Eating Healthy: How to Cut Back on Sugar, Salt and Meat

How much sugar, salt and meat is okay to eat? Fox43's Ashley Singh talked to a licensed nutritionist about what we should be eating and how to cut back.

Too much sugar isn't sweet when it comes to your waistline. Nutritionist Julie Stefanski says people should limit sugar to 8-12 teaspoons a day. She says a lot of people go over that amount with just a can of soda, which has 10 teaspoons of sugar. Stefanski says though water is best, choosing diet soda over regular isn't a bad idea.

"All of the sweeteners that are on the market now have been thoroughly tested, so people can choose an option like Splenda or Stevia or Equal and used in moderate amounts, it's not any more unhealthier than any other chemical that we're exposed to on a regular basis," she said.

Like sugar, people seem to enjoy salt just as much. You should only be eating roughly half a teaspoon of salt a day, or 1500 milligrams. Stefanski says most Americans eat about four times that much, or 6,000 milligrams.

"If you've eaten in a restaurant or eaten any processed food, you've likely gone over that 1500 milligrams," she said.

To cut back, stop eating processed foods and try using spices without added salt.

"A lot of the mixes that they sell that are herbs and spices such as a product like Mrs. Dash are great for everybody. It gives flavor and color sometimes to the food but it doesn't give added salt that people really don't need," she said.   

When you choose meat, go for lean and low fat. Also, how it's cooked can make a difference. Grilling is a good option.

"Chicken breast instead of chicken wings, a lean flank steak instead of ground beef that may have more fat in it," she said.

And if you're looking to save money and avoid saturated fat, go vegetarian a couple times a week.

"The protein that's found in beans, kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, they're really good protein and a high source of fiber and vitamins," she said.

Another good option is fish which Stefanski says is good for brain health and keeping cholesterol low. She says you should eat it three times a week and that if you aren't getting that much, you may want to consider taking a fish oil supplement.