how to cut sugar from your diet
how to cut sugar from your diet;eating too much sugar is one of the worst things you can do to your body. It can have many negative effects on your health.
It has been shown to contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tooth decay (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
While sugar is naturally found in foods like fruits and vegetables, this type has little effect on your blood sugar and is considered very healthy.
Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of healthy vitamins and minerals.
The danger is from added sugars in processed foods.
The average American currently consumes around 17 teaspoons (68 grams) of added sugar per day (6).
This is way more than the upper daily limit that some experts recommend, which is 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (37 grams) for men.
Cut back on some sugar filled drinks
Actually do you know that some popular drinks contain a heap of added sugar?
Example;Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks contribute an astounding 44% of the added sugar in the American diet.
So-called “healthy” drinks, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain eye-watering amounts of it.
For example, 15.2 ounces (450 ml) of 100% apple juice contains more than 12 teaspoons (49 grams).
Your body does not recognize calories from drinks in the same way it does from food. Drinks don’t make you feel as full, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks do not eat less to compensate.
Studies have consistently shown that reducing your intake of sugary drinks can help with weight loss .
Here are some better, lower-sugar drink options:
- Water: It’s free and has zero calories.
- Sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime: Homemade soda.
- Water with mint and cucumber: Amazingly refreshing in warm weather.
- Herbal or fruit teas: Drink them hot or cold with ice.
- Tea and coffee: Stick to unsweetened tea or black or flat white coffee.
Cutting back on sugary drinks can massively reduce your sugar intake and help you lose weight.
Avoid sugar loaded desserts
Most desserts don’t provide much in the way of nutritional value.
And they are loaded with sugar, which causes blood sugar spikes and can leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving more sugar.
Grain and dairy-based desserts, such as cakes, pies, doughnuts and ice cream, account for over 18% of the intake of added sugar in the American diet.
If you really feel the need for something sweet, try these alternatives:
- Fresh fruit: Naturally sweet and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Greek yogurt with cinnamon or fruit: Rich in calcium, protein and vitamin B12.
- Baked fruit with cream: Try pears, apple or plums.
- Dark chocolate: In general, the higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar.
- A handful of dates: They’re naturally sweet and extremely nutritious.
NB:Swapping sugar-heavy desserts for fresh or baked fruit not only reduces your sugar intake, it also increases the fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your diet.
Avoid sauces with lots of sugar
However,sauces such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and sweet chili sauce are commonplace in most kitchens.Most people aren’t aware of their shocking sugar content.
A single tablespoon (15-gram) serving of ketchup may contain 1 teaspoon (4 grams).
Although, some varieties have no added sugar. Always read the label to be sure you are choosing the lowest-sugar option.
Here are some other options to flavor your food:
- Fresh or dried herbs and spices: Contain no sugar or calories and can have added health benefits.
- Fresh chili: Give your food a sugar-free kick.
- Yellow mustard: Tasty and contains virtually no sugar or calories.
- Vinegar: Sugar and calorie-free, with a zing similar to that of ketchup. Some balsamic vinegars and creams may contain sugar.
- Harissa paste: Can be bought or made and is a good replacement for sweet chili sauce.
- Pesto: Fresh and nutty, great on sandwiches or eggs.
- Mayonnaise: Although it’s sugar-free, it’s high in fat, so be cautious if you’re trying to lose weight.
Eat full fat foods
Low-fat options of your favorite foods,example;peanut butter, yogurt, salad dressing are everywhere.
And if you’ve been told that fat is bad, it may feel natural to reach for these alternatives, rather than the full-fat versions, when you’re trying to lose weight.
However, the unsettling truth is that they usually contain more sugar and sometimes more calories than their full-fat counterparts.
A 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of low-fat vanilla yogurt contains 4 teaspoons (16 grams) of sugar and 96 calories.
The same amount of full-fat plain yogurt contains just over a teaspoon (5 grams) of naturally occurring milk sugar and only 69 calories.
Example is an 8-ounce (237-ml) coffee made with whole milk and no added sugar, which contains half a teaspoon (2 grams) of naturally occurring milk sugar and 18 calories.
In contrast, the same amount of a low-fat mocha drink contains 6.5 teaspoons (26 grams) of added sugar and 160 calories.
High sugar intake has also been shown to cause weight gain, which negates the reason you might have chosen a low-fat food in the first place.
When you’re trying to cut your sugar intake, it’s often better to choose the full-fat version instead.
Eat whole foods
This whole foods have not been processed or refined,they are also free of additives and other artificial substances.
At the other end are ultra-processed foods. These are prepared foods that contain salt, sugar and fats, but also substances not usually used in home cooking.
These substances can be artificial flavors, colors, emulsifiers or other additives. Examples of ultra-processed foods are soft drinks, desserts, cereals, pizzas and pies.
Ultra-processed foods differ from standard processed foods, which usually only have minimal ingredients added, all of which you might find in a standard kitchen.
Examples of standard processed foods are simple bread and cheese.
90% of the added sugars in the average American’s diet come from ultra-processed foods, whereas only 8.7% come from foods prepared from scratch at home using whole foods.
And it isn’t just junk food that contains high amounts of it.
Seemingly healthy options like canned pasta sauce can also contain alarming amounts. One serving (128 grams) can contain nearly 3 teaspoons (11 grams).
NB:Try to cook from scratch when possible so you can avoid added sugars. You don’t have to cook elaborate meals. Simple tricks like marinating meat and fish in herbs, spices and olive oil will give you delicious results.
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