Most people love sugar and surgery foods, but, as great as sugar might taste, it’s not so great for your health. Majority of people consume above the recommended dose of sugar daily. Here is a quick guide for reducing sugar in your diet.
If extra weight around the hips isn’t enough to get you off sugar, how about the actual facts that eating an excessive amount of sugar could increase your risk of heart problems, acne, diabetes, and even certain varieties of cancer?
As studies still emerge into the potential dangers of sugar, it’s never been more important for you to start making healthy changes.
Today, I’m providing you with some quick and straightforward tips to cut back on sugar.
Majority of drinks other than water contain some amount of sugar – and sometimes it’s not called just “sugar”.
Soda and fruit juices are stuffed with sugar, which adds to your daily calorie intake. While there are some “zero sugar” options out there, it’s also worth keeping a watch out for additives which could be detrimental to your health, including weight gain (meaning, artificial, zero calorie sweeteners can cause weight gain).
The best way is to change your soda, sugar-laden coffees, and other beverages with a refreshing glass of water. Water is more likely to quench your thirst than the other drink, and it can even offer you an energy boost by reducing dehydration.
Try Alternative Desserts
There’s nothing wrong with having a dessert from time to time, but it’s important to keep in mind that these foods don’t provide much nutritional value.
Most desserts are packed with sugar, which causes spikes in your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling hungry and tired.
The best way is to replace desserts with some fruit. Fresh and baked fruits increase the number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you get from your diet, without the spikes in sugar.
Check Sauce Labels
While you may have expected the added sugar in sodas and desserts, you may not know that sugar may hide in other foods you have daily.
For instance, sauces like ketchup and salad sauces are high in sugar. One single tablespoon of ketchup can contain around 5 grams of sugar, which makes it sugarier than ice cream!
Look for condiments with “no added sugar” on the labels to cut back your intake of the sweet stuff in these products.
You can also try other ways to season your foods and delight your taste buds. Try pesto, mustard, chili, herbs and spices, and even citrus juices like lemon and lime to flavour your foods or home made sauces.
Forget Low-Fat Foods
This may appear as an odd suggestion, but low-fat foods aren’t always ideal when it comes to your sugar intake. Though some low-fat products can have a counter effect on your weight gain, as many actually contain more sugar than their full-fat counterparts.
For instance, a full-fat plain yogurt will usually contain around 8 grams of milk sugars and around 104 calories. The low-fat version could contain up to 144 calories and 24 grams of sugar.
To ensure you’re really making the healthy choices in your diet when it comes to sugar, read the label and double-check fat and sugar content.
Be Careful with “Healthy” Snacks
Finally, some processed foods look healthy, but actually don’t have the benefits of less healthy-looking foods. There are plenty of “natural” and healthy granola and protein bars which contain lots of sugar, as much as your standard candy.
Try 15 free, healthy recipes for tasty foods (free download).
For example, dried fruit are said to be healthy and although they may contain nutrients, antioxidants and fibre, they are also full of natural sugar, which is bad in excess.
Check the ingredients of any product or food you’re eating. Here are some other names of sugar in popular products, including those advertised as healthy:
- Agave nectar
- Brown sugar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Malt syrup
- Cane crystals
- Maple syrup
- Cane sugar
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Coconut sugar
- Raw sugar
- Corn sweetener
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Corn syrup
- Honey Syrup
- Crystalline fructose
- Invert sugar
If you’re running out of ideas for sugar-free alternatives, try fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, jerky with no sugar added to the seasoning, nuts and seeds and veggies.
Reducing sugar in your diet will have many, many great benefits!