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This week's edition of National Nutrition Month is from Molly Ward, a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian at Whitney Young Health. Molly is putting the spotlight on sugar and the steps you can take to eliminate it from your diet.

The message around sugar is clear, consume less. What is not so clear is how to do so. Did you know that there are over 50 different names for sugar? Some sound scientific, some almost healthy - but in the end, they all mean “sugar.” No matter its form, added sugar is added sugar; they all affect the body negatively. 

How to quit sugar for good!

Phase 1: Eliminate sugary beverages

If there is a number listed next to sugar on the nutrition facts label and it is not plain milk or juice, you should rethink your choice. Water is best!

Phase 2: Quit sugary junk food 

Cakes, cookies, candy bars- give them a heave-ho. When you can, opt for fresh food over processed snacks as nearly 80% of the latter contains loads of added sugar. This can certainly be difficult so it is helpful to start with the food that is hardest to avoid and work from there.

Phase 3: Reduce simple carbohydrates

Reduce you intake of the white breads, pastas, rice and those alike and opt for the whole grain (brown) versions at least half of the time.

Phase 4: Hunt for the hidden sugars

This is the hardest task, as manufactures have become experts at hiding sugar from you. Your best tool is the food label; keep your eye on the ingredient list.

Phase 5:  Keep it up and be realistic!

We all need to indulge every now and then- IT IS OK! The key is to stay in control, keep portions small, don’t do it often and choose the healthiest option. Major bright side: Once you've kicked the habit of sugar and your taste buds have adjusted, fruits will taste super sweet and satisfying, while the foods with massive amounts of added sugar will taste like what they are: sickeningly sweet.

Questions about seeing Molly Ward RD at WYH? Please feel free to call (518)591-4493. 

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