As we continue to march through National Diabetes Awareness Month, Amy brings our attention once again to added sugar in the drinks we choose. Water is the best option and once you watch Amy pour out the excessive number of sugar packets from this sweet tea you’ll see why she’s encouraging us to Rethink our drinks!

Our bodies do not need added sugars to survive, we get plenty from the food we eat. Carbs convert to glucose, or sugar in the bloodstream. And sugar seems to be hidden in just about every processed food we buy at the grocery store. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, the average American consumes about 71 grams of added sugar per day- WAY TOO MUCH!!!

Earlier this week Mitzi reminded us that the American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of daily sugar intake to 25 grams if you are a woman, and 36 grams if you are a man.  Toddlers and infants under 2 shouldn’t consume any added sugars!!!

That’s why avoiding extra sugar in drinks is a really simple way to cut back on your daily intake. It will reduce your chronic disease risk, and help you avoid extra weight gain.

In fact, if you regularly consume one 12 oz. can of soda per day, you will be cutting 150 calories from your diet once you stop drinking soda. A pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means you can lose a pound every three and a half weeks by just cutting out sodas (or sweet tea). So grab your water bottle and walk your way to improved well-being!

For more information, check out the American Heart Association’s scientific statement on sugar

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/circulationaha.109.192627

Tips from another great resource below https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars

Cut back on added sugars and calories with these tasty tips and tricks.

Baking and Cooking

Unsweetened applesauce can substitute for some of the sugar in a recipe. You may need less oil, too —adjust the recipe as needed to get the taste and texture you like. Or try using a no-calorie sweetener suitable for cooking and baking.

Desserts and Sweets

Instead of indulging in a traditional sugar-based dessert, enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit. Fresh, frozen and canned (in its own juice or water) are all good choices. Try them baked, grilled, stewed or poached.

Dressings and Sauces

Swap store-bought bottled salad dressings, ketchup, tomato sauce and barbeque sauce — which can have a lot of added sugars — for homemade versions so you can control the amount of sugar added to them.

Snack Mix and Granola

Make your own, without all the added sugars. Combine your favorite nuts and seeds (unsalted or very lightly salted), raisins and dried fruits (unsweetened), rolled oats and whole-grain cereal (non-sugared/non-frosted) — and skip the candy!

Soda/Soft Drinks

Swap sugar-sweetened beverages for plain or sparkling water flavored with mint, citrus, cucumber or a splash of 100% fruit juice.

Tea and Coffee

Cut back on sugars (including honey and agave syrup) gradually until your taste adjusts to less sweetness.  Try adding natural flavors like cinnamon, citrus, mint or nutmeg. 

Get recipes and more tips at heart.org/recipes.

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