Seven tips to help limit your sugar intake

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men about 22 teaspoons of added sugars per day.
Fighting the battle against sugar is a tough one, but it’s winnable.
“Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth,” according to Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian and American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokeswoman. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin and sugar is a carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates are also consumed from foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Sweets not only improve our mood in the short term, they just flat out taste good.
However, with sugar seemingly available everywhere it’s easy to over-do it and that can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart trouble.
Here are seven tips to help limit your sugar intake:
1 Drink lots of water – People oftentimes mistakenly crave for sweets when in fact they’re actually dehydrated.
Water can help rehydrate you and also satisfy some of your hunger pains. Drink pure after or even drinks such as coconut water or decaffeinated tea.
2 Chew some gum – Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce cravings for sugar.
3 Change the scenery – If you’re sitting around thinking about sweets, get up and do something active, such as taking a walk around the block or going for a bike ride to take your mind off eating.
4 Limit your indulgence – Give in to the sugar craving – but in moderation.
Just have a little bit of the candy bar or ice cream you’re craving and mix in a healthy snack with it, such as a banana, crackers or apple.
5 Read the labels – You’d be surprised how much difference there can be in sugar levels in seemingly similar products. Remember that sugar can also be disguised as other names, such as glucose, dextrose, fructose, syrup, caramel, etc.
6 Exercise regularly – Being active actually helps balance your blood sugar levels. Plus it will keep you happier and more energized, which can in turn reduce cravings.
7 Rid your kitchen of sugary items – If you don’t have items such as soda pop, donuts, cakes, etc., in your house in the first place, then they won’t be accessible to eat in the first place.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before making any significant changes in your exercise routine or diet. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at