WHO's new Guidelines on Sugar

Just exactly how much sugar are you eating? If you're like most people, you probably don't really know. And that's a problem when you're trying to manage your weight, tip the scale in the right direction and practice portion control. Keeping a food diary is a good place to start. It can help you figure out how many calories you're eating per day, help you follow a calorie-controlled diet, and be more aware of the amount of sugar you're actually eating.

One of the basic principles of weight management is calorie control. If you eat a lot of foods that contain added sugar (think sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, desserts, some breakfast cereals and even condiments like ketchup, salad dressing, and spaghetti sauce), you're more likely to gain weight and have a higher risk for chronic diseases.

It's a problem the World Health Organization has looked at carefully since 2014. The WHO recently finalized its recommendations for consuming added sugar. Take a look at the typical American diet, and you can probably guess what the sugar consumption recommendations areā€¦Eat less sugar.

In fact, the WHO sugar guidelines recommend limiting added sugar to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. For most adults, that would mean you should cut out 13 teaspoons of sugar a day from your diet. Simply giving up your favorite sugary-soft drink won't be enough, because there's about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12-ounce can of soda. You'll also need to replace a few other sugary snacks with healthier options to lower your risk for obesity, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And if you're really serious about improving your health and losing weight, you should limit added sugar to no more than 5 percent of daily calories to amplify the low-sugar diet benefits.

If you're reading this worried that limiting or giving up soda and other sugary foods means your diet will be reduced to nothing more than flavorless rice cakes and water, stop worrying. There are many tasty and healthy food options you can still enjoy. Even a sweet treat once in a while is OK, especially if physical activity is a regular part of your life.

Need help choosing healthy, low-sugar meals that taste great and keep your daily calories in check? Take a look at the selection of Portion-Control Meals by MagicKitchen.com and you'll discover a lot of healthy options perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.