While scientists sort out the varying effects of different forms of sugar, you can take steps to keep your overall sugar intake at a low and healthy level. Here's how:
• Cut down on added table sugar (sucrose). This is a relatively easy step, just watch for opportunities to cut back in a typical day. Maybe one spoonful of sugar in your coffee instead of two, or a sprinkle on top of your grapefruit instead of a whole spoonful. If you bake, check out our healthy recipe finder for recipes that aren't overloaded with sugar.
• Pass on packaged snacks whenever possible. What’s trickier—but vital—is avoiding the sugar, typically HFCS, found in sodas and other beverages, and in products as wide ranging as ice cream, cookies, cereal, chips, bread, ketchup, barbecue sauce, jam, canned fruit, yogurt, and frozen dinners. The fact is, food makers routinely cram extra fat and sugar into their wares, knowing that it will make us overeat and buy more of their products. Choosing whole fruits and vegetables whenever you can is one defense. When you do go for a packaged snack (we all do, sooner or later), be label-aware and go the extra mile in seeking out less sugary brands.
• Break the sugar addiction. Addiction to sugar is no joke: Sugar stimulates some of the same neurotransmitters as, and in a manner similar to, alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs of abuse. Rodale.com advisor Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, offers 10 Tactics for Overcoming Sugar Addiction.
Published on: August 9, 2011