Natural sugars occur in foods such as fruit, milk, yogurt and grains. Other sugars which are added to foods, drinks and condiments while processing or in preparation are called added sugars. Sugar in food labels goes by many names, including corn syrup, molasses, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, malt sugar as well as ingredients ending with the letters “ose” such as dextrose and fructose.
Increased sugar in your diet can contribute to weight gain and serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and inflammation. Therefore it is important to reduce the sugar in your diet. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories a day (6 teaspoons) for most women and no more than 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons) for most men. To achieve this goal, the AHA suggests a 2 step approach: Find it and Replace it. Here are some valuable tips:
If you eat too much sugar and are obese or have uncontrolled diabetes, you may consider switching to an artificial sweetener which may potentially be less harmful. However, while artificial sweeteners are considered generally safe, there have been some conflicting studies and therefore they may only be used as a means to transition to a reduced sugar diet.