reduce sugar workplace wellness

Want to Reduce Sugar? It’s in Your Hands

For the last two days, we’ve explored how to reduce sugar, how rampant it is in our foods — and how a well-run workplace wellness program can help employees on this health-improving track.

For example, we noted that the University of California, San Francisco found that “Added sugar is hiding in 74% of packaged foods.”

The SugarScience site states: “We tend to think that added sugar is mainly found in desserts like cookies and cakes, but it’s also found in many savory foods, such as bread and pasta sauce. And some foods promoted as ‘natural’ or ‘healthy’ are laden with added sugars, compounding the confusion. In fact, manufacturers add sugar to 74% of packaged foods sold in supermarkets. So, even if you skip dessert, you may still be consuming more added sugar than is recommended.”

A well-run workplace wellness program can go a long way towards helping employees with this challenge. With eduction, information, engagement and more, employees can learn more about where sugar can be found and what alternatives might be good to eat.

But now the New York Times offers additional help. As writer David Leonhardt states: “Virtually the only way to eat a healthy amount of sugar is to make a conscious effort. You can think of it as a political act: resisting the sugar industry’s attempts to profit off your body. Or you can simply think of it as taking care of yourself.”

To put his thoughts into action, Leonhardt has created an online tool “How to Stop Eating Sugar.” It begins:

“If you’re like most Americans, you eat more sugar than is good for you. But it’s entirely possible to eat less sugar without sacrificing much — if any — of the pleasures of eating. Surprising as it may sound, many people who have cut back on sugar say they find their new eating habits more pleasurable than their old ones. This guide will walk you through why sugar matters, how you can make smart food choices to reduce sugar consumption, and how you can keep your life sweet, even without so many sweets.”

The guide outlines the various areas where sugar can be cut from one’s diet:

  • “The Added Sugar Problem: Here’s why you eat more sugar than you realize, and why it’s a problem.”
  • “During Breakfast: Remember, breakfast shouldn’t taste like dessert.”
  • “From the Bottle: Beverages are one of the biggest sources of added sugars in our diets.”
  • “In the Pantry: Check the labels of your pantry staples for some easy places to cut the sugar.”
  • “The Sauce Risk: What’s hiding in your ketchup? Sugar, most likely.”
  • “At Dessert: Dessert doesn’t have to be any less sweet if you are cutting back on sugar.” 
For additional inspiration, the author’s bio at the end of the piece states that he “eats more sweets than he should but fewer than he once did.” Sounds like a good start for a well-run workplace wellness program.