3 Simple Ways to Sweeten Foods Without Sugar (or Anything Artificial)
By now, we’re all well aware that lowering the amount of sugar we eat is one of the best things we can do to improve our overall health. But it’s not just Snickers bars, Skittles, and soda that are wreaking havoc on our efforts to reduce our intake. “Added sugars show up in up to 70 percent of packaged foods, including savory ones like soups, sauces, salad dressings, and should-be healthy foods like cereal, granola, nut butters, yogurt, and ‘health’ drinks,” says Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. According to Patel, the average American consumes about three times as much added sugar as the recommended amount. “The daily limits are 6 teaspoons or 24 grams for women, 9 teaspoons or 36 grams for men, and up to 6 teaspoons or 12 grams to 24 grams for children,” adds Patel. “But children less than 2 years of age shouldn’t consume added sugar since this is a critical developmental time for establishing taste preferences.”
The good news is that there are a few smart, simple ways to sweeten foods without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. (Because let’s face it, liking sweet foods is what makes us human.) We sat down with Jennifer Tyler Lee, author of Half the Sugar, All the Love: 100 Easy, Low-Sugar Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, to learn which are the most effective ingredients for cooking and baking successfully with less added sugar. “These ingredients, available in most well stocked grocery stores, preserve texture and add flavor so you won’t miss the sugar one bit,” says Tyler Lee. Sweetness.