The Best Trick for Cutting Down on Sugar

Maybe your sweetheart loves you so much, they give you fruit to celebrate your special relationship. But more likely, you will finish the day after Valentine’s day sharing one or more boxes of delicious, irresistiblechocolatesor candies with friends and family.

Now, everyone knows that special treats like Valentine’s chocolates don’t count. (Admit it, you feel more loved following tradition, even if a healthier gift might logically offer better proof of “true love.”)

But if you are like me, after the binge you will bring new fervor and commitment to the promise you made yourself to eat less sugar. So, at the risk of spoiling a bit of the frenzy of the festive occasion, I want to share the best trick I have found yet for managing sugar consumption.

If you are like me, you are also the veteran of several campaigns to eat healthier. You’ve read many tips onkicking the sugar habit. The rational part of your brain knows the price your health pays for eatingtoo much sugar, but the sweet tooth can still get the better of you.

So here is what finally works for me: the numbers 4 and 6. If you are a guy, you need to remember 4 and 9.


Four is the number to convert the grams of sugar on food labels to teaspoons. Just find the number of grams of sugar and divide by four.

Six and nine

Six is the maximum recommended teaspoons of sugar per day for a woman. Men can be sweeter, with up to nine teaspoons a day.

Easy examples:

  • 14 grams of sugar in a portion of flavored yogurt: 14/4 = 3.5. Do I really want to consume three and a half teaspoons of sugar in my “healthy” breakfast?
  • 10 grams of sugar in half a cup of spaghetti sauce: 10/4 = 2.5. Imagine sprinkling more than two teaspoons of sugar on your dinner. Maybe I’ll make it from scratch.
  • 40 grams of sugar in the honey raisin bran muffin? 40/4 = 10! Gee, even the guys can’t eat that!

Maybe this works because it is easier to visualize teaspoons than grams, and put it into context. Maybe it works because it is so easy to understand that 3 teaspoons is half my daily allotment, and to think about whether the temptation in front of me is where I want to spend my “sugar budget.” It definitely helps me leave that can of soda or muffin on the shelf when I can quickly calculate that it will blow my whole day. At any rate, it’s so easy, it just works.

New sugar labelsdue out in 2018 will help to differentiate added sugar from sugars naturally in the ingredients contained in foods – but remember that the more processed the food, the more those “natural” sugars should still be counted in your healthy avoidance of simple sugars separated from the fiber and host of nutrients in their original sources.

So don’t wait for new labels: start using 4 and 6 or 9 today. Or maybe tomorrow ;).

Written by Christine Lepisto. This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Photo Credit: Austin White/Flickr


Jim V
Jim V3 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Carl R
Carl R5 months ago


rosario p.
rosario p.5 months ago

The thing is there is sugar in all foods more or less. sauces, meat,sausages, bread, pre-cooked, preserves , drugstore items, beauty creams and medicines, like syrups, and we can go no end. and even if you read the label cannot be sure it has not.
The only way to intent control goes through home cooking and do not leave your food security in other hands.

Chen B
Chen Boon Fook5 months ago


Christel K
Christel K5 months ago

Why not just stop eating sugary foods like cookies, granola, cake, desserts etc. - you donèt need to convert from grams to teaspoons to know what you can eat and what not.

natasha s
natasha s6 months ago

thanks---i'm more of a salt junkie--not much sugar i consume.

rosario p.
rosario p.6 months ago

And here is the reason why it is so HART do not consume sugar and the lucrative interests hidden.
"Says Dr. Bruker, a German researcher and author of a book on the subject: "My decades of research on white sugar allow me to conclude that this substance is capable of creating a state of addiction, to the same degree as that caused by drugs Such as nicotine, alcohol, and coffee.There are studies in the United States that show this but have not been made public for economic reasons. "

rosario p.
rosario p.6 months ago

And this are the diseases related from sugar.
"Like all drugs, white sugar, in addition to not benefiting the body and providing no nutritious and vital element, is highly harmful. It is a real danger to public health, as a direct or indirect source of many "modern" diseases: dental caries, blood acidification, decalcification, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, diabetes, obesity, acne, stomach ulcer, cholesterol, Nervous tension, circulation problems, hyperexcitability, hepatic degeneration ..."

rosario p.
rosario p.6 months ago

The best for you and your health is NOT to eat it , better than tricks to cut down.
"White sugar is particularly harmful to children, the elderly and women, since it steals calcium and mineral salts (especially chromium). This happens because the sucrose is bound to the calcium present in the blood, forming calcium sucrose that is eliminated by intestines and kidneys. It also steals vitamins and enzymes, necessary for its cleavage (sucrose is a disaccharide that the organism must convert into simple compounds like glucose and levulose). Detailed studies show that every time we ingested sucrose, for its metabolization we depleted organic reserves of precious amino acids (tryptophan and methionine), vitamin B (especially B5, B6 and B12), vitamin PP and minerals. That is why white sugar is defined as a true "thief" of the organism."