MIAMI (CBS4) — The average American consumes two to three pounds of sugar a week and 135 pounds of sugar a year. It’s not surprising because sugar is in just about everything we buy and most medical experts agree large amounts of sugar can have an adverse affect on our health. But there are ways you can shop for healthier options.
Sharon Senke, 21, is like most Americans because she has a major sweet tooth.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gone a day without something sugary. It’s been such a big part of my life. I like sweets,” said Senke.
All of those sweets aren’t healthy for diabetic parents or for keeping the weight off so Senke and others are looking for healthier options.
Registered dietitian Monique Biddle with Memorial Regional Hospital took Senke shopping at Whole Foods in Plantation.
“If we start off over here they have all the cut up fruits. They have watermelons, pineapples and cantelopes,” said Biddle.
She suggested bringing cut up fruit to work to avoid a trip to the vending machine. There are other fruit options as well such as fruit chips, strips and leather.
“They have fruit strips in strawberry, pineapple, apple, mango even sweet potato. They have all different kinds of fruit leather and again it’s just a different way to have the fruit,” explained Biddle.
For a cool treat, freeze grapes or grab a low calorie frozen fruit bar to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Biddle also suggested a sweet vegetable.
“These pea pods are really good too. I don’t know if you’ve ever had pea pods. They’re so nice and sweet and they really taste good. And they crunch and when things crunch you feel more satisfied,” said Biddle.
If you absolutely must have dessert Biddle warned you must be smart about what you choose.
“These are individual cakes like individual desserts. So if you just eat one it would be a whole lot better than eating a whole cake over there. You want to look for less calories. You want to look for less fat, maybe products that are 0-3 grams of fat per serving. And if you really like chocolate at least try to make the chocolate something healthier,70-percent dark cocoa would be a better choice,” Biddle said.
Senke now feels better prepared to kick her sugar habit.
“She showed me so many good things that I didn’t know were out there.”
Another tip: Don’t fill up on fruit juices. Biddle said they have a lot of calories. Try drinks that are sweetened with Stevia, an herbal sweetener, and have zero calories.