Trick or Treat: How to Curb Added Sugar

Everyone’s talking about sugar these days. Here’s why: Back in the 1960s, the sugar industry paid scientists to underplay the connection between sugar and heart disease and instead to point fingers at saturated fat, according to a recent report. The truth is that consuming too much added sugar could increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as well as contributing to obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. With Halloween around the corner, it’s a good time to be reminded of dietary guidelines regarding sugar. In 2015, the U.S. government put a limit, for the first time, on added sugar, saying that added sugar should make up only 10% of your daily calories. How to keep your sugar consumption in check? A few tips:

TIP #1: Know that added sugar is considered any sugar that is not naturally occurring in fresh fruits, vegetables or low-fat dairy.

TIP #2: In addition to the obvious places (candy, cake, soda, fruit drinks), keep an eye out for added sugars in salad dressings, crackers, yogurt, bread, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and breakfast cereals.

TIP #3: Check the ingredients for words ending in “ose,” such as fructose, dextrose, and maltose, and look for syrups and juices.

TIP #4: For Halloween, keep the candy out of the house for as long as possible, and avoid purchasing too much (especially varieties that you know you or your kids love).

TIP #5: As much as possible, stick to naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruits and veggies.