In case you haven’t heard, eating sugar is one of the worst things you can do. It has so many negative effects on your overall health. It contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, vascular diseases, tooth decay, cancer, and obesity.
If we all know this, why do we still consume it? Studies have shown that eating sugar is addictive. One tiny morsel and you’re hooked, but it’s not worth all the damage it could potentially cause.
While it can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. Besides, there’s a difference between natural sugars and processed sugar. The kind found in nature has little effect on our blood sugar levels and is widely considered to be healthy to eat because the fruits and vegetables in which they’re found also contain valuable vitamins and minerals. The danger is when you eat processed foods with added sugars. Those are not good for you.
The average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That’s way more than the recommended upper daily limit of sugar that experts say we should consume. According to the experts, women should consume less than six teaspoons of sugar per day and men should consume less than nine per day.
How do you cut back on the amount of sugar you consume?
1. Avoid sugar – filled drinkslike sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks. You don’t need them. Watch out for the so-called healthy drinks like smoothies. They often have more sugar than a soda. Keep in mind that your body doesn’t recognize calories from drinks in the same way it does food. Drinks don’t tend to make you feel full, so we inevitably end up drinking more than we need to. Drink water, tea, or black coffee instead.
2. Skip the sugar – loaded desserts:Opt for a piece of fruit instead. You don’t need the blood sugar spikes or the empty calories.
3. Skip the sauces: Most sauces, like ketchup and barbecue sauce, require sugar for flavor. A single servingcan have as many as one teaspoon of sugar. A dollop or two more and you’ve exceeded your limit for the day.
4. Eat full-fat foods: They’re better for you. Peanut butter, salad dressing, and yogurt are healthy natural alternatives and will keep you full longer.
5. Skip processed foods: Whole foods are much better for you as they are free of additives and artificial ingredients.
6. Read food labels: Sugar has many names, many of which end in -ose. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, chances are you shouldn’t eat it.
7. Bag healthy snacks and carry them with you: They’ll help you resist sugar cravings and will stave off hunger.
8. Breakfast foods can be a nightmare: Start your day with a healthy full-fat meal. You will stay full longer and can avoid copious amounts of sugar in your diet.
9. Eat high-protein foods and fats to help reduce hunger and reduce your food intake.
10. Try natural sweeteners like stevia: Read the labels. Use it in place of sugar.
By Eileen Smith