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You've probably heard lots of people have given up sugar and found it life changing.  You probably also can't imagine doing it yourself, but you think about it.  Is it worth it? 

The American Heart Association says no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar for most women and no more than 150 calories a day for most men. That's about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men.

Most Americans get more than 22 teaspoons — or 355 calories — of added sugar a day, which far exceeds anyone’s recommended limits.

In 2010 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for the first time recommended cutting back on calories from SoFAS, solid fats and added sugars.  In 2015 they are referred to as empty calories and the specific recommendation on added sugars is to limit them to no more than 10 percent of calories.  

The current average is 13-17% and breaks down to an average of 19-1/2 teaspoons of added sugar every day. That’s 66 pounds of added sugar every year! We are not telling you this to freak you out, but maybe it should…

Isn’t sugar in everything, how can you avoid it?

All sugar, whether natural or processed, is a type of simple carbohydrate that your body uses for energy. Sugar occurs naturally in some unprocessed foods that are staples of a healthy diet — fruits, vegetables, milk and some grains.  These natural sugars are not a problem.

Added sugars are those used in most processed foods and are found in different forms.  Such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn syrup, fructose, crystalline fructose, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup solids, etc. These and other forms of sugar are common in processed food because they boost flavor, give texture and color, preserve foods such as jams and jellies, assist in fermentation of baked goods, and balances the acidity of foods containing vinegar and tomatoes.

Too much sugar can lead to many health problems, including tooth decay, poor nutrition, weight gain and increased triglycerides with can lead to heart disease.

It is very hard to give up sugar entirely, forever, but it is highly recommended to try a sugar detox. That's how we start our Fresh Families healthy meal plan. For the first two weeks we call it our fresh start, we give up all forms of added sugars.  The purpose of the detox is to be mindful of what and how you eat.  To see if you really need sugar in your coffee or your yogurt.  Then after two weeks we reintroduce moderate amounts of natural sugars, such as honey, maple syrup and silan.  The hope is that even in two weeks your taste for sugar decreases and it will make it easy for you to follow a low sugar diet. 

With Fresh Families you get all the tips, tricks, tools and recipes to help you cut out as much sugar as you can, but still enjoy dessert once in a while.  We make our own meals, sauces and snacks, but they are all quick and easy and family friendly. Sign up here

A great way to wean yourself off the sugar train is to choose plain yogurt and oatmeal and sweeten to taste, rather than relying on Dannon or Quaker to do the sweetening for you.

When grocery shopping, try and avoid the following ingredients: Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup, Dextrose or crystal dextrose, Fructose, Maltose, Lactose, Sucrose, Glucose, Evaporated cane juice or fruit juice, Caramel, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Raw sugar, Dextrin and maltodextrin, Rice syrup, Molasses, Evaporated corn sweetener, Confectioner’s powdered sugar, Agave nectar.

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