January is a time for new beginnings, fresh starts and resolutions and most of us probably have a resolution or intent to clean up our diet in 2020. Undoubtedly, we have all come across the headlines that tell us how damaging white sugar is to our health. So, there is no better time than the start of a new decade to set changes into motion and ditch (or at least reduce) the added sugar in our diet.
Although there isn’t a “daily recommended allowance” for sugar, since it isn’t an essential nutrient for our health, the American Heart Association has published a recommendation for a “safe” amount of sugar consumed in a day. As of 2018 that recommendation is 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar for men, and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar for women. But, most health professionals agree that less is more when it comes to sugar consumption.
Some places to look for added sugar lurking in your foods:
- Flavored yogurt. Many sweetened yogurt contain 30 grams of sugar or more per one serving container. That is your total recommended amount for the day! Best to stick with plain yogurt and add your own natural sweetener in the form of whole fruits.
- Soda, sports drinks and other beverages. The marketing on grab-and-go beverages can be very misleading. Many tout healthy ingredients but what they don’t tell you is that they may contain 50 grams or more of added sugar per serving. Water is king when it comes to hydration!
- Pre-made sauces. They may be savory sauces, but they can still have a large amount of added sugar and artificial sweeteners in them. Spend some time reading the label before putting anything in your cart.
- Packaged baked goods. Even if the package reads “low fat”, “no carbs” or “gluten free,” the amount of added sugar or artificial sweetener is almost always excessive. Taking the time to make a batch of muffins at home will give you ultimate control over your health and waistline.
Sound daunting? It needn’t be; a few changes to your routine and you will be on your way to better health in no time. Here are a few recipes to inspire your 2020 wellness intentions.
Green KORU® Apple Muffins are chock full of dense nutrition but low on added sugar.
Skip the pre-packaged salad with the high sugar dressing for lunch and try making a batch of our Lucy™ Glo Farro Salad instead. You will get a healthy dose of whole fruits and grains and be the envy of your office with this beautiful salad.
The Apple Oat Breakfast Cookie is a great choice for a treat any time of day. It is naturally sweetened with dates and has loads of protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you satisfied for the morning or afternoon.
Happy, healthy 2020!