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Tips for Reducing Added Sugar

High intake of added sugars can increase inflammation and risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other chronic diseases.1 Studies in the US have shown that an easy way to decrease excessive added sugar consumption can be by decreasing intake of highly-processed foods.2

Tips for Decreasing Added Sugar:

• Check nutrition facts labels! Added sugars are those that do not exist naturally in the food. Less than 10% of total calories should be from added sugars.1
• Swap out soda. Stay hydrated with water, unsweetened iced or hot teas, and unflavored sparking water with fresh lemon juice, fruit, cucumbers, or ginger.
• Dilute 100% fruit juice with water.
• Skip the sugar in coffee. Flavor coffee with cinnamon, a dash of unsweetened almond milk, or a hint of local honey.
• Swap pancake syrup for pure maple syrup, honey, or unsweetened mixed berries.
• When buying non-dairy milks, choose unsweetened plain or unsweetened vanilla.
• Flavor oatmeal with fresh fruit, pure vanilla extract, clove, cinnamon, and honey.
• Buy unsweetened plain yogurt and add fresh fruit or a small amount of honey!
• Substitute sugar in sweets and baked goods. Instead of refined sugar, try banana, unsweetened dried fruit, dates, applesauce, or honey.
• Sugar is added in many packaged goods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings, salsa, tomato sauce, etc. Pick condiments with the least amount of added sugars.


1. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). 2020. Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Advisory Report to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC.

2. Steele, E. M., Baraldi, L. G., Louzada, M. L., Moubarac, J., Mozaffarian, D., & Monteiro, C. A. (2016). Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: Evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study. BMJ Open,6(3). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009892