Updated: March 18, 2020
Not everything about sugar is quite so sweet. Despite years of knowing sugar isn’t healthy, people are consuming more and more of it.1 The typical American diet is loaded with excessive amounts of added sugars. Added sugar is everywhere — most products on grocery store shelves have it (just check the back of the food label!).
On the road to healthier eating habits, one notable indulgence to ditch from your diet is empty calorie foods and drinks, which are typically high in sugar and lack nutritional value. Sweetened drinks, doughnuts and candies — we’re looking at you! When consumed in excess, empty calories can contribute to weight gain — and being overweight can lead to health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.2
There are two types of sugars: naturally occurring and added sugars.
Naturally occurring sugars can be found in fruit and milk.
Added sugars can usually be found in packaged foods.
Natural occurring sugars typically aren’t the problem when it comes to most people’s diet — it’s added sugars.
Added sugars found in packaged foods are one of the biggest culprits of empty calories. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories.3
To help you work toward your weight loss goals while enjoying your favorite foods, we’ve rounded up seven of the most sugary foods to avoid and healthier alternatives to enjoy.