Cutting Down on Sugar

Health Tip s from Kaiser Permanente  

For many of you, it’s wonderfully sweet. But sugar can be a problem if you routinely eat high-sugar foods in place of more nutritious ones. When you habitually grab that soft drink instead of low-fat milk, or candy and high-sugar desserts instead of fruit, you’re creating a potential health problem for you and your child.

So, why not try to make sugar an occasional treat instead of a part of your only child’s daily diet? Many people have found that when they give up sugar for two weeks or more, they no longer crave it. There can be satisfaction in smaller quantities.

Tips on controlling your sweet tooth:

  • Gradually reduce the amount of sweeteners you use. For example, use one teaspoon sugar in your coffee or your child’s cereal instead of two the first week, then cut down to 1/2 teaspoon next week.
  • Drink more water, mineral water, calorie-free seltzer, and herb teas instead of soft drinks and coffee.
  • Concentrate on a nutritious diet. More fresh fruits and vegetables; avoid highly refined and junk foods.
  • If you must use frozen or canned fruit, look for brands that are packed in water instead of sweetened syrup.
  • Read food labels for sugar content. Watch out for sugar disguised as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, or invert sugar.
  • Instead of buying cakes, pies, or cookies, make your own and cut the sugar in the recipe by a third or more – or shop for desserts sweetened with fruit juice.
  • Ask friends and relatives not to bring sweets as gifts. Don’t reward your child with sweets.
  • Remember: High-sugar foods are often high in fat.