How to Keep Your Heart Healthy After Heart Month

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy After Heart Month

Valentine’s Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop paying attention to our hearts. The American Heart Association has deemed February “Heart Month,” and while Heart Month is coming to an end, focusing on heart health cannot end as well. One of the best ways to improve heart health is to eliminate pesky added sugars from your diet. If you are looking for ways to cut back on added sugar and begin a heart-healthy diet, keep reading for some tips to last you the entire year. 

What are added sugars? 

Not all sugar is bad for you. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruits, do not pose a problem because these foods also contain vitamins, minerals, and fibers that are beneficial for your body. 

Added sugars, however, are not natural and are added to foods as they are being processed. They add unnecessary calories to your diet without providing proper nutrients. Because of this, they can have negative effects on your weight and heart health. 

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day for women, while no more than 36 grams of sugar is recommended for men. Because of this recommendation, it is essential to cut back on as much sugar as you can each day. 

Tips to Reduce Added Sugars and Keep Your Heart Healthy 

1. Cut back on sugary drinks, such as sodas or sugary coffees. 

Sugar is abundant in many popular drinks. While soda and your favorite sugary coffee-shop orders may be delicious and perfect for a once-in-a-while treat, constantly consuming these drinks can have negative impacts on your health because of their high quantities of added sugar. Some popular 20 fl oz. bottles of soda can contain over 60 grams of added sugar, while a 16 fl oz. pumpkin spice latte can contain as much as 50 grams of sugar. This means that one drink can contain more than double the amount of daily sugar recommended for women. 

There are many ways you can cut back on sugar in your drinks. Here are three ideas for switching out your sugar for something healthier: 

Drink more water instead.
It is recommended that men drink about 3 liters of water each day, and women need to drink around 2 liters a day. To add more fun, healthy, and natural flavors to your water bottle, try using water enhancers. Sweetleaf’s Water Drops may be the perfect boost of encouragement you need to drink more water. No calories, no sugar, only great flavor.   

Switch out your sugary sodas for a healthier soda. If you would like to try making your own healthy soda, Sweetleaf has many sugar-free drink recipes to try! Try making a
healthy homemade lemon-lime soda, a strawberry kiwi spritzer, or a mint and lime citrus cooler. Check out Sweetleaf’s list of recipes for more options. 

Check the nutrition facts on your favorite sugary coffees from your local coffee shop.  Most likely, you will find that your favorite drink contains a large amount of sugar. If you’re looking for healthier hot coffee options, check out Sweetleaf’s list of hot drink recipes that reduce added sugars using stevia.

2. Swap out the sugar in your recipes for a natural sweetener such as stevia. 

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up every food that could be considered “unhealthy.” Sometimes, a simple substitution to eliminate the unhealthy ingredients in your food will do just the trick. Try one of Sweetleaf’s 1:1 sugar replacement sweeteners in your favorite cookie or cupcake recipe instead of sugar. 

Not sure the best way to substitute your sugar for something healthier, or you’re looking for some healthy recipes to try? Check out Sweetleaf’s tips on how to make your favorite recipes sugar-free, as well as some sweet treat recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt, such as some sugar-free cookies or red-velvet cupcakes. 


3. Eat a reduced-sugar, or sugar-free breakfast. 

Many popular breakfast foods, such as sugary cereals, pancakes, waffles, and muffins, are not the best way to start your day because of their high quantities of sugar. Consider choosing healthier food alternatives to begin your day the right way. Eggs, oatmeal, fruits, and whole wheat toast are just a few simple, affordable, healthy food options for a better breakfast. You could also try some of Sweetleaf’s breakfast recipes that use healthy, sugar-free products while preserving the same great taste. 


Focusing on keeping your heart healthy is a year-round endeavor, not only to be focused on during the American Heart Association’s “Heart Month.” Eating healthy by cutting back on added sugars in your drinks, treats, and breakfast can help prevent heart disease in the long run. Check out Sweetleaf’s blog for more tips and recipes that will help eliminate your daily sugar intake. 

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