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One woman's advice to cut sugar from your diet

Friday - 4/11/2014, 2:53pm  ET

WASHINGTON - It's no secret we have too much sugar in our diets, but it might be harder than you think to cut down on sugary food.

"It doesn't have to be sweet to have sugar in it, that's for sure," says Eve Schaub, author of "Year of No Sugar: A Memoir."

As the book's title suggests, Schaub, along with her family, spent a year avoiding foods containing added sugar.

"It was a little overwhelming at first," she says.

Added sugar appeared in unexpected places including tortillas, sausages, chicken broth, cold cuts, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.

"I learned how to make my own mayonnaise, and it turns out it wasn't all that hard."

After a year, "we were healthier, we had a lot more energy, the kids missed a lot less school," she says. "They went from missing 10 of 15 days of school to two or three."

For those who cannot imagine giving up sugar for a day, let alone a year, Schaub recommends focusing on drinks, which she says make up "a tremendous portion of our sugar intake."

She also suggests avoiding sodas, sports drinks, bottled sweetened teas, and even fruit juices. The alternatives? "Water, sparking water, milk, and unsweetened coffee or tea."

"I always tell people wine is OK... there is sugar in it but it's a teeny tiny amount," she says.

Now that the yearlong experiment is over, Schaub is letting up on the strict food rules, but says her diet has likely been changed forever.

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