Phase : Maintain Your New Way Of Eating
Time: The rest of your life
Why: This is a way of eating, not a temporary diet. That means once you cut out these sugary, carb-rich foods, youll continue eating this way for the rest of your life. If you only eat this way temporarily and eventually go back to your old ways of eating, you can be certain that the addiction will rope you back in pretty quickly. The four phases just described lay the foundation for a healthy eating style that you can maintain forever. The key to achieving your goals lies in your knowledge of where sugars exist and what you can replace them with, and the consistent desire and dedication to follow what you know.
How: Remember, each phase takes time. Follow the allotted time guidelinesas a minimum. Be patient with yourself. If you find that one phase takes longer than what is listed or than you expected, thats fine! The important point is to achieve the goal of that phase, not how quickly you do it. Try to identify why certain phases are more difficult than others. This may help you to troubleshoot and figure out ways to transition through that phase that are specific to your needs. Invest the time you need it will be well worth it in the long run.
Ways To Reduce The Sugar In Your Diet And Lose Weight
Our approach at Hinge Health goes beyond just prescribing physical therapy exercises. Health coaches, like me, also work with our participants to look at their chronic pain more holistically. For example, we looked at other factors like weight, diet, and lifestyle to tackle chronic back pain more effectively.
Hinge Health participant, Brian, came into the program with persistent back pain. As Brians Health Coach, I helped him address his back pain by building a daily habit of movement through Hinge Healths clinical care model involving virtual 1-on-1 physical therapists and clinicians, behavioral health coaching, and sensor technology.
During one of our coaching sessions, I discussed with Brian other lifestyle and diet issues that might also be affecting his chronic back pain. We honed in on Brians goal to lose weight. Brian shared, Ive already been trying to make a conscious effort to avoid fried food. I was thinking that maybe I need to cut back on sugar, too. I drink coffee, but I usually just freehand how much sugar I put in it. He wanted to cut back on his sugar intake, but he wasnt sure how to get started.
Though using small amounts of sugar in your diet is okay, many of us are eating far too much. Sugar is abundant in our food supply and shows up in many places including sodas, coffee drinks, energy and sports drinks, juices, condiments, processed foods, baked goods, and yogurt. It is easy to eat too much without realizing how it contributes to weight gain.
Monitor Your Sleep Patterns
Whether you sleep well or not, your blood sugar increases every night as a part of the natural human circadian rhythm cycle. Many studies have confirmed that short sleepers alter your appetite-regulating hormones. These people crave added sugar, have irregular eating habits, and snack on unhealthy food items.
Getting a good nights sleep helps you lower stress levels, improve your memory, and help you make healthier food and lifestyle choices. It will also be beneficial for your health to avoid daytime napping.
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Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
Most added sugars in the American diet come from sugary drinks sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and others .
Additionally, drinks that many people perceive as healthy, such as smoothies and fruit juices, can still contain astounding amounts of added sugar.
For example, 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail contains more than 7 teaspoons of sugar .
Additionally, your body doesnt recognize calories from drinks in the same way as those from food. Calories from drinks are absorbed quickly, resulting in a rapid increase in your blood sugar level.
Drinks also dont make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume lots of calories from drinks dont eat less to compensate (
Reducing Sugar In Your Diet
Reducing consumption of added sugar is a good place to start in improving the overall nutritional punch of your diet. This Harvard Medical School Guide will help you gain a deeper understanding of the different formsof sugar, what foods contain significant amounts of added sugar, how sugaris metabolized by the body, and the health risks it poses when consumed to excess. We also offer practical suggestions from Harvard experts on how to reduce your intake.
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Top Foods With Fruit Rather Than Syrups
Pancakes and syrup is certainly a dynamic duo, but if you want to stop eating so much sugar, you’re going to need to separate the two. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to eat bland pancakes. Top your flapjacks with fresh fruit for a nice touch of sweetness. You can also make pancakes with ricotta cheese and lemon zest for a fresh take on the breakfast staple.
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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Supplements That Show Promise In Lowering Blood Sugar Without Medication
There are a lot of claims about supplements that can help lower blood sugar naturally. But it can be tough to know what works and what doesnt.
In the following list, weve highlighted which supplements have actual clinical studies backing these claims, and which ones are still inconclusive.
It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about starting a supplement, as certain supplements are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and can interact with your medications.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a naturally-occurring compound produced in animals and plants.
This compound plays an important role in several metabolic functions and is being investigated as a potential therapeutic in many different conditions. One of those conditions is diabetes.
Research in the laboratory environment has shown that Alpha-Lipoic Acid may influence how much sugar cells uptake and may, therefore, affect blood sugar levels.
It is also a known antioxidant thats been shown to reduce some of the side effects often observed in diabetes.
Whether this compound can be effective as a supplement for lowering blood sugar levels remains to be seen. However, these early studies indicate that further research is warranted42.
American ginseng is a plant native to North America which has been shown to have potential blood sugar-lowering effects.
However, the relative concentration of compounds within the ginseng appears to influence its effectiveness.
Simple Ways To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals
Lets talk about blood sugar, or blood glucose. Maybe youve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes and youre not sure where to start. Or maybe youve just been hearing some buzz about blood sugar-friendly foods and youre wondering if you should pay attention.
When blood sugar spikes after eating, it can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and moody. Over time, chronic blood sugar issues can put you at risk for conditions like kidney disease, heart disease and even dementia.
