ways to consume thirty grams of sugar! ~ 8 ounces of some sodas or juices contain the 30 grams for the entire day!

While there are many ways to consume the sugar, there are more reasons why limiting added sugars is important for your health.

Lots of added sugars can lead to weight gain as well as increase risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatty liver, and increase your risk of death from those conditions. Sugar intake is also linked with cognitive decline and even some cancers!

Lastly, when you're consuming a lot of added sugars, you are displacing more nutritious foods in your diet! It's hard to meet your vitamin and mineral needs when you're consuming a lot of added sugars.

There are many ways to reduce your added sugar intake!

Nearly 70% of added sugars come from sweetened beverages (soda, juice, coffee or tea), desserts, sweet snacks, candy, and breakfast cereals or bars.

Here's easy ways to upgrade your food choices:

1. Replace sodas or juices with flavored seltzer or water with a splash of lemon

2. Reduce the level of sugar in your coffee or tea slowly to give your taste buds time to adjust.

3. At snack time, replace a dessert or cereal bar with a whole piece of fruit or whole grain crackers. Make your own mix of nuts and seeds to add to your fruit for a more complete snack.

4. Read the nutrition label to compare which condiments, nut butters or other packaged foods contain more sugar. For example, flavored yogurts have tons of added sugar! Use plain yogurt and add sweetness with fresh fruits like berries or chopped apple.

Stay sweet naturally, fellow Lupus Warriors! Enjoy fruits, add a touch of honey to a plain yogurt, try cinnamon in place of sugar in your tea or coffee for a naturally sweet sensation.

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