Monday, January 2, 2017



Over the holidays, I had way too much sugar, so I am going to take this challenge. Ron Alexander

I have a pretty serious sweet tooth. I like to eat a small piece of chocolate with my afternoon cup of coffee, and, if there were no such thing as consequences, I’d have a bowl of ice cream every night.
But I’ve also become convinced that the American diet has far too much sugar in it and that this excess sugar is doing real damage to our health, in both obvious ways (like diabetes) and probably less obvious ones.
So I recently set out to reduce the amount of sugar in my own diet in an unorthodox way: I eliminated added sweeteners entirely for one month. It was eye-opening.
It taught me which brands of crackers, bread, tomato sauce, soup and many other foods contain needless sweeteners — and which don’t. You can read more about the experience in my column.
If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution — or simply looking to improve your diet — I highly recommend a month without sugar. The costs are temporary, and some of the benefits are lasting.
You may also be interested in this collection of no-sugar recipes that my colleagues who run The Times’s Cooking app have put together. And you may enjoy this interactive challenge, in which we ask you to put together a day’s worth of eating from typical supermarket items — and to stay within health experts’ recommended sugar maximum.
For those of you who do plan to reduce your sugar in coming weeks: I’d appreciate hearing about your strategies. Leave me a comment underneath my column on Facebook.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including J.D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” on the example that President Obama set for the working class.
David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist

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