The Benefits Of Decreasing Your Added Sugar Intake

Apr 19, 2019, 9:01 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 1:22 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah — Most people know too much added sugar isn’t very good for us, but manufacturers are getting smart and sneaking it into everything. One Utah family is making a habit of reading labels and decreasing their sugar intake.

Seven-year-old Charlotte Hodges is an expert in the kitchen. Rather than ice cream or a slushy, she opts for an all-natural, fresh fruit smoothie — with no added sugars. It’s a commitment the Hodges family made about a year ago after Charlotte Hodges had some behavior challenges.

“She was having some pretty bad meltdowns,” her mother, Amy Hodges, explained.

However, after eliminating sugar from her diet, Amy Hodges said her behavior has been night and day difference.

The family is making a habit of eating healthier together.

“Sugar’s hidden and everything… even by breakfast, she’s already had 100 grams of sugar,” Amy Hodges said.

Now she reads the labels on everything.

“I’m the gatekeeper of my home. So if I don’t buy it… they’re not going to eat it,” Amy Hodges said.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Ashley Hagensick tells people to read through the lines. She said sugar is often disguised as things like barley malt, cane juice, and rice syrup.

Hagensick urges shoppers to be careful since often supposedly “healthy” foods like protein bars and juice could also be hiding added sugars.

Hagensick encourages families to watch out for added sugars in things like salad dressing, cereal, peanut butter, ketchup, and even yogurt. She said that’s an easy way to cut back.

She said studies have shown too much sugar consumption is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Hagensick recommends people limit their added sugar consumption to 25 grams per day.

She said elimination starts with first knowing how much you are consuming and identifying times throughout the day when you are tempted by sugar.

“Where is it in your day that you’re actually consuming the added sugar? Is it walking by someone’s office that keeps a bowl of candy on their desk?” Hagensick said.

She said keeping a food diary can help you realize how much you are taking in.

Charlotte’s dad, Teddy Hodges, said his biggest weakness is fast food. He said he is getting out of the habit of driving through McDonald’s.

“I want a number one with a large Dr. Pepper,” he said.

If he has to eat out with co-workers at lunch, Teddy Hodges plans ahead.

“I went out to eat for lunch today and I just knew what I wanted,” he explained.

Since starting the Keto diet and removing most added sugars from his diet, he has lost weight and said he feels like a better dad.

“My energy is more consistent. I don’t have the highs and lows,” he said.

Now opting for something without sugar is an easy choice for the Hodges family.

“Cause I’m used to it,” Charlotte Hodges said.

“Once you break that cycle of eating sugar every day, it’s kind of like, ‘Ehh?’” Teddy Hodges said.

He said removing sugar from his diet is well worth the extra energy he feels to keep up with his kids.

“It’s just being able to play with the kids and being able to go out on (the) monkey bars and walk around the park,” Teddy Hodges said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Tom Nehring practicing his punches against a punching bag with another boxer....

Emma Benson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This is medicine for me’: A Utah man is battling Parkinson’s with boxing

An interactive class is helping those effected by Parkinson’s disease by keeping them active with boxing.

6 hours ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

7 days ago

Kenneth Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Courtesy: Kenneth Applegate)...

Emma Benson

Utah dad’s journey from hypertension to health

At age 25, Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, he didn't think it was a big deal, until things became more serious.

14 days ago

Jeremy Ward, a dad diagnosed with sleep apnea, poses with his family. (Courtesy: Jeremy Ward)...

Emma Benson

Utah man finds sleep apnea relief with Inspire sleep therapy

Utah dad of six and avid biker was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. It wasn't until he received the Inspire implant that he found relief.

21 days ago

We're all guilty of slouching in our chairs. But did you know poor posture can cause serious health...

Emma Benson

Straightening up: How your posture affects your health

We're all guilty of slouching in our chairs. But did you know poor posture can cause serious health issues?

29 days ago

Linda Campbell showing the Breast MRI where doctors found her breast cancer....

Emma Benson

Breast MRI is helping detect cancer in high-risk patients

Intermountain Health is working on new advances in breast cancer screening by transforming early detection.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

The Benefits Of Decreasing Your Added Sugar Intake