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    Sweeten Your 2012 by Cutting the Sugar

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 17, 2012 - All the holiday cookies, pies, candies, fudge, toffee and more have you feeling a little “bleh?” Ready for a sugar detox? Experts say that, along with exercise, cutting sugary foods from your diet is the best way to improve your overall health and fitness and get back into your favorite pair of “skinny” jeans.

    The American Heart Association recommends that we eat no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day - just one regular 12oz soda has eight teaspoons of added sugar! And yet studies show that we consume nearly four times that much sugar—an average of 22 teaspoons each day.

    “Sugar is everywhere – it’s often the second ingredient in foods where you least expect it, such as yogurt and “power” drinks,” says Maxine Barish-Wreden, M.D. a Sutter Medical Group internist specializing in complementary and integrative medicine. “If we don’t pay attention to the amount of sugar we’re eating, long-term weight management can be very challenging.”

    With an eye toward a healthier New Year, where do you start?

    1. Create a plan. Lasting change comes not from willpower or gimmicks, but from honest self-evaluation, strategizing and problem-solving.
    2. Set specific, achievable goals. Identify simple things you can and will do to improve your health. Start small if that helps, by scheduling in a few minutes of exercise and cutting sweets from your diet.
    3. Kick the habit. Follow the Sugar Detox Diet from Sutter Health’s MyLifeStages.
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    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

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