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Featured photo via Unsplash

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On the first #FoodFri of the year our guests Stanford pediatrician Anisha Patel MD and healthy food advocate Jennifer Tyler Lee shared their knowledge and tips to help us reduce our added sugar intake at home.


First, let’s clear something up… what is added sugar?  

Added sugar is anything that doesn’t naturally occur in food. For example, fruit contains sugar naturally, so this is not added sugar. Dr. Anisha Patel explains, “Whole fruits are a healthy source of sugar.”

The problem is that today, added sugar exists in many forms and it is added to practically EVERYTHING! Condiments, bread, yogurt, you name it, it probably has added sugar!

As a matter of fact, there are over 60 different ways added sugar is called!


Luckily, there are small changes we can make to the way we eat and the food in our home that will help us reduce the amount of added sugar we consume. 

Here are 10 tips to help you reduce added sugar intake for the whole family:


1. Remember to check food labels! Watch for added sugars! Remember 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

2. Don't be tempted. Dr. Patel says “Keep sweet treats and sugary drinks out of your home.”


3. Shift sugar norms! Choose whole fruit and water for school activities: 


4. Load your fridge with colorful, whole foods.


5.  Cook when you can. When you cook at home and rely less on processed food, you know exactly how much sugar is in your food.

6. Replace soda with fruit-infused water.

"Fruit infused water is an easy way to get kids to drink more water." 

7. Forget fake food! 



8. Use spices to heighten flavor.

Jennifer says, “Boost spices like vanilla and cinnamon to enhance flavor without added sugar.”

9. Eat (don't drink!) your fruits and veggies! 


10. Lead by example and don't be afraid to ask for change!  Dr. Anisha Patel explains, “If you eat healthy food your kids will too.” 

Photo credits:

spices: Taylor Kiser via Unsplash

Berries: Cecilia Par on Unsplash

water with fruit: Kaizen Nguyễn on Unsplash


Make sure to keep an eye out for our #FoodFri conversations in 2018! 

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