Resolving to Avoid Added Sugar?

It's almost New Year's. You might be thinking about your New Year's Resolution. Maybe you want to eat healthier and cut back or avoid added sugar.

I think that  is a great idea any time of year and is a healthy New Year’s Resolution. That said, even dietitians, like myself, can find it difficult to avoid added sugar entirely.

In this post, I'll discuss things to consider before tackling this resolution. But, first, let's review forms of added sugar.

Words For Added Sugar

Honey and maple syrup are added sugars, too.
You probably know corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are added sugars, but don’t forget dextrose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, mannose, trehalose, and galactose.

Added sugar also includes natural products like evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar because they are forms of sugar that have been added to the product.

Before You Decide To Avoid All Added Sugar…

1.      Look through your pantry. How many products that you enjoy have some form of added sugar? It’s in a lot of products, even “healthy” packaged foods like natural yogurt and natural peanut butter.  Are you willing to remove that food from your life?

2.  Go to a grocery store or market. Can you find no sugar added versions of the foods you found in step 1?  Do they taste good enough to eat? If the no added sugar product costs more, is it worth the cost? 

3.      Think about how your family, friends, and coworkers celebrate. You might be able to bake a no-added-sugar pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving but what will you do if your coworkers bring in a cake for your birthday or a retirement party?

4.      Consider the wording of your resolution.  There’s a difference between, “I will avoid eating any form of added sugar” and “I will avoid eating high fructose corn syrup.”  Another option might be, “I will avoid purchasing products with added sugar,” which allows you to sample cookies a friend bakes or other special treats. You could also say, “I will avoid eating added sugar 5 days a week,” allowing two treat days, such as for celebrations or simply enjoying healthy foods that happen to contain sugar.  

Come back New Year's Day for a sample meal plan, including dessert!


  1. Yes, totally agree with this.
    I've personally cut down on my sugar intake this year but I know that still, a balance is always required in life.
    Happy new year!

  2. #5 is a great tip! I cut out added sugar, along with many other things, several years ago. I felt great, but it just wasn't sustainable for us. We started allowing ourselves 2 "cheat" meals a week, but a vacation with limited food options ended up starting a downward spiral. I think avoiding sugar 5 days a week would be a good option for me.

    1. It's understandable a vacation would throw off your eating habits. But, it certainly doesn't mean you can't try eating healthy again. Best wishes in your health journey.

  3. Eating less refined sugar is definitely on my "new years" list. Thanks for sharing!

    xo Gennifer

    1. Gennifer,you might be interested in my sample meal plan:

  4. I need to cut down on the refined sugar I eat, but it's definitely tough for me as I have quite the sweet tooth. It's hidden in a lot of foods, too, so unless I eat fresh veggies and fish 24/7, I feel like I'm always getting some hidden sugars in my diet.
    erin |

    1. It is definitely in a lot of foods, even foods you might think are healthy. Right now, you really have to read the ingredient labels to look for forms of sugar. But that's changing. By July 26, 2018, nutrition facts panels are going to list added sugars. You'll be able to quickly look and see if it says, "Added Sugars 0g" rather than searching the ingredient list.


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The information provided in this blog is not intended to replace individualized medical advice provided by your own doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional.
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