Whether your weakness is ice cream, chocolate, donuts, or all of the above, sugar is certainly tasty and addictive. Even if you aren’t eating candy bars and guzzling cans of soda, sugar is present in a ton of foods that we don’t even realize such as ketchup, sauces, and even bread. Sugar can almost become addictive. The more we eat, the more we want to eat.

Sugar can increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, and it can lead to weight gain and overall poor nutrition. Women should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day and men no more than nine teaspoons, according to American Heart Association. However,  Americans tend to consume two to three times the amount.  Here are five ways to reduce your sugar intake.

  • 1

    Read Food Labels

    Reading the food labels is one of the best way to watch your sugar intake. You may be surprised how much sugar your favorite food or drinks may have in them, even if they are not sweet. The ingredients are usually listed in order and if sugar (or variation of the word - such as sucrose) is near the top of the list, then that product may not be the best choice.

  • 2

    Add Some Protein

    A little touch of protein goes a long way, when watching your sugar. Foods with high sugar can cause your blood sugar level to increase and decrease quickly. When you combine protein with a sugary food, it will balance out your sugar level and create a healthier snack.

  • 3

    Go Unsweetened

    Soda companies can sometimes mislead us by throwing the word "diet" on the soda can. According to Health.com, diet sodas usually include artificial sugars. When your body consumes sugar it expects to obtain calories and nutrition, which artificial sugars do not have. So a healthier choice would be water or a drink infused with natural sugars.

  • 4

    Be Natural

    Foods with natural sugars are much healthier than foods with added sugar. What kinds of foods have natural sugars? Well, one, in particular, is fruit. Fruits such as grapes, bananas, strawberries, and oranges provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. So You'll have a sweet and healthy snack - the best of both worlds.

  • 5

    Say a Long Goodbye

    Let's be realistic here, we're not saying to stop your sugar intake completely. The body needs sugar to remain in good health, just not an overabundance of it.  If you're a person who likes two packets of sugar in your coffee, try adding one for a week, then half, and progress to adding a drop of milk. That way you'll get that sweet taste your looking for, but with less sugar.