The amount of sugar consumed by Americans each day has been steadily rising. This is thanks to the ubiquity of artificial sweeteners, sugar desserts and processed food. The World Health Organization recommends that the sugar intake for both adults and children should only account for 10 percent – or even less – of a person’s daily intake. Here are 3 tips to help you cut down on sugar intake in your 60s.
Be Careful of What You Drink
You might have heard that green tea can help prevent Alzheimer’s, but if you’re brewing a cup each day to combat this, you also need to watch what else you might be putting into your teacup. Adding too much sugar or honey to your green tea can end up being detrimental to your health. This is also true for coffee – too much cream and sugar can end up harming you in the long run. Slowly reduce the amount of sugar you add to your morning beverage of choice, and you’ll eventually adapt to the change in sweetness.
Drinks such as flavored water, soda and processed fruit juices also contain a large amount of free sugars. Diet soda may lack this sugar, but can still end up harmful, as they can still contribute to obesity.
Keep an Eye Out for Hidden Sugar
While we are all mostly aware of the excessive amount of sugar in processed food, “hidden” sugars are also something to look out for. These sugars are found in foods that you may not typically think of as unhealthy. These include condiments, beverages, daily products, smoothies and more, which may contain more sugars than you initially thought. Food labels normally list how much sugar a particular food contains, but many people do not look at them since they believe that food item is healthy.
The American Heart Association states that a gram of sugar is equivalent to about four calories. When stocking up on food, check how many grams of sugar are in a serving of your food item, and convert that into calories. You can use this to figure out the percentage of sugar in your total intake.
Invest in Desserts
This may sound counterproductive, but hear us out! While it’s important to keep healthy, it’s also important to enjoy yourself – in moderation, of course. We know that desserts can bring joy and there’s no need to keep away from them entirely. Instead, invest in high-quality desserts that you enjoy on occasion, rather than overloading on the sweet stuff daily. For instance, instead of a bag of cookies each day, go for a freshly-baked pastry once in a while.
If you’re in your 60s, you can benefit from eating food that is nutritious and fresh rather than consuming processed foods, which are typically heaped with sodium, sugar and extra fat. If you find yourself finding it harder to prepare your daily meals, you can consider assisted living, which usually provides delicious and nutritious daily dining options.