Sugar is everywhere. A gram of sugar is about 4 calories, so on the whole, we consume a lot of sugar per day. It is found naturally in many foods, but the sugar you’re probably more familiar with is added sugar, the kind that goes into packaged food like candy, chocolate, cookies, cakes, and fizzy drinks, basically, all the good stuff. However, even if it’s the more natural kind of sugar, it’s still ‘added’ if you put honey into your cereal or stir it into your morning coffee. There’s sugar in fruit, dairy, vegetables, etc, but this can be good for you in moderate amounts. The other fact is that added sugars are basically just calories without any nutritional value. For women, you should actually limit yourself to about 6 spoons per day, or about 100 calories. Here’s everything else you need to know about sugar. It Can Add Up Too much quantity, as you can imagine, can have some bad effects. If you eat too many sugar-filled foods and have too many sodas, you can have some serious tooth problems. It can also cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and some cancers. It has also been assumed as a cause for acne, and in some cases, increases the risk of depression. It can make your skin age much quicker if you consume too much, too regularly. It can give you a sudden burst of energy, but can cause an overall decrease in energy levels. So beware of too much sugar! Check The Labels Food labels can be confusing, and in many cases, we don’t look. But if you’re trying to cut down on your consumption in particular, it’s important that you examine them closely. In many cases, you might not directly spot the word ‘sugar’ there. But be wary of descriptors like raw or brown one, molasses, syrup of any kind, honey or corn syrup, sugar molecules like fructose or glucose (or any other ‘ose’), molasses, and so on. All of these, although they might not directly say ‘sugar’, basically boil down to it. Try To Cut Down If you’re totally addicted, it can be hard to go cold turkey. Try to avoid packaged foods like candy, dessert, certain brands of yogurt, breakfast cereals and bars, milk and beverages like that, canned and dry fruit, etc, if you suspect they contain a lot. Stay off sodas, and try fresh, unsweetened juice instead. Pick wholegrain cereals instead of the sugary ones. If you don’t like plain water, add things like berries and mint to enhance the flavour. Eat more fruit instead of sweet dessert, and try to use herbs instead of sauces that might contain it. Try to cook up your sauces and salad dressing at home instead of buying it from the store, so you can control the ingredients. Also, try alternatives like Stevia. However, artificial sweeteners aren’t the best solution, because they can just cause you to crave more sugar. Avoid It In These Situations If you’re stressed about weight issues or you’re obese, it’s actually best to avoid altogether. Its addiction can be a bit like a drug addiction; it’s obviously not as serious, but it can be a hard habit to get rid of. If you feel that you might be getting addicted to it, it’s best to just stop eating it. Experiment With Recipes The more food you buy readymade and the more you snack between meals on sugary stuff, the more likely you are to consume more than you should. Resolve this by looking up recipes and cooking more on your own. Make healthy batches of cupcakes using unsweetened applesauce or mashed up bananas as a source of a touch of sweetness. You’ll find plenty of recipes for meals and desserts that don’t use it, or at least use it in limited quantities. This will make you much less likely to reach for that bar of chocolate in the evening, when you’re feeling hungry. As women, we do worry a lot about how much we eat. Some days, it’s fine to indulge a little. You definitely shouldn’t cut fruit out of your diet, and it’s totally okay to eat some nice chocolate cake every now and again. Just make sure things don’t get out of hand.