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!


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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