Day : Learn To Read Labels
Start reading ingredient labels like its your job. Some flavored fruit yogurts, cereals, and prepared oatmeal pack nearly six teaspoons of added sugar per serving, which is the maximum amount of added sugar the AHA recommends for women in an entire day. Sweeten your favorite foods with whole fruit instead. Be on the lookout: Dressings, pasta sauces, crackers, ketchup, and soups are also common sources of hidden sugar. Here are some other tips to note while reviewing the panel:
- See where sugar is listed in the ingredients list. Food ingredients are listed in order of volume, from highest to lowest amount.
- Rethink the daily values. The Nutrition Facts panel displays a percent daily value for added sugar and other nutrients. Dont get thrown off by it. This value is based on a higher added-sugar allowance than the AHAs guidelines that we recommend. According to a study in the journal Circulation, the new added-sugar labeling policy may prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of diabetes and heart disease in the U.S. and could save $31 billion in healthcare costs over the next 20 years.
- Look for sugar by another name. There are at least 57 different names for it! To tell if a product contains added sugars, check the list of ingredients. First line of defense: Look out for any ingredient ending in ose, such as maltose or sucrose.
Easy Steps To Reducing Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is ruining our health . Its a fact that we all know yet all blissfully ignore time and time again. Could you find any idea about steps to reduce your sugar?
Not only is sugar making us sick, its making us overweight, overtired and prematurely old. Sugar causes problems that make not surface for many years to come so switching your diet to a low sugar diet could be the best thing you could ever do for your health.
There are many reasons to give up sugar but reasons are useless without practical tips of putting into action what they preach. These are some tips from me about steps to reduce your sugar?
1. Go all out Remove any trace of sugar from your existence.
Empty your kitchen cupboards, office desk drawers, car, bags and all top-secret stashes of all unhealthy sugar and sugary food. If you can remove any potential temptation you will be much more likely to stick it out.
2. Replace & Re-stock
Re-stock all of the above places with amazing all-natural substitutes and keep natural snacks and fruit on you at all times. Fulfill you desire to eat sugar by replacing it with natural sugars that will enable you to kick the white stuff.
3. Be prepared for the worst especially at the start
Prepare yourself mentally for the effects of a sugar rehab. The first 3 to 4 days will be the hardest. But by the end of the week youll be a whole new you. You will feel so much better for giving up sugar you will never want to go back.
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 (
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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First Thing In The Morning
Remember, breakfast shouldn’t taste like dessert.
Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day for sugar. Many breakfast foods that sound as if theyre healthy are in fact laden with sugar. In Chobani Strawberry Yogurt, for example, the second ingredient ahead of strawberries! is evaporated cane sugar. And many brands of granola have more sugar per serving than Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. In the United States, as the science writer Gary Taubes says, breakfasts have become lower-fat versions of dessert.
There are two main strategies to ensure that breakfast doesnt become a morning dessert. The first is for people who cant imagine moving away from a grain-based breakfast, like cereal or toast. If you fall into this category, you have to be quite careful, because processed grains are often packed with sugar.
A few grain-based breakfasts with no or very low sugar:
- Cheerios. Theyre quite low in sugar.
- Plain oatmeal. Flavor it with fresh fruit and, if necessary, a small sprinkling of brown sugar.
- Bread. A few breads have no