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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Sugar can be tough to avoid. So how do we get closer to meeting the World Health Organization's recommendations for maximum daily "added" sugar intake of no more than six teaspoons per day? Cutting back gets a whole lot easier once we start paying attention. 

1. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.  
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of "added" sugar in the American diet. A single 12-ounce bottle of cola contains more than an entire day's worth of "added" sugar.

2. Learn sugar's code names.  
Sugar goes by many names—nearly 50! Look closely at food and drink labels and you'll find "added" sugars hiding under a long list of names: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose and turbinado sugar. Even foods marketed as "healthy" can be loaded with "added" sugar, such as energy bars, energy drinks and even salad dressing. 

3. Go unwrapped.  
Focus on whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods prepared by food manufacturing companies and that come in a wrapper, box, bottle, can or package can have "added" sugars. Try to eat fewer processed foods; but if you do choose a prepared or processed product, be sure to read the food label for both the grams of sugar and "added" sugar as well as the other ingredients. 

4. Don't try to quit sugar all at once.  
You're more likely to stick with a habit that's introduced slowly. Try lowering your sugar intake gradually, by swapping out one sugary food or drink with a healthier alternative every day or few days. For example, choose a fresh fruit (no "added" sugar) instead of a chocolate bar.
sugar unwrapped
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