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Heart Healthy Diet

How to Cut Back on Added Sugar as Part of a Heart Healthy Diet

October 6, 2015
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POSTED BY:
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SPLENDA® Brand is proud to support the American Heart Association’s “Simple Cooking with Heart” initiative.

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Far too often, when people think about how what they eat can affect their heart health, they think only of consuming too many calories and overeating two types of foods: “bad” fats and salt (sodium). However, excess consumption of added sugars is quickly becoming one of the most discussed contributors to heart disease risk.

In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) specifically recommends cutting back on the consumption of added sugars. While explaining the need to reduce added sugar intake, AHA notes, “Using low- and no-calorie sweeteners is one option that may help in an overall healthy diet. Foods and beverages containing low- and no-calorie sweeteners can be included in a healthy eating plan, as long as the calories they save are not added back as a reward or compensation. The FDA has determined that certain low- and no-calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose, are safe.” (Sucralose is the sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA® Sweeteners.)

To help people cut back on eating too much added sugar, AHA has developed two fun-to-read infographics that illustrate how “Life is Sweet… with these Easy Sugar Swaps.” One of their suggestions is to “swap sugars (including honey and agave syrup) for a no-calorie sweetener. One packet adds about the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar – and typically saves you more than 25 calories.”

Another colorful infographic (pdf) advises that “added sugar is not so sweet,” according to the AHA. “Eating and drinking a lot of added sugar is one probable cause of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. It’s also linked to increased risks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and inflammation in the body.” AHA explains that while some sugars occur naturally (e.g., in fruits, vegetables, milk and grains), “other sugars - the kind added to foods, drinks and condiments during processing - may increase heart disease risk.” Thus the use of no-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose is part of AHA’s general recommendations on reducing added sugar consumption.

After checking out the American Heart Association website links above, I’d like to suggest you explore these new heart healthy* recipes that will help you to reduce your added sugar intake. These easy heart healthy* recipes, from the American Heart Association, are part of AHA’s Simple Cooking with Heart™ program to help families learn how to make affordable, nutritious and delicious meals at home (*as defined by the American Heart Association).

The SPLENDA® Brand is a proud supporter of AHA’s Simple Cooking with HeartTM, which provides tasteful, easy tips for a diet lower in added sugars and higher in fiber and other wholesome nutrients for healthier meals. These tips can show you and your family how to reduce added sugar without sacrificing taste.

Here are two of my favorite less added sugar recipes: Raspberry Basil Iced Tea and Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, both of which are made with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener.

Raspberry Basil Iced Tea


Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts decaffeinated, unsweetened iced tea
  • 1 pint raspberries, washed
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, washed
  • 4 tablespoons (or 6 packets) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener

Directions:

  1. In a 2-quart pitcher, combine tea, raspberries, basil and SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener.
  2. Gently stir and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Add ice to individual glasses and pour iced tea in each through a strainer to remove bits of herbs and fruit. Stir and enjoy.

Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables


Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, brown ends trimmed off and cut in half
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut in to florets
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch rounds)
  • 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and chopped in to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound beets, peeled and chopped in to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato (peeled, optional) cut in to 3/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (or 1 packet) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
  • 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Thoroughly wash all vegetables, cut and toss together in large bowl.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, pepper and salt. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss well.
  5. Pour vegetable mixture into prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring once, until all vegetables pierce easily with a fork.

Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.
 

October 6, 2015  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Healthy Lifestyle, Sugar Substitutes

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