What is your relationship with sugar like? Do you always say YES to cake at parties and YES to chocolate for dessert?

Our bodies need sugar- but we are eating excessive amounts in America- to the point it is hurting our health.

Have you picked up a 7 year old lately? That’s how much sugar Americans consume on average every year(66 pounds).

It is important to know the facts!

Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth! It can have harmful effects on your mood, brain, liver, heart, and joints.

Make sure you pay attention to hidden sugars

  • Beverages are the sneakiest of the bunch, as they are the largest source of added sugar in your diet.
  • Soda, energy drinks, fancy coffee drinks, sports drinks, juices should all be used in moderation.
  • The carbs on a nutrition label will tell you how many grams of sugar is in one serving of your food.  The ingredient list will also tell you if there is sugar in the food(glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, honey, agave, molasses, syrups).
  • Another sneaky food? A popular packaged yogurt cup has 26 grams of sugar in 6 ounces- there are only 20 grams of sugar in 6 ounces of coke.

How much is too much?

Sugar is an addiction because it triggers the reward center of the brain.  Cutting back can reduce this addiction.  Try preparing meals using whole foods, and shopping mainly in the outside isles.  Stay out of the “middle” isles that contain the majority of the processed foods.  Try drinking only water during the day.  If this is hard for you, add some fresh fruit or herbs to enhance it. Your body can detox sugar and you can stop the cravings!

Find below a meal plan for one day without sugar:

Breakfast: Egg bites with asparagus, shallots, tomato,and top with avocado.

Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with any veggies on hand-use a dressing that is sugar free-or try olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. A side of fruit.

Dinner: Grilled salmon, zucchini, and colorful bell peppers.

Snack: Hummus and veggies

Saying goodbye to sugar is not easy, so don’t give yourself a hard time when you slip up and eat a bite of birthday cake! Just begin again, and know that life is all about balance.