By Patricia Esparza, JIA Contributor
Oh, Sugar! When we think of added sugar, we often think of pastries or refined sugar poured onto cereal or in coffee.
"Added sugar" can be defined as any "sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared." Some of the biggest sources of added sugar in the American diet are not necessarily from pastries or those sweet cakes. In fact, the USDA reports that the average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugars in just one year!
If possible, avoid sugary beverages from your diet. They are a significant source of added sugars, and can contribute to increased weight.
Here are some tips on limiting added sugars and sugary beverages while being able to enjoy a sweet treat.
Add sliced cucumber, fresh/frozen berries, apple slices or other fruit to your water so that you have a fresh flavor without all the sugar.
If you aren't sure whether a product has added sugars, look at the ingredients for words like "ose", nectar, or syrup. This is a good indication that it contains added sugar.
Try to drink water or milk with every meal instead of soda, juice, or sports drinks.
Choosing beverages, such as low-fat or fat-free milk and plenty of water.
Remember that moderation is key, and that enjoying a sweet beverage once in a while is okay!