Eat too many sweets in December? Here’s how to curb the sugar addiction
By Brittany Anas
Well, December did it again: The cookies, the eggnog, the decadent chocolate truffles left by Santa in our stockings. Was it you who ate the roof off the gingerbread house? Or, perhaps the sugar high actually started some time around Halloween and has been going strong ever sine you raided your kid’s candy stash?
We of course know sugar is a threat to our health: It’s bad for our teeth and sugary snacks contain no nutritional value. Studies show that when we consume added sugars, it triggers the release of a dopamine in our brain that makes us feel good, which some researchers have likened to addiction.
Here’s some tips and tricks to cut out the added sugar from your diet.
First, let’s talk about how much sugar we should have in our diet: The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you eat to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day — or 9 teaspoons. As a quick reference, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 8 teaspoons of sugar, or 130 calories with no nutritional value.
- Watch your breakfast: Our moms warned us about sugary cereals and pastries, yes. But, on your next grocery excursion, make it a point to check out the nutrition labels on other breakfast staples — especially yogurt. You might be surprised by the high sugar content and can find less sugary options. Instead of artificially sweetened breakfasts, top your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt with fresh berries or dried fruits, like raisins, cranberries or apricots.
- Skip the soda: If you’re craving a sweet drink, try infusing your water with some delicious berries or squeezing a juicy orange slice into it. Find the Primula Flavor-It 3-in-1 beverage set at Macy’s. The infuser is $40, but 10 percent off — plus earn an extra 7 percent Cash Back when you shop with ShopAtHome.com. Some of our favorite combinations: Fresh mint springs and raspberries or basil and strawberries. You can also infuse iced tea with fresh lemons.
- Go for “nature’s candy,” when you feel a craving coming on: When you find yourself grabbing for a sugary treat, skip the packaged goods and eat nature’s candy: fruit. One of our favorite snacks this time of year are little clementines, which are easy to peel.
- Make a substitution when baking. When a recipe calls for sugar, sub it out for unsweetened applesauce.
(Money-savings tip: Get 7 percent Cash Back on home goods — and all of your Macy’s purchases — with ShopAtHome.com).
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