Ingredients like white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners are added to foods and beverages to make them sweet and tasty.

Do you know how much sugar you consume on a daily basis?

An average American consumes more than 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. The food label provides the amount of total sugars in grams (not in teaspoon) per serving. Four grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the country.

They suggest women limit added sugar to no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar per day (about 100 calories) and men limit to no more than nine teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar (about 150 calories).

As an example, if you drink one can of soda you will already be over your limit. A 12 ounce soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar. Starting in July 2018, added sugars will be listed on the food label.  Are you ready to cut down sugar from your diet? Read food labels and compare food products to make a healthy choice. Here are some examples of foods that can be lower in sugar.

- Instead of sweetened beverages, sodas, sweetened teas, sweetened coffee, enhanced waters, sport and energy drinks with added sugars, choose sparkling water with lemon or herbal teas with no sugar.

- Almond and other non-dairy milks have added sugars. Choose the unsweetened versions.

- Choose high fiber cereals -- some have less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.

- Instead of flavored oatmeal, choose plain oatmeal and add cut up fruits and cinnamon for flavor. 

- Instead of snacking on sugar such as cookies, cakes, sweetbreads choose crackers, whole grain bread and add puree fruits on top.

- Granola, granola bars and other snack bars are loaded with sugar. Read the food labels and compare brands and sugar content.

- Instead of flavored yogurts, choose plain Greek yogurts or made with real fruits.

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