January 21, 2019
Avocado and Quinoa Salad with Chia Seed
Wellness Tip

Cut Down on Sugar, Improve Your Overall Diet

by Berkeley Wellness  

Cutting down on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may encourage people to improve their diet in other ways, suggests a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Participants, mostly overweight or obese, took part in three classes and 11 interactive phone calls designed to teach them only how to cut down on sugary beverages. After six months, they not only reduced their intake of sugary beverages by a third, but they also cut their intake of total added sugars by a third and daily calories by 285. That is, they didn’t replace the sugar and calories from SSBs with other sugary foods. Plus, they improved their overall diet quality (“healthy eating index”)—for instance, by eating slightly more vegetables and whole grains.

The researchers suggested that this is an example of how healthy changes in behavior may “cluster” and how one dietary improvement can “act as a gateway” to other positive changes.

Also see Is Sugar Making Us Sick?