Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Swap Out Sugar for Better Health

12/22/2015 03:44AM ● Published by Family Features

You probably realize that eating too many sugary foods and gaining weight go hand in hand. What you may not know is that aside from loading up on calories that help pack on the pounds, consuming too much sugar can also harm your health in other ways.

Consuming more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day for men and six teaspoons for women can lead to health problems, such as tooth decay, obesity and depression. Reducing your sugar intake can help more than your waistline; it can improve your overall health.

First, it’s important to recognize that there are two types of sugar – natural sugar and added sugar. Natural sugar is found in fruits, milk and some whole grains. Added sugar is sugar that is added to processed foods and drinks, such as cookies, cereals and soda.

Added sugar affects your body in many ways. It can be as addictive as drugs, tobacco or alcohol because it affects the same regions of the brain, triggering the pleasure sensors to release dopamine. Dopamine makes you want to eat more, even when you are not hungry.

When you consume too much added sugar, your liver has to work extra hard to process it. Excess sugar in the liver often turns into fat, which can lead to liver damage or other health concerns, such as high cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease.

It can also overload and damage your pancreas, which controls the blood sugar called insulin that powers your muscles and organs. Lack of insulin can cause muscle and nerve damage.

Limit added sugars in your diet with these healthy alternatives:

  • Skip sugary cereals at breakfast. Instead, opt for a protein-rich meal. Options, such as eggs, turkey sausage and whole-wheat toast with peanut butter are healthier ways to fuel your day.
  • Bring healthy snacks to work to ward off the temptation of sugary treats. Some smart choices include: frozen grapes, trail mix, yogurt, almonds, apple slices and peanut butter with celery sticks.
  • Instead of pie, donuts or cake, curb your sweet tooth craving by reaching for fresh fruit, low-fat frozen yogurt or a fruit and yogurt parfait.
  • If you can’t substitute a fruit, make your treats small, such as a single fun-size piece of candy.
  • Sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks sneak in a lot of sugar calories. In fact, a single can of soda has nine teaspoons of sugar – the maximum an adult male should consume in an entire day. Skip the sugary beverages and try hot or iced tea, fizzy water or lemon water instead.

Choosing simple substitutions make it easy to replace sugary foods with smarter options for better health. Visit guardyourhealth.com for more food and nutrition tips and resources.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman cutting fruit)

Sponsored by Army National Guard

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle
  • Refuge

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Over two dozen artists, including Eric Aho, Janet Mackenzie, and Peter Schumann explore refuge wi...


  • Ordinary Time

    09/23/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Opening September 16th, reception 5-7. Ordinary Time, featuring the work of Maine-based painter G...


  • Refuge

    09/24/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Over two dozen artists, including Eric Aho, Janet Mackenzie, and Peter Schumann explore refuge wi...


  • Ordinary Time

    09/24/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Opening September 16th, reception 5-7. Ordinary Time, featuring the work of Maine-based painter G...


  • Readings by Vermont authors, occurring in tandem with this Fall's Art at the Kent exhibit REFUGE....


  • Bridging Worlds

    09/25/2017
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hunter Ed...


  • 2030 Film Series: Passive Haus

    09/25/2017
    05:00PM — 06:30PM

    Norwich University in conjunction with AIA Vermont are hosting a showing of the 2030 Challenge Fi...


  • A Path Well Traveled

    09/25/2017
    08:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont State Curator and the Office of Governor Phil Scott will be presenting their summerti...


  • Bridging Worlds

    09/26/2017
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hunter Ed...


  • A Path Well Traveled

    09/26/2017
    08:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont State Curator and the Office of Governor Phil Scott will be presenting their summerti...


  • Bridging Worlds

    09/27/2017
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hunter Ed...


  • A Path Well Traveled

    09/27/2017
    08:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont State Curator and the Office of Governor Phil Scott will be presenting their summerti...


  • Bridging Worlds

    09/28/2017
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hunter Ed...


  • A Path Well Traveled

    09/28/2017
    08:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont State Curator and the Office of Governor Phil Scott will be presenting their summerti...


  • Bridging Worlds

    09/29/2017
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hunter Ed...


  • Refuge

    09/29/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Over two dozen artists, including Eric Aho, Janet Mackenzie, and Peter Schumann explore refuge wi...


 

Sunscribe to Our Newsletter
Weekly Recipes