So how much added sugar should you allow yourself? Not much! The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons a day for men. That is less than the amount of sugar contained in a single bottle of sweetened iced tea!
Bowden says, "Sugar is the most destructive ingredient in the American diet, but it's impossible to avoid completely." Suggestions for cutting back on the added sugar (sugar not naturally found in food):
- Do not add sugar to coffee or tea.
- Do not eat sugary cereals, pastries, etc for breakfast.
- Avoid sugary snacks.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened sodas and juices.
- Cut back on breads and pastas, especially those made with refined grains.
Here are a few examples of foods you may not have considered as having added sugars:
- sauces for dipping chicken nuggets, etc
- tomato sauce
- granola (often very high in sugar)
- baked beans
- flavored instant oatmeal packets
- dried fruits
Always read labels and check out the sugar contents of all foods.