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Guys: Stop Scarfing Down Added Sugar

Pass on the pop and skip the sugary cereal. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that a whopping 13% of adults’ total calories come from added sugar. That’s too much: Dietary guidelines say that sugar and fats combined should make up only 5% to 15% of your total calories. And men between the ages of 20 and 59 are the biggest consumers.

Stop sugar cravings.

Added Sugar Disguises Itself
Don’t be fooled by code names on food labels. You can know a food has added sugar if you see terms like brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit-juice concentrate, honey, molasses, raw sugar, rice syrup and sucrose. (What’s healthier, agave or sugar?)

The Sour Truth About Added Sugar 

  • It packs on pounds. You know added sugar is full of empty calories. But the big hit of fructose it delivers disrupts your hunger hormones, causing you to overeat.
  • It hurts your heart. Downing lots of added sugar doubles your risk for hypertension.
  • It can lead to diabetes. Excess fructose drives up blood sugar levels by increasing insulin resistance. (Discover the worst foods for your blood sugar.) 

Need help cutting down on the sweet stuff? Try these 8 tips:

  1. Avoid fruit drinks (even 100% fruit juices are essentially sugar and water in disguise), sports drinks, energy drinks and soda. Instead, replace them with beverages like skim milk or water.
  2. Look for whole grain breakfast cereals that contain 8 grams of sugar or less per serving.
  3. Instead of syrup, use fresh fruit or fruit puree for a sweet treat on pancakes and waffles. Maple syrup adds about 12 grams of sugar per tablespoon.
  4. Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is made from sugar and acts like sugar in the body.
  5. Ditch the flavored creamers in your morning coffee. Just 1 tablespoon can add 6 grams of sugar. Instead, brew your cup of Joe with a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean. Or try sweetening your java with a natural sweetener like stevia.
  6. Tomato sauce can have up to 14 grams of sugar per cup. Use crushed canned whole tomatoes to make your own sauce. One cup contains only 8 grams of sugar.
  7. Condiments such as barbecue sauce and ketchup are notoriously high in sugar. Try using malt vinegar to get some tangy flavor on your food.
  8. Since cookies, cakes and candies are a huge source of added sugars, don’t buy large, warehouse-sized boxes. Stick to smaller, supermarket-size packages. And don’t be quick to replenish the supply once it’s been gobbled up.

Sugar vs. Artificial Sweeteners