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How To Lower Sugar Intake

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Look For Hidden Sugar In Foods

3 ways to reduce your sugar intake

Sugar is hiding in all sorts of processed foods.

If you’ve never paid attention to food labels, now is the time. You may be surprised that most foods, even those you may not expect — like salad dressing, sauces and soups — contain added sugar. It’s important to read labels on everything you eat and cook with. If one of the first few ingredients is sugar, that’s a clue that the food contains more sugar than it should.

This also includes “healthy” foods like protein bars, granola bars and cereals — these products are often loaded with sugar. Don’t let marketing messages about foods being “healthy” or “natural” keep you from checking the label before you buy or eat it.

Satisfy Your Cravings With Naturally Sweet ‘whole’ Foods

Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that taste sweet naturally and provide you with a ton of nutrition compared with food with added, processed sugar. When you’re cutting back on sugar, don’t be afraid to add in more naturally sweet foods like fruit or sweet potatoes. That way you won’t feel as deprived since you still have sweeter foods in your diet.

You may still miss your candy, dessert or other sweet treats, but over time you’ll find that you enjoy the naturally sweet foods more. When I gave up all added sugar on the Whole30 program, I remember over the course of the 30 days that fruit and other naturally sweet foods tasted like candy. But I wouldn’t have said the same thing if I was still eating sugar or candy. Your taste buds can change over time depending on what you eat regularly.

Read more: What are ‘superfoods’?

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Put The Kibosh On Condiments

Dressings, sauces, and other condiments may hinder your healthy-eating efforts. One tablespoon of ketchup, for example, has 4 grams of sugar, according to U.S. dietary guidelines. Many condiments can be high in sugar, but its tricky because there are essentially more than 60 different names for sugar, says Ewoldt. So get to know foods with hidden sugars.

When youre looking at the label, it might not say sugar, but it could say high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, rice syrup, or molasses, which are all essentially sugar. In fact, there are at least 40 sneaky nicknames for sugar you might not recognize. Drizzle leafy greens with olive oil or spread avocado on a turkey burger to avoid going overboard with sugar. Heres what happens to your skin when you eat sugar.

Also Check: How To Reduce Diabetes Instantly

Swap Marinara Sauce For Fresh Tomatoes

There’s really no need to add sugar to tomato sauce because, well, the fruit is naturally sweet. But that doesn’t stop food manufacturers from loading their cans to the brim with the stuff. Since store-bought tomato sauce is often made with things like dehydrated tomatoes and cheap oils, they rely on the sweet stuff to amp up the flavor. Your best bet? Switch to a no-sugar-added option like Ragu’s No Sugar Added Tomato Basil or combine chopped fresh tomatoes with olive oil and spices in a frypan to create a quick pasta topper right on your stovetop.

Easy Ways To Cut Back On Sugar

7 Steps to Reduce your Sugar Intake &  Break the Bad Habit

Trying to get down to the recommended level of sugar all at once can feel overwhelming. Follow this plan and you can easily reduce your sugar intake over the course of a few weeks while still indulging your sweet tooth on occasion.

Step 1: Know how much you eat. Take a look at what treats you have during your average day, and be mindful of how it adds up, Dunn says. Notice habits you might be able to adjustsuch as always grabbing a doughnut when you buy a cup of coffee in the morning, reaching for a sugary pick-me-up in the afternoon, and having dessert every night. Cutting out just one of those each week will help with your overall sugar intake.

Then focus on how sweet your food tastes. So many foodseven savory ones like bread and salad dressingcontain added sugars, and thats trained our taste buds to expect that sweetness in nearly everything we eat, says Rachel Cheatham, PhD, an adjunct assistant professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. As you cut back, you may start to notice that things like cake taste overly sweet and that foods you never thought of as sweetlike carrots and appleshave a pleasantly sweet taste, she says. As you become more aware of the sweetness in foods, your preferences will begin to shift.

Editors Note: A version of this article also appeared in the August 2021 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

Sally Wadyka

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How To Quit Sugar

You know in your heart when youre eating too much sugar. You want to cut down but you dont know how to go about it without further fuelling cravings. But you can do it. Heres how to quit sugar.

First, remove all sugary treats from your home. Replace them with healthier sugary options, such as fruit and low-sugar alternatives. Fill your biscuit tin with nuts and swap the sugar in your porridge for a teaspoon of honey.

Next, think about your diet. The key is to plan ahead, advises Adrienne. Start reducing the amount of processed and packaged foods that you eat, including snack bars, chocolate and bread. Buy in lots of one ingredient foods, such as meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, veg and fruit and start to cook from scratch, she says.

