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Sugar is an essential food ingredient. It is a favorite of many sweet lovers. However, excess sugar intake can cause harm to you. You need to strike a balance and restrict the amount of sugar in your food or the number and quantity of sweet food that you eat. Here are some simple ways that can help you keep track of your daily sugar intake to lead a healthy lifestyle. ~ Ed.
Sugar has been dubbed many names, and while it’s sweet and delicious, it’s also considered the slow and subtle enemy to our body.
The thing about sugar is that it’s everywhere, and it’s often hard to determine which food group has how much sugar in it. You can find sugar in your soft drinks, coffee, frozen foods, candy, desserts, and even some health and energy drinks.
While we consume all of these naturally, what we don’t know is that too much sugar intake can cause a myriad of health issues from diabetes, high blood pressure, and even weight gain.
How Much is Too Much
In America alone, sugar addiction is a current threat to everyone’s health.
According to the World Health Organization, we’re only allowed around 25g (6 teaspoons) of sugar a day.
Americans today consume around 30 teaspoons a day, if not more. This, of course, presents a current health crisis that many health professionals and nutritionists are trying to combat.
Therefore, to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to restrict your sugar intake. It’s not easy but there are some ways and habits that can help achieve your aim of restricting the intake of sugar.
4 Ways to Keep Track Your Sugar Intake
Whether you accurately calculate your intake or you watch what you eat on a daily basis, watching your sugar intake will enhance your health in many ways than you could have ever imagined.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can adopt to keep track of your sugar intake:
Read Food Labels
An easy way to figure out the sugar content of each food item you consume is by checking the labels of anything you buy.
Under ‘Nutrition Facts,’ you’ll be able to find out how much sugar this food item has as well as how much relating to the serving size. Most of the information listed is according to one serving, but it can differ from one food package to the other.
Most companies only add sugar content within the ingredient labels and not the nutrition label.
If the sugar amount is in regards to one serving, then make sure that this is the allowed amount you should have on that day, if it’s high, then it’s best not to consume it.
You can also check for the total carbohydrates as it can also include sugar as well as fiber and starch. If the food item has high quantities of sugar, then that means the carb level will be extremely high as well.
Calculate Your Own Sugar Intake
If you tend to make your own food at home, then make sure you’re counting your sugar intake properly, as making your own food can be as if you’re going in blind.
You don’t really have any labels to read from, and so, you’ll have to calculate the sugar contents of your ingredients.
For example, if you’re making homemade ice cream, it’s recommended to use a calculator to make sure of the percentage of fat, sugar, or even sucrose you’re adding.
If you’re mixing it with fruit, then the sugar content of that piece of fruit needs to be calculated as well to determine how much sugar you’re adding.
Research ingredients online and understand what each item includes in terms of sugar and measure it out carefully.
Use Smartphone Apps
Thanks to technology, there are many apps these days that will allow you to easily calculate your sugar intake as well as determine how much sugar this food item in particular has.
Many of them go by bar codes, and you can scan the package to know how much sugar it has.
You can also use it for manual additions of sugar to your coffee, for example, or if you’re making any dessert. It calculates how much sugar you’ve consumed throughout the day and tells your limit as well, depending on your weight, age, and lifestyle.
Keep a Food Journal
Another easy way you can follow when it comes to keeping track of your sugar intake is by keeping a food journal.
Many nutritionists claim that keeping an eye out on what you consume on a daily basis can create a sense of awareness of what exactly you consume; this way, you’ll know which eating habits you need to cut back on.
You can either use an online version through an app or keep a hard copy of a journal with you at all times. Record what you eat throughout the day as well as drink, and even measure out your food to make sure you’re on track.
Tracking your sugar intake might seem like a challenging task because sugar is literally in almost everything we consume. But for the sake of leading a healthier lifestyle, it’s necessary to become aware of what we buy and consume.
This will require you to read labels, calculate your intake, and decide on how much sugar you should consume depending on your health status.
Over to you
Do you keep track of how much sugar you intake on a daily basis? How do you do that? Do share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.