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Published on August 05, 2015

Fruit infused water

4 tips to cut back on sugar and artificial sweeteners

If you've identified that you eat too much sugar and/or artificial sweeteners and you need to cut back, here are a few tips to get you started. To find out if you should cut back on your sugar intake, you may want to read this article. To learn about artificial sweeteners, read this article.

  1. Look at ingredients list. Look for the sugar and artificial sweeteners even on seemingly healthy foods. Take inventory of how much is in the foods you eat most often. Generally speaking, if your foods contain more than 5 ingredients, you are probably getting a lot of sugar and likely not a nutritious food.
  2. Make choices. Skip the jelly on your morning toast but keep the sugar in your coffee if you like. Swap your afternoon soda for a glass of plain water. Ditch the sugary snacks and eat fruits or veggies instead. Avoid the sugar-free/diet products as replacement as they will contain artificial sweeteners which need to be moderate too.
  3. Change your buying practices. Stop buying bottled or canned beverages (including bottled water, soda, coffee drinks, teas, sports drinks, etc.). The less you have easily accessible, the less you will drink. Use the money saved on bottled drinks to buy whole nutritious foods instead of food-like products with fancy advertisements and catchy health claims.
  4. Infuse your water. Cutting back on sweet drinks is the easiest way to cut back on sugar and artificial sweetener. The best replacement? Water. If you have trouble tolerating water plain, try it infused with some cut up fruits, veggies or herbs, making it naturally flavored.

Though there is no standard definition for moderation, it is commonly accepted to mean "avoiding extremes." If you consume too much sugar, too much artificial sweetener (or products that contain them) you are likely missing out on other, vital nutrients. Get back to basics – eat real food and drink plain water. Though it may not seem like it, you will save money, you will feel better and you will reap the health benefits too.

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Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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