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Prince George's County Maryland Health Department Prince George's County

Tip of the Month

Tips to Cut Down on Sugar

  • Drink water or other calorie-free drinks instead of sugary, non-diet sodas or sports drinks.
  • When you drink fruit juice, make sure it's 100 percent fruit juice — not juice drinks that have added sugar. Better yet, eat the fruit rather than drink the juice.
  • Choose breakfast cereals carefully. Although healthy breakfast cereals can contain added sugar to make them more appealing to children, skip the non-nutritious, sugar-frosted cereals.
  • Opt for reduced-sugar varieties of syrups, jams, jellies and preserves. Use other condiments sparingly. Salad dressings and ketchup have added sugar.
  • Choose fresh fruit for dessert instead of cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream and other sweets.
  • Snack on vegetables, fruits, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers and low-fat, low-calorie yogurt instead of candy, pastries and cookies 1.
  • Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting by half the usual amount of sugar you add and try cutting down even more or consider using an artificial sweetener.
  • Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages.
  • Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruits canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
  • Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (try bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  • When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in the recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won't notice the difference.
  • Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in equal amounts in recipes.
  • Try non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin in moderation. Non-nutritive sweeteners may be a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding more calories to your diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that non-nutritive sweeteners are safe 2.

1American Heart Association. Sugars and Carbohydrates. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sugars-and-Carbohydrates_UCM_303296_Article.jsp

2U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Using the Nutrition Facts label: A how-to guide for older adults. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm267499.htm

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Prince George's County
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1701 McCormick Drive
Largo, Maryland 20774

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Funding for this Initiative has been made available by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, Community Transformation Grant for Small Communities (Grant Number 1H75DP004618-01).