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How to Cut Sugar in Your Diet

Beware of sneaky sources of added sugars. EatingWell's Brierley Wright shows how to reduce added sugars in your diet by avoiding hidden added sugars in smoothies, dressings, sauces and cereal. These easy tips for how to cut added sugars will help you eat healthier.

Hi, I'm Brierley. And I'm here in EatingWell Test Kitchen. Americans eat over three times as much sugar as they should. If you're trying to cut back on your added sugars, there some obvious places to start, like soda, cookies and candy. But sugar also lurks in places you might not think to look. Smoothies are a great way to add fruit and dairy to your diet, but most smoothies we buy contain a lot of sugars. One fast-food smoothie has 32 cubes of sugar. Granted, some of those are naturally occurring sugars, but because nutrition labels don't distinguish between natural and added sugars, you're probably better off making your own. This banana-berry smoothie has 0 grams of added sugars. Some tomato sauces have up to 15 grams of sugar per half-cup serving. Look for a sauce where sugar either isn't listed or is somewhere near the bottom of the ingredient list. You can also make your own at home. Fat in fat-free salad dressings is often replaced with sugar and salt. Some salad dressings have as much as 9 grams of sugar per serving. Look for a salad dressing where olive or canola oil appears as the first ingredient in the list and there's either no sugar or sugar appears somewhere towards the bottom of the list. Barbecue sauce is a condiment that we associate with savory foods like meats, but it's actually quite sweet. Some brands contain as much as 12 grams of sugar per small 2-tablespoon serving. Compare brands to find one with the least amount of sugar or try making your own so you can control how much sugar is added. Cereal, especially whole grain varieties, may seem like a great way to start your day. But some boast as much sugar as an ice cream sandwich. Choose a plain version with no added sugar and then add fruit for sweetness. For all of these items and others, look at the ingredient list and choose a product where sugar appears at or near the bottom. For more healthy eating tips, come to eatingwell.com.
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