Eat three balanced meals around 4-5 hours apart throughout the day to support healthy digestion and reduce insulin spikes, she continues. This may be difficult when you first quit sugar so eating a small snack in between meals can be helpful. This can include fruit to satisfy sugar cravings, but eat it with some protein or fat, such as a few nuts and/or seeds, nut butter, yoghurt or hummus. Many of these healthy snacks are suitable. This sugar-free diet plan can also make a difference

Walking is a great way to distract yourself from cravings.

Its also important to relax as anxiety is often a trigger. Stress can have a major impact on cravings as we seek out comfort foods, says Rob.

Desserts And Sweet Snacks

The goal isnt to eliminate dessert from your life, but to bring your added sugar intake into a healthier range. That might mean eating dessert a little less often, making some healthier sweet swaps, and of course, managing the added sugars that are creeping into your diet in other areas.

Here are some ideas related to treats:

  • Have dark chocolate. It tends to have less sugar than other desserts and it has potential health benefits. In one small study, people who ate dark chocolate reported fewer cravings for sweet, salty or fatty foods. Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants compounds that help offset the cellular damage that contributes to the development of many diseases.
  • Enjoy fruit. Fruit contains natural sugars and its the type of sweetness our bodies were designed to enjoy. You can doctor up plain fruit so it resembles dessert by sprinkling cinnamon onto banana slices, broiling a grapefruit or sauteing a chopped apple sprinkled with pie spices, for example. Adding some nuts or seeds or a spoonful of yogurt can make it feel even more special.
  • Be mindful with sweets. If you think about it, there are some desserts you love and some you can live without. Pause and think about where a treat falls on this spectrum and consider skipping those that arent that enjoyable. And when you decide to have something sweet, be present, eat it from a plate or bowl and take your time to enjoy it.

Read Also: How To Come Sugar Disease

Choose Fresh Or Frozen Fruit Over Canned Varieties

Some varieties of fruit are better choices than others.

While canned fruit can be a nutritious choice, many varieties have the fruit mixed with syrups . Fresh and frozen fruits, on the other hand, simply lean on their own natural sweetness and dont contain any added sugars.

If you are choosing canned fruit, opt for the ones that are canned with 100% fruit juice instead of heavy or light syrup. If fresh or frozen are options, those are better choices.

Does Sugar Detox Help


Its important first to understand why removing sugar from our diet is a good thing. You dont have to be a sugar addict to want a break from sugar. The reason for going on a sugar detox is to purge your system of sugar. Most recognize it as a way to lose weight, but there are many side effects of too much sugar which can lead to long-term health problems such as diabetes.

First, discover the root cause of your sweet or carb cravings. Backtrack your daily routine and start cutting out one sweet food from your diet every week. For instance, put less to no sugar in your morning coffee, no bread with dinner and no dessert post-dinner. You will be surprised to see how your body responds to these changes almost immediately.

Whether you choose to go cold turkey or opt for incremental method to cut down on your sugar intake, these six nutritional and lifestyle tips can help you remove sugar from your diet:

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Eat More Fat And Protein

You cant just cut out the sugar and not replace it with something because there will be a hole in your nutrition. Instead, replace it with foods and nutrients that are going to benefit your health through the day, weeks, months and years. You could choose to fill that void by eating more veggies, sweet potatoes and rice but I am a big fan of sustainable energy sources like avocados, PeanutButter and cheese. We also want to up our protein intake because it helps us to keep our muscles healthy and maintain the mass we have.

Make It A Family Practice

Too much sugar isnt good for humans, no matter what age. We all know that it affects children by making them hyper-active. Families that eat scheduled, intentional, unprocessed, fresh foods will see everyone benefit. From sleep to mood, too much sugar can be a trigger for what is making us feel sick and tired. Parents who promote healthy eating as a family, benefit from controlling how our bodies are fueled. Children who learn to eat healthy, low sugar meals take those good habits into adulthood. Everyone benefits when we remove sugar from our diet!

Recommended Reading: Sugar Tablets Side Effects

Have A Spoonful Of Peanut Butter

After a sugar binge, you may want to swear off all calories. However, eating food with other nutrients helps ward off that undesirable sugar crash caused by quick digestion. A spoonful of peanut butter or handful of nuts gives you fat and protein to slow digestion, says Jennifer Powell Bolton, PhD, RDN, a professor of nutrition at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Or try hummus with vegetables, which have fiber that helps slow the absorption of simple sugars. Not sure if youre nearing the limit? These are the nine clear signs youre eating too much sugar.

Foods That Have Surprisingly High Sugar Content

Pin on Health Food Info

Stein warns of us of three foods that have a notorious amount of added sugar, Products that have more sugar than you might realize are peanut butter, yogurt, and tomato sauce. While all three of these products may be high in sugar, they dont have to be! Peanut butter should solely contain peanuts. Yogurt will have some natural sugars from the milk, but does not need added sugar.

