Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods like fruit and milk. Added sugars are any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing and preparation (think adding sugar to your sweet tea). Added sugars or added sweeteners can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar, and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured, such as high fructose corn syrup.
There are many internal and external effects of consuming too much added sugar on a daily basis. A majority of people understand the internal effects like risk for type 2 diabetes, risk of heart disease, cancer and depression. External effects are acne, accelerating the skin aging process, and weight gain.
Some individuals have cut back sugar by decreasing their consumption of regular soda and stopped adding sugar to foods. But finding simple ways to reduce your daily intake can improve your overall long-term health. Here are our favorite tips:
- Choose low-calorie or sugar-free drinks instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Better yet, drink water.
- Instead of adding sugar to sweeten oatmeal, top your bowl with your favorite fruit.
- Cut the amount of sugar you use in recipes for cakes and cookies, or switch out sugar completely by using unsweetened applesauce or sugar alternatives.