8 Simple Food Swaps to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Unfortunately, sugar is found in almost every product you consume these days. The average American eats between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugars a year, according to the The United States Department of Agriculture. That’s over 5,000 tablespoons, or, in other words, the weight of an average person. Crazy, right?

However, with some pieces of advice from registered dietitians, you can still enjoy the sweet flavor while avoiding the white stuff.

Photo by Vladislav Noseek from Shutterstock

1. Try to make your own breakfast cereal

Unfortunately, the vast majority of cereals are packed with calories, carbohydrates and sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than about 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women or 9 teaspoons per men.

If you’re not opting for the right cereals, your morning sugar intake can cause a spike that will eventually lead to an energy crash a few hours later. You’ll basically end up hungry again, in search of more sugar, explains Autumn Ehsaei, a registered dietitian in Cary, North Carolina, and founder of Perennial Nutrition.

“Instead of a packet of sweetened oatmeal, make your own plain oatmeal and flavor it yourself,” she says. You can start with pure, rolled oats or unsweetened instant oatmeal mix.

If you can’t resist that sugary favorite, she says, “consider buying one that is maybe sweeter, and combine it with another that has little to no added sugars. You will still feel satisfied by the sweetness, but it’s less than you would normally eat,” Ehsaei explains.

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