Instant oatmeal and coleslaw show up on Warrens top three culprits for hidden sugar, Sometimes you think youre making a good choice when eating instant oatmeal. However, many brands have 12 grams of sugar or more. As for coleslaw, you may be thinking you are eating salad, yet most store bought varieties of coleslaw add a load of sugar. Helen West R.D. has an extensive list of these foods in her 18 foods that surprisingly carry added sugar. These include: protein bars, bbq sauce, ketchup, sports drinks, and bottled fruit juices.

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Why Should I Cut Down On Sugar

Simply put, habitually consuming added sugar isnt healthy. Our bodies do a great job of converting whole foods into a usable form of sugar that provides us with everyday energy. Therefore added sugar is not a necessity if youre packing your diet with nutrient-dense, healthy foods.

For one, overconsumption of sugar is not good for our waistlines. According to Haley Stein R.D. of the NY Nutrition Group, Its important for individuals to consider lowering their daily refined sugar intake because it only provides empty calories. Empty calories come from foods that are high in calories but provide little-to-no nutritional value. Added sugar not only makes it harder to have that lean physique, it also increases the risk of preventable disease.

Individuals consuming an excess of refined sugars are at higher risk for obesity and developing heart disease, says Stein. Beth Warren R.D. concurs, Consuming too much sugar over time can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. A high sugar intake also promotes chronic inflammation inside the body, which is linked to most diseases including heart disease and cancer. The American Heart Association recommends staying under 150 calories of added sugar each day for men, and under 100 calories for women.

Learn And Recognize All The Different Names For Sugar

Now that you know which ingredients to look for, don’t stop there. There are over 56 different names for added sugar including:

  • cane sugar
  • brown sugar
  • sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltoseor any word ending in “-ose”

Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So, the closer these sugar ingredients are to the beginning of the list, the more of that sweetener is used in the food.

If several forms of sugars appear on the label, think twice about making it a regular addition to your diet. Sometimes, manufacturers will use several forms of sugar on the label to prevent a single source from appearing close to the beginning of the ingredient list. In this case, check the nutrition facts panel to see just how much sugar is in the food.

To find out exactly how much added sugar, look at a similar, unflavored version of the product you’re interested in buying and see how they differ. For example, if a serving of plain oatmeal has 1 gram of sugar and a flavored version has 16 grams, it’s safe to assume you’d be consuming 15 grams of added sugar. When it comes to candy and sweets, assume all of it’s the added variety.

Also Check: Sugar Increase Symptoms

Ways To Remove Sugar From Your Diet

To remove sugar from your diet is a great way to improve many health problems. Sugar has made its way into everyday items that you dont even associate with sugary food, and many Americans are overeating sugar. Most of us are consuming 2230 teaspoons that is about 88120 grams of sugar each day. It is substantially higher than the recommended limit, i.e., six teaspoons for females and nine teaspoons for males.

Once in a while, we all have turned to a decadent dessert, bought packaged processed food for convenience, or ate out to reward ourselves for a hard work day. Sugar cravings are common, and you probably have heard of the term sugar rush, which is what happens when we consume a large amount of sugar on an empty stomach. The sugar goes right to our brain.

Eating sugar fuels every cell in the brain which programs it as a reward-seeking behavior. To remove sugar from your diet is going to take intentional eating and planning.

Day : Watch The Booze

The Tips You Need To Reduce Sugar Intake And Lose Weight Now!

Red wine may have phytochemicals, but the truth is that when we drink alcohol, it turns to sugar in our bodies. If you decide to have a drink, stick to a 12-ounce light beer, a small glass of wine, or one shot of distilled spirits sans mixers. Most mixerseven tonic watershave added sugar or are fruit juicebased, so avoid those. Instead, opt for a fun mocktail like sparkling water and a splash of fruit juice and herbs.

Recommended Reading: How To Reduce High Sugar Level Immediately

Don’t Drink Your Sugar

You know that soda is potum non grata, but other sugary beverages may slip past your nutritional radar. Coffee drinks like a bottled Frappuccino can have 34 grams of added sugar, and one 20-ounce sports drink packs as much as 48 gramswhich is just about 100% of your daily limit. “Sports drinks serve a purpose for elite athletes, or let’s face it, when we’re sick with the flu or prepping for a colonoscopy. But for everyone else, just choose water,” says Nancy Farrell Allen, M.S., RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And let’s not forget cocktails. Alcohol itself contains no or very little sugar, but when you add the coffee liqueur to your ‘tinithat’s when the grams can go through the roof.

By eliminating even one sugary beverage a day and instead sipping water with a squeeze of lime or orange for flavor, you can dramatically reduce your sugar intakeespecially given that sweetened beverages are the single largest source of added sugar in the American diet, says Micha. You could also try drinking seltzer in fun flavors, infusing your water with fresh fruit or eating an apple or orange alongside a glass of ice water. We love the Strawberry, Basil & Lime Infused Water pictured above.

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