The good news is, you can improve your blood sugar control today with a few simple steps.
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You Don’t Have To Give Up Your Favorite Treats
Even though grandmas carrot cake might have more calories or sugar than youre comfortable with, you can modify the recipe to suit your needs. Nawab says, At Indie Fresh, we start with the full-fat recipe and start taking things away and removing things that are unnecessary. Then, we have the essence of the recipe and we build on those flavors.
Get Started Cutting Down On Sugar With These Tips:
- Toss the table sugar , syrup, honey and molasses. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
- Swap out the soda. Water is best, but if you want something sweet to drink or are trying to lose weight, diet drinks can be a better choice than sugary drinks.
- Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice.
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How To Reduce Sugar In Your Diet According To A Chef
Akhtar Nawab is the owner and chef of Indie Fresh, a fast-casual restaurant in New York City that makes broth, soups, protein bowls, paleo burgers, shakes, and fresh-pressed juices. Everything on the menu is free of gluten and dairy, but still manages to pack major flavor.
At Cooking Lights 30th Anniversary celebration, which was sponsored by Chobani and held at the Museum of Food & Drink in Brooklyn, we asked Chef Nawab how he maximizes flavor of healthy food while dialing back on sugar. Here are his tips.
Ways To Cut Down On Sugar
We know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for our health. Research has shown that consuming high amounts of sugar contributes to conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. While natural sugars are found in fruits and vegetables, these are considered to be healthy as they come with a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, meaning that they often have less of an effect on blood sugar.
The real issue is added sugars, such as those found in highly-processed foods like white sugar and corn syrup. These are often snuck into refined foods to improve the taste and can quickly add up if you’re not careful.
Whether you’re looking for sweet substitutes, sugar-free baking guides or simply want to find out your recommended daily amounts, find all the answers in our sugar hub.
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What Causes Blood Sugar Spikes
First, let me define what a blood sugar spike is and how it happens. A blood sugar spike occurs when your blood glucose level rises right after eating. This is actually a normal occurrence in all people after eating foods that contain carbohydrates. When this happens, two important reactions take place in the pancreas: an immediate release of insulin and an immediate release of a hormone called amylin.
Insulin works quickly to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. This takes just a matter of minutes. The amylin helps prevent food from reaching the small intestine too fast . Most of the time, the after-meal blood glucose rise is temporary, even hardly noticeable.
But for people with diabetes, these normal post-meal reactions are hampered. In people with Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but the cells dont respond to it as they should. This is referred to as insulin resistance.
Since the glucose cant get into cells, the blood sugar level quickly rises. Diabetics who are on insulin therapy typically experience a significant delay in the reduction of blood sugar because it can take up to 15 minutes for the insulin to begin working. Diabetics also either do not produce amylin at all, or not in sufficient quantities. This causes their food to be digested much faster.
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
Whether you have symptoms of high blood sugar or youve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering how to lower blood sugar naturally. While blood sugar may be improved with home remedies, people with diabetes should not stop taking their medication or change their dosage without talking to their healthcare provider. But in addition to medication, you can try these natural remedies for lowering your blood sugar. Also consider the opposite, if you do not follow these healthful ways to lower blood sugar, the medication that your physician prescribes may never effectively control your blood sugars.
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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.
Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
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Get Rid Of Sugary Cereals
Even healthy-sounding cereals are packed with sugar. Kellogg’s Cracklin Oat Bran, for example, has 19 grams in a cup! That’s more than what you’d find in a bag of Pretzel M& M’s! Next time you hit the supermarket, look for a box with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving that provides a hefty dose of fiber. Some of our go-to healthy cereals include Fiber One Original Bran Cereal and Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran . Add natural sweetness and flavor to your bowl by pouring in some fresh berries or shredded, unsweetened coconut for a healthy breakfast!
What Exactly Is Sugar
Sugar is the broad name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Three of the most common are:
- Fructose: It is a natural sugar found in fruit, honey, agave, and most root vegetables. Though its a natural form, consuming it in excess can be bad for health. Its also commonly added to processed foods in high-fructose corn syrup, about 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
- Sucrose: Its a scientific name for white table sugar that many Americans use daily. Its a natural form of carbs found in many fruits, grains, and vegetables. Its also added to processed foods, such as ice-cream, cookies, candy, breakfast cereals, soda, canned foods, and other sweetened beverages.
- Glucose: Glucose is a simple sugar your body creates with the food your intake. Its your bodys preferred carb-based energy source when your body starts accumulating too much glucose in your system, the likelihood of blood sugar reaching to unhealthy level increases.
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How Much Is Too Much
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people older than 2 years should keep sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories pdf iconexternal icon. For example, if an adult consumes 2,000 calories a day, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars. Or, if toddlers consume 1,200 calories a day, no more than 120 calories should come from added sugars.
Check Yourself Out When Grocery Shopping
Is your obsession with Reese’s and M& M’s some of the biggest sources of sugar in your diet? Using the self-checkout kiosks at the grocery store can help you keep these items out of your shopping cart so you can stop eating sugar. According to a study by IHL Consulting Group, impulse purchases dipped 32.1 percent for womenand 16.7 percent for menwhen they were the ones to scan their items and swipe their credit card. Although not all impulse buys are bad for your belly, a whopping 80 percent of candy purchases are unplanned. Switching up your routine can help you slash sugar from your diet and may just be your ticket to slim-down success.
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