The American Heart Association recommends that women should not consume more than 25g of sugar per day and men should stay below 38g per day. On average, Americans consume around 57 pounds of added sugar per person each year! The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that added sugar and fats should take up no more than 5-15% of your calories each day.
Simple ways to be mindful of the amount of sugar your consuming is to substitute things when you can. Drinking water instead of soda or juices, while also limiting added sugar to tea or coffee, could cut back on potentially hundreds of extra calories. Using healthier alternatives such as cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla ginger, or lemon are other ways to lower your sugar intake on a daily basis. Being aware of the alternative names for sugar is also important. (Check out our Sneaky Sugars post here.) Sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, and corn syrup are all considered forms of sugar.
When reading a nutrition label, don’t forget to look at the ingredients list. If sugar is listed within the first three ingredients or contains more than one type of sugar, try limiting your intake of that product. Although there are more natural and less processed forms of sugar such as agave, honey, organic cane sugar, and coconut sugar, these things should also be portion controlled and limited as much as possible.
01 Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites
These are super easy to make and yield a lot in one recipe. Berries are a great alternative here as well! (Pro-tip: try freezing the rest for a bite-sized snack later!)
02 barkTHINS Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seeds
Here, you’re getting protein from the pumpkin seeds, and a little bit of sweet from the dark chocolate — perfect to store in your desk or purse.
03 Pears + Honey + Greek Yogurt
This snack offers great fiber content from the pears and protein from the Greek yogurt, with added sweetness from the honey!
04 Coconut Yogurt + Mango Chunks
This sweet snack will take you straight to the islands. You’re getting loads of vitamin A from the mango, and protein from the yogurt!
06 Mandarin Oranges + Cottage Cheese
With this snack, you’re intaking lots of vitamin C from the oranges and protein from cottage cheese. Prepare this treat ahead of time for a grab-and-go snack for work or school!
07 Nut Butter Stuffed Dates
Dates are one of the sweetest fruits (hello natural sugars!). If you can, get fresh dates not dried, for lower sugar content. Pairing them with nut butter of your choice adds protein, fat, and fiber to keep you fuller longer! Click here for the recipe.
08 Frozen Yogurt Bark + Berries
Another delicious combo is yogurt and berries! This recipe, similar to the dark chocolate dipped banana bites, is great to have on hand in the freezer when a sweet tooth strikes!