Cutting back on excess sugar - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Cutting back on excess sugar

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UNDATED (WJRT) -  (07/03/14) - A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but it can also make the bathroom scale go up.

Excess sugar could lead to other health problems.  

The average American consumes 156 pounds of sugar each year, and experts say that could be one reason for expanding waist lines. Too much sugar can also cause cardiovascular disease, and even depression.

Right now, we're looking at some of the top ways to cut back.

It's a staple in kitchens, restaurants and certainly in bakeries, but it turns out for some, a love affair with sugar can end on a "sour" note.    

Experts say added sugars can increase inflammation in blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Some studies suggest high sugar intake can lead to depression. Sugar can also change the structure of collagen in the skin - leaving wrinkles.     

Jamieson Petonic, med, RD, of Nutrition Today with Amy, says the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.  

"There's a lot of hidden sugars that people might not be aware of," Petonic said.

Hre's where the sugar is hiding - tomato sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce and salad dressings may not seem too sweet, but these products can be loaded with sugar.    

Skip the soda, which has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Instead, drink sparkling water with a splash of juice. Eat whole foods, not processed and sweeten foods naturally with spices - coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg are good choices.    

If you cut hidden sugar from your diet, then a splurge can sweeten your day without derailing your diet.

Federal guidelines offer limits for the amount of salt and fat that Americans take in, but not for sugar. The American Heart Association recommends women consume less than six teaspoons of added sugar each day and men consume less than nine.

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