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THE DIET DETECTIVE

Nutrition advice: Tips for getting rid of added sugar

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 12:01 am

Here are 10 tips to help you avoid unwanted sugar.

Avoid added sugar

When you read the food label, look out for: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, glucose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey (although there is some research that indicates honey can help with allergies and help as an antibiotic), invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, molasses, natural sweeteners, polydextrose, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup, turbinado sugar and xylitol.

All added sugar is essentially just calories without significant nutritional value. The one exception may be molasses, which is a fair source of potassium, calcium and iron.

Read the label

To track down the amount of sugar you're consuming, read the nutrition label and look for the many different forms of sugar mentioned above.

Just so you have a reference point, 4 grams of sugar is approximately 1 teaspoon.

Are you still blinded by fat phobia?

If you're too preoccupied with reading the number of fat grams on the food label, you may be missing the fact that additional sweeteners are often substituted for some of the fat that has been removed from these products.

Don’t ban sugar completely

Sugar is part of a normal diet, but it should be in foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables contain natural (not added) fiber, which helps to slow the release of the sugar into your blood. Plus, green, leafy or cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy) don't have much sugar and are very healthy.

Carbsand glycemic index

Glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food that contains carbohydrate raises a fasting person's blood sugar level and subsequent insulin in two hours.

Foods with a high GI slow down the feeling of being full and, as a result, can cause hunger.

High-GI foods include white bread, white potatoes, pasta, doughnuts and bagels, but also watermelon and carrots. Low-GI foods include most vegetables, low-fat yogurt, lentils and peanuts, whole milk and pound cake.

Avoid big thinking

When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, there's a good chance you only need a bite or two. If you're going to have ice cream, stick to a 1/2 -cup serving, and you should be able to keep the calories under 200 while still satisfying your craving.

Reduce sugar in recipes

There's a pretty good chance you can cut the sugar in most recipes. Also, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg,

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.