Added Sugars: 3 Things to Look Out For
Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. If you are focusing on eating healthy and staying within your calorie needs, look to limit added sugars. These are not the naturally occurring sugars founds in milk and fruits, and for a healthy diet, include a wide variety of fruits.
Here is what to look out for when trying to limit added sugars in your diet.
- Read food labels. Developing the habit of reading food labels can help you to identify added sugars. In particular, be cautious of processed beverages, such as soft drinks, energy drinks and sweetened coffee and tea. Candy, cakes and other desserts can be a major source of added sugars, as can jams, syrups and other sweeteners.
- Understand food labels. You may be looking for added sugars, but often manufacturers call sugar by multiple other names. Look out for names such as dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, maltose, and anhydrous dextrose. Also, remember that maple syrup, molasses, honey and agave are still added sugars, even if they are marketed as “natural”.
- Dietary Swaps. Some simple food and beverage substitutions can help to greatly reduce added sugars in your diet. If you are craving something sweet, choose fruit as a dessert or snack. You will boost your fruit group intake and satisfy that craving. Cutting out soda and replacing beverages with water, unsweetened coffee and tea can also have a big impact on your diet.
By reading food labels, knowing what to look out for, and making some simple substitutions, you can greatly reduce added sugars in your diet and increase your healthy habits. A healthy diet is sustainable, and choosing packaged and natural foods such as fruit, plain yogurt and frozen fruit with no added sugar can greatly impact your health in a positive way.
Come work with our Health Coaches at KareBoost Health to learn more about added sugars and other ways to improve your health.
Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach