Take Control – Reduce Added Sugars During the Holidays

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Happy Holidays! This is one of the most wonderful times of the year…there will  be parties for hosting, marshmallows toasting, and sweets a’ baking…What’s not to love about the holidays? Answer: added sugars. This is one of the times of the year we are bombarded with yummy, delicious sweet treats everywhere we go: the office, church, home, meetings, restaurants and the list goes on. They are scrumptious but it’s this time of year we need to be even more mindful of the amount of added sugars we consume; your health depends on it. Let’s learn some facts about added sugars:

  • They’re not the same as natural sugars found in foods like apples, carrots and potatoes.
  • Americans consume on average 26-30 teaspoons of sugar per day…that’s 52 pounds a year!
  • Most foods with added sugar are pretty obvious: donuts, cookies, cakes, candy, flavored milk, and ice cream.
  • Top culprits of hidden sugar: cereal, applesauce, dried fruit, yogurt, fruit snacks, and granola bars.
  • Condiments are also a culprit of hidden sugar such as salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and honey mustard.

Now let’s learn some ways to take control and limit added sugars this holiday season and also help start the new year on the right path to a healthier you:

  • Eat the recommended daily sugar intake of 6–9 teaspoons.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts Label to see the amount of sugar per serving in foods or beverages. Learn how to convert grams to teaspoons.
  • Eat smaller portions of foods that have added sugar.
  • Flavor foods and beverages with fruits instead of sugar.
  • Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit drinks.
  • Choose fruit for dessert and snacks.

These are just a few of the strategies to help you get started in limiting the intake of added sugars. Learn more on how added sugars affect your health. You can also visit the American Heart Association website for “Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar”.

This information is provided by the SNAP-Ed Steps to Health – Take Control Program and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.