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Nutrition and You!

It's Time to Hack the Sugar Out of Your Diet

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Chelsea is a 27-year-old health writer at Boston.com who was born with one tooth: a sweet tooth.

Her day starts out with pineapple-flavored Greek yogurt along with an English muffin topped with strawberry jam. Lunch is usually a grilled chicken salad tossed with a sweet ginger dressing. Her favorite afternoon snack is munching on a handful of chocolate-covered almonds or sipping on 12 ounces of root beer soda. A Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, lime, and sugar) is her go-to cocktail lately when she wants to unwind after work, and before she throws together a typical pasta and veggie dinner.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recent recommendations, although Chelsea thinks that she has a pretty balanced diet, her food choices are in need of a sugar hack. These less-than-sweet WHO guidelines recommend that both adults and children reduce their intake of sugar to less than 10 percent of their daily calories. This recommendation is based on the latest research that suggests that cutting back on sugary foods and beverages in the diet can help you reduce your chances of being overweight and getting dental caries.

Another recently released recommendation from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Advisory Committee echo the WHO’s sugar limits in the diet. Americans are currently consuming over 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. The sugary culprits in the diets of Americans are sweetened beverages, commercially-made foods, such as cookies and cakes, and dairy-based desserts.

Since Chelsea needs about 2,200 calories a day to maintain her healthy weight, this translates to a measly 32 grams of added sugars daily, if she follows the advice from the DGA Advisory Committee. This translates into this many teaspoons of added sugar daily:

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Unfortunately, Chelsea’s current sugary diet puts her way over the suggested sugar limit. Here’s some ways she can hack some sugar out of her diet:

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Here’s to a less sweeter Chelsea and you.

Be well, Joan

Twitter: @JoanSalgeBlake

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