Just as with any harmful addiction, breaking the sugar habit can be difficult. But as more health research comes to light, it truly is necessary to reduce sugar consumption, if not eliminate it completely from our diets.
Research continues to show that sugar reduction is among the top product claims sought after by consumers. A recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) shows that:
- 48% of consumers say they are eliminating certain foods and beverages from their diets.1
- 25% are using low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar.2
- 22% are switching from caloric beverages to low- and no-calorie options.3
Many consumers have a mixed opinion about low – and no-calorie sweeteners, but 63% now believe that these sweeteners help them reduce sugar consumption.4
The increased focus on sugar consumption in relation to health has led to new regulatory guidelines in markets globally. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented changes to labeling added sugars and dietary fibers on Nutrition Facts to make it more clear to consumers. Nikken began the transition to the new labeling requirements as early as last year. Below is an example of the differences in labeling.
Here are some tips for reducing sugar consumption in pursuit of Active Wellness:
- Eliminate sodas and other sugary beverages.
- Need a sugar fix? Eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable, such as a carrot or beet.
- Frozen berries, grapes, cherries and bananas are delicious as sorbets when blended.
- Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Try to drink it “straight” or only with a little creamer—without any sweeteners. Lemon in tea is a flavorful replacement and you can train your taste buds to appreciate tangy over sweet.
- Be careful with “alternative” sweeteners, such as honey and molasses. They are still forms of sugar, high in calories and have limited nutritional value. Instead, choose no-calorie natural sweeteners such as monkfruit and stevia.
- Do you want something sweet without empty calories? Have a “milk shake” made with Kenzen Vital Balance® mixed with the milk of your choice: coconut, soy, almond, cashew or regular!
- Drink more water. A recent survey in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who drank just 1% more water daily cut sugar intake by one to four teaspoons.5
- Read labels. Packaged food contains lots of hidden sugar, so eat fresh food whenever possible. For example, instead of packaged oatmeal, buy oatmeal that requires cooking. The packaged oatmeal frequently has little to no fiber and instead contains added sugar and artificial flavoring.
Sugar is a bad habit, but the good news is, we can beat it!