5 Ways To Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Do you know how much sugar you consume every day? You may be avoiding the obviously sweetened foods throughout the day, but that does not mean sugar is absent from your diet. Apart from cookies, pastries, and soft drinks, many other foods contain a certain amount of sugar. Sugar can be one of the most damaging elements for your body if consumed in excess. Even foods that you consider healthy might have sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that sugar is unhealthy. It is a type of carbohydrate that can give you instant energy. There is nothing wrong if you want to indulge in it in limited amounts. However, you might be unaware that you are consuming too much sugar each day.

Consuming too much sugar might cause metabolic dysfunction. Not just that, excess sugar in your system can lead to weight gain, abdominal obesity, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure among many other disorders. If you want to keep a check on your health, you need to tackle those cravings and avoid sugary foods.

HOW TO CURB SUGAR CRAVINGS
Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, it is common to have cravings for sugar. Having meals at regular intervals can stop your body from getting desperate for a quick energy boost. If you skip meals, you might have low blood sugar levels, which cause the body to crave for more sugar. One way of keeping your blood sugar stable is by consuming protein. A zero sugar protein ready-to-drink  shake, such as Lean Body® RTDs makes it easy. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom can add sweetness to your dish even when used in limited quantities. Always keep a check of what food you are consuming and regulate your daily intake of sugar. Here are a few simple ways by which you can regulate your sugar intake in everyday life.

1. Choose Fruits Over Juices
We often prefer to have fruit juices rather than eating the whole fruit. Even if it is homemade, it contains extra added sugars to improve its taste. Even though your favorite fruit juice might be a staple part of your breakfast, it can be unhealthy for you. Plus when you opt to just eat the fruit, you will avoid the temptation to have more juice. If you usually go for packaged fruit juices, try to opt for fruits instead. Packaged fruit juices often have preservatives and excess sugars that can cause damage to your health in the long run.

2. Cut Down On Sauces
Agreed, most dishes seem incomplete without the right sauces to go with them. But, sometimes, you should do yourself one good and skip it. If you thought sauces were just tangy and spicy, you are wrong. They are loaded with sugar. Be it tomato-based sauces or pasta or spaghetti sauces, they all have sugar to give them that extra boost of flavor. So, the next time you go overboard with your sauces, keep in mind the sugar content present in it.

3. Avoid Junk Food
Junk food in itself is a package of unhealthy factors. It provides too much fat and calories but not enough nutrients. Fast foods have large amounts of added sugars and are highly processed. One of the leading factors of increased cases of obesity is due to junk food. Every ounce of your platter of junk, including the beverage, is overloaded with sugars apart from other harmful properties. Hence, it is always advisable to consume junk food less often.

4. Jams & Fruit Spreads
We cannot imagine our bread without a delicious layer of jam. But did you know that your fruit jam is not all natural? It has a ton of preservatives and added sugar to boost the flavor. That’s right, even if the spread has fruit and nuts; it has way too much sugar content. Even your regular chocolate spread is full of sugar, and it can give you unhealthy fat. Make sure to always opt for sugar-free jam or spread for your bread. This will ensure more healthy ingredients, and you can enjoy the flavor without having to compromise. Instead of purchasing you can always prepare these at home and regulate the amount of sugar that goes into it.

5. Have Unflavored Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of calcium and other nutrients. It is okay to say yes to yogurt as long as it is plain. Flavored yogurt contains sugar and other harmful preservatives. To boost the flavor of fruity yogurts, brands often add artificial sweeteners that are unhealthy. You can instead choose plain yogurt and add fruits and natural sweeteners like honey to improve its flavor. Most common yogurts with flavors and added sweetness add up to almost half of your daily recommended sugar intake with just a couple of spoonfuls.

CONCLUSION
Consuming a lot of sugar can cause much harm to the body, yet we continue to do it without much care. Instead of opting for sweet treats, choosing healthy alternatives can make all the difference. Apart from cutting down on sweets, candies, and other obviously sweet food items, you should always keep a check on other foods that have potentially high sugar content. Also, when you go for packaged food, always check the label to see the sugar content. With all these points in mind, you can confidently enjoy your food without worrying about excess sugar intake.


References:
http://www.active.com/food-and-nutrition/articles/5-simple-ways-to-reduce-your-sugar-intake
https://www.thecandidadiet.com/tips-to-reduce-your-sugar-intake/
http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/sugar-free-fruits-and-vegetables/
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/19/10-easy-ways-to-reduce-yo_n_3769577.html

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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.