The average person nowadays eats more sugar in one day than our ancestors did in years. Abstaining from sodas or cookies may not be enough since sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste all that sweet; like breads, condiments, and sauces. Other than being high in calories and depleted from nutritional value, it encourages inflammation and infection and spikes insulin levels. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day (100 calories), most of us take in double that of added sugar, not the naturally occurring sugars found in dairy and fruit. Before you reach for that piece of cake, think how this process encourages the storage of fat and other health problems.. In fact, our sweet appetite may be hardwired. It is the first taste humans prefer from birth. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brainchemical serotonin. These carbohydrates are found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables too. One of the best ways to take control of your health is consuming less sugar, even if saying “no” to sweets isn’t that simple. Slash your sugar intake now with the 5 following tips painlessly:
1. Cut down on processed and packaged foods
Salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, soups and even pizza crusts contain sugar. Try to purchase groceries with the least amount of packaging as possible.
2. Don’t eat candy, doughnuts in office, school
At work, many offices always have on hand candy, doughnuts or other sweets to munch on. It is quite easy to consume these cheap calories, however you the price of free treats comes with poor health and belly fat. If you have a candy jar on your desk at work, school, then remove it, and you will reduce your sugar intake.
3. Know your sugars
Fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, dried cane syrup, maltodextrin and dextrose are all types of sugar hiding under their scientific names. Read grocery labels so you know what you are putting into your body. Things that you don’t think are sweet, like tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, and salad dressings can be packed with sugar. As for diet soda, sugar-free candy, and fake sugar in your latte, these can mess up your taste for sweet; your body expects calories and nutrition, but artificial sugars don’t give your body those things.
4. Many breakfast cereals are high in sugar (30 to 40% of sugar). Try switching to lower sugar cereals or with no added sugar:
– plain oats – plain whole wheat cereal biscuits – plain shredded whole grain pillows Swapping a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal for plain cereal could cut out 70g of sugar (up to 22 sugar cubes) from your diet over a week. Porridge oats contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. You can add a dried apricots or a sliced or mashed banana instead of sugar.
5. Eat regularly
Long hours between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you avoid irrational eating behavior. Make most of these choices based on protein, fiber-rich foods and grains. By identifying the sources of sugar in your diet, and deciding what to cut out completely or down on, you can still consume fruit or dairy products because these foods contain lots of nutrients that are good for us. REFERENCES
- Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.