Sugar, Salt, and Saturated Fats – How to Cut the “S-word” From Your Diet
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting the amount of added sugar, sodium, and saturated fats that you eat. The guidelines state that most Americans follow a diet that is too high in these three components. Here are some tips to cut out the “s-word” from your daily diet.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming less than ten percent of your daily caloric intake from added sugars. Whenever possible choose foods and beverages that don’t have added sugar. Here are a few ways to help you with that:
- Read food labels, and avoid buying and eating foods with added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, evaporated cane juice, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose, honey, agave, or maple syrup.
- Drink water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice instead of sweetened beverages. Jazz up your water by adding fruit or vegetable slices.
- Choose snacks with no added sugar. Swap out your flavored yogurt for plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
- Grill fruits like peaches or pineapple for a naturally sweet, healthier, and scrumptious dessert.
- Eat smaller deserts. Our sweet tooth can often be satisfied with just a bite or two.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends fewer than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (salt) per day. Most of the sodium we get comes from salts added to help preserve food. Here are some tips to help you cut back on salt:
- Read the nutritional information on foods. Shop smart and buy products with less sodium.
- Buy frozen or canned products without added salt.
- Buy fresh poultry, seafood, pork, and other meat rather than the processed alternatives.
- Cook meals from scratch to control the sodium content of your meals.
- Flavor foods with citrus, herbs, and spices instead of salt.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends reducing saturated fat intake to less than ten percent of your daily caloric intake. Get to know the different types of fats, and reduce your intake of saturated fats by replacing them with unsaturated fats.
- Saturated fat is found in foods such as meats, whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese.
- Unsaturated fat, which includes polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, is found in foods like oils, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
- Drink fat-free or low-fat milk instead of two percent or whole milk.
- Eat low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese.
- Use oils instead of butter and eat lean cuts of meat instead of fatty cuts of meat.
All of these tips will help you clean up your diet so you can cut these “s-words” from your daily diet.