Most people love sugar. It’s good for giving us a boost of energy, or something to eat when you are craving sweets.
Unfortunately, as great as sugar might taste, it’s not so great for your health. Added sugars are responsible for around 17% of the total calorie intake of adults in the US, and all that sugar leads to weight gain.
With all of the potential health risks that are bundled with eating too much sugar, one could assume that extra weight gain around your hips might be enough to temper your sweet tooth. But what about heart disease, acne, diabetes and certain types of cancers?
There have been a lot of studies lately that have shown the dangers of sugar to our health. Now, more than ever, people should focus on dieting to help improve their well-being.
We’ve put together a list of tips to help you avoid eating too much sugar on a regular basis. You can find it below.
Most of the drinks we have on a daily basis contain some amount of sugar – even if you’re not aware of it.
Soda and fruit juices are packed full of sugar, which adds to your daily calorie intake. While there are some “zero sugar” options out there, it’s also worth keeping an eye out for additives which might be detrimental to your health in these substitutes.
The best way to cut down with sugar intake is to ditch the popularity of sugar-heavy coffees, sodas, and other products. Drinking water can help you stay hydrated without adding any unnecessary calories.
Try Alternative Desserts
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a dessert from time to time, but it’s important to remember these foods don’t provide much nutritional value.
Most desserts are packed full of sugar, which causes spikes in your blood sugar content, which leaves you feeling hungry and tired.
Desserts made with grain and dairy, like pies, ice cream, and doughnuts, also account for more than 18% of the added sugar in your diet.
It’s best to replace your desserts and still satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. Fruits like bananas and apples offer all the sweetness you need along with lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Check Sauce Labels
We often expect to deal with added sugar in sodas and desserts, but sugar can also hide in other foods that you may not be as aware of.
For instance, sauces like ketchup and barbecue sauce 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 reduce your intake of the sweet stuff in these products.
You can also look for alternative ways to season your foods and delight your taste buds. For instance, look at pesto, mustard, chili, herbs and spices, and even citrus fruit juices like lemon and lime.
Forget Low-Fat Foods
This might seem like an odd suggestion, but low-fat varieties of food aren’t always ideal for your sugar intake. Though some low-fat solutions can help you to lose weight, many actually contain more sugar than their full-fat counterparts.
For instance, a full-fat plain yogurt will usually contain around 8 grams of naturally occurring milk sugars and around 104 calories. The same kind of low-fat yogurt could contain up to 144 calories and 24 grams of sugar.
To ensure you’re really making the healthy choice with your food, read the label and double-check everything. You can usually compare labels quite quickly either in the store or by looking up what you want to eat online.
Be Careful with “Healthy” Snack Foods
Finally, some processed foods look healthy at first glance, but actually don’t have the same benefits of a less healthy-looking breakfast. There are tons of “natural” and healthy granola and protein bars which contain as much sugar as your standard candy bar. I know which one I would prefer to eat! Be sure to read the ingredients list and nutrition facts so you know what you’re really eating.
For instance, dried fruit is fantastic for nutrients, antioxidants and fiber, but it’s also packed full of natural sugar in concentrated levels.
Some varieties of breakfast bars are also candied with added sugar, which means you get a higher sweetness boost and a worse sugar hangover later.
Ensure that you check the ingredients on any snack food or breakfast food you’re eating.
If you’re running out of ideas for sugar-free alternatives, you can always try things like fresh fruit, which has less concentrated sugar. Other options include hard-boiled eggs, jerky with no sugar added to the seasoning, and various kinds of nuts and seeds.
Sugar-free is a major trend in the food and drink industry and people are getting creative with their alternatives. When in doubt, pick fresh fruit or hard-boiled eggs.
Your sugar reduction plan might not be seeming like the most appealing idea at this point in time, but with these helpful tips it can be made much easier to adopt. You’ll soon start to notice your new sugar-free lifestyle will even make you feel happier!