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Seven tips for cutting your sugar intake

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Sugar seems to be in everything we eat, from the obvious desserts and pastries to foods like peanut butter, breakfast cereal, and even tomato sauce. For those trying to limit their sugar intake, meal planning and proper nutrition can be tricky.

The Terraces carefully curates cuisine and food options to include a variety of healthy choices that are limited in sugar and are also absolutely delicious. Below are some helpful tips on reducing how much sugar you eat:

1. Know your daily intake

Keep in mind the recommended limits so you have a baseline. The World Health Organization recommends 25 grams of sugar per day or up to 10 percent of your daily caloric intake, although they suggest sticking closer to 5 percent.

2. Learn how to identify sugar

Sugar has multiple names on food ingredient labels. So, it can be hard to decipher how much a grocery item actually contains. According to the American Heart Association, it can appear in ingredient lists as a syrup, such as high-fructose corn syrup, or as its sugar molecule name, such as dextrose. That doesn’t count the natural sugar content of whole foods. Look for added sugars under ingredients and total grams of sugar on nutrition labels, as well, to understand exactly how much is in what you’re eating.

3. Beware of sugary drinks

Before you even pick up a fork or spoon, it’s possible to drink your entire daily sugar intake. Try substituting soda for a healthier option, such as sparkling water and add fresh fruits or citrus to enhance the flavor. Also, watch out for sweetened teas, fancy coffee drinks, and fruit juices, as these are often loaded with sugar. If you do need a bit of a sweetener, stevia and monk fruit are two natural alternatives.

4. Substitute processed for fresh foods

Processed foods are far more likely to have added sugar above and beyond what’s in whole, natural foods. Stick with raw fruits and vegetables and lean proteins found in the perimeter areas of grocery stores. For fresh, local produce, the Boise Farmer’s Market and the Capital City Public Market are both less than a 20-minute drive from the Terraces.

5. Hydrate and fill up on healthy options

Eating nutrient-dense foods helps you skip the sugar. The Healthy Eating Plate from the Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health is a helpful diagram for meal planning and daily nutrition. The Terraces’ multiple dining venue options and varied menus make it easy for you to choose a healthy, nutrient-filled plate every day for every meal.

6. Try new recipes

Cooking for yourself is one way to be sure of exactly what you’re eating including hidden sugars. You can find low-sugar dessert recipes from Taste of Home, or try these entrees and sides from EatingWell.

7. Stay active

Restricting certain foods can be tough, but active fun offers a distraction from cravings and helps you stay mobile and fit. With the Terraces’ walking trails, it’s not hard to stay active right at home. Or, venture out into the city of Boise to take part in hiking, rafting, biking, or a leisurely stroll in the downtown area.

 

 

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