Is your sugar high keeping your weight high? I know you need your morning boost, your afternoon pick me up, your after dinner treat…but these seemingly insignificant routines could be racking up a significant amount of sugar in your diet. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons a day of sugar for women—that’s 6 packets. How many little paper packets are people actually tearing open daily? Some as many as 28 a day! That adds up to 93 POUNDS of the sweet stuff EVERY YEAR! And how does that translate to your body? You are consuming an annual 40,800 calories, which means 11.5 lbs of body weight in sugar every year. So how are you putting on the few extra pounds? Probably with some of these very popular items…
1 sports drink= 4 teaspoons of sugar. 2/3 of your daily recommended amount.
1 12 oz can of soda= 9-12 teaspoons. You’ve already broken the sugar bank and then some.
1 sugar-sweetened yogurt= 7-9 teaspoons of sugar per cup.
I know these items get you through the day. The fizziness on your tongue from a soda, that smooth first bite of yogurt—these have become rituals. So what’s so wrong with a little extra sugar?
Over consumption of sugar can greatly increase your risk for diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Tooth Decay Too much sugar can promote gum disease and tooth decay. It was all fun and games to sneak candy in your room when you were little, but today you know the importance of a healthy smile.
Premature Aging All of those empty calories can make you appear to look older. Eating too much sugar can also cause your body to age faster by decreasing your skin and organs’ elasticity.
Mood Swings and Exhaustion Too much sugar could also be sabotaging your relationships and even your job as it can cause mood swings and exhaustion.
Here are some low-sugar alternatives to your favorite pick me ups:
Swap out your sports drink for coconut water, an all-natural source of energizing electrolytes.
Try low-fat Greek yogurt instead of the sweetened-variety. With about 9 grams of sugar plus loads of protein per cup, you can just add on a drizzle of honey or syrup if you really need to.
As for the meanest culprit: soda, try adding EmergenC, Crystal Light, Cranberry Juice, Pomegranate Juice or Lemon to sparkling water for the fizz-effect plus the flavor boost.
Your whole life doesn’t have to be thrown upside down just because you’re cutting down on sugar—although it may seem like it! Just be aware of where your extra sugar is coming from and finding ways to cut those items out while still feeling satisfied.