Health Tips
Why Sugar Isn’t So Sweet
Feb 10, 2014 - 12:00:01 AM

( - Most of us know that eating too much sugar can pack on the pounds. But more and more research shows that too much sugar can result in serious health problems, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine last week indicates that cutting down on sugar can even save your life. Researchers found that the average American's sugar intake of about 80 grams (20 teaspoons) per day is associated with about a 20 percent increased risk of death from heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day for women and nine for men. So with the issue of sugar back in the news just in time for American Heart Month, you may be wondering how to finally cut down on the sweet stuff once and for all. The good news is that the American Heart Association's guidelines don't require that you completely slash added sugar from your diet, so it's easy to approach the change incrementally.

At the Monday Campaigns, we advocate taking a day each week to evaluate our dietary choices and determine how they can be improved upon. This Monday, think about the added sugar in your diet and where you might be able to make some simple changes. Remember, as compared to the sugars that naturally occur in fruit and milk, added sugar is an ingredient listed on a product's label or added to your meal via a granulated sugar or sweetener like honey or agave syrup. Try one of the following tips:

If one of these tips hits your sweet spot, amp up your efforts even further next Monday. Try replacing two sweetened drinks a day with water and lemon, or reducing the number of sugar packets you use each morning by one more. Before you know it, you may be down to the recommended number of teaspoons per day, on the road to better health, and wondering how you ever tolerated such sickly sweet diet in the first place.

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