Most people have a sweet tooth, but rarely are we aware of just how much sugar we eat each day. The average Canadian consumes approximately 26 teaspoons of sugar every day. Worse yet, more than one third of sugar ingested by Canadians comes from foods with few nutrients such as juice, pop, and candy. Cutting down on sugar is extremely valuable for good health: By reducing your sugar intake obtained from less nutritious foods, you may be reducing your risk of developing cavities, certain types of cancers, or developing an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI). Today, Novus is here with an action plan to help you keep your sugar consumption to a healthy level.
Be aware of nutrition labels on foods, as the sugar content is clearly labelled. Whenever possible, try to purchase unprocessed, fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruit. A great way to reduce sugar intake is to be conscious of sugar in drinks, such as pop and energy drinks. These are amongst the biggest culprits of unnecessary sugar in a diet. When purchasing juice, ensure the word juice is on the label. Beverages labelled as fruit blend, drink, punch, or beverage do not contain 100% fruit juices and may have added sugar.
In general, when pursuing lifestyle changes it may be worthwhile to increase your motivation by rewarding yourself for taking steps toward healthy changes (e.g. set aside a small amount of money for a new fitness class). Make it easy on yourself! Avoid people and situations that you know encourage unhealthy choices and spend time with people who model healthy behaviours. Surround yourself with supportive people that you trust. Remember to engage in healthy activities and habits to cope instead of relying on unhealthy behaviours.
Health Canada has some excellent tips and resources to help you reduce your sugar intake from foods with little nutritional value (junk food). Dieticians of Canada also provides an eat tracker that helps you determine the nutritional information of your foods and helping you plan to eat right. Additionally, Eat Right Ontario offers a tool that can build an individualized menu based on your health and lifestyle goals. Of course, here at Novus we have all the information you need to manage a healthy amount of sugar while satisfying your sweet tooth.
For more insight, check out these health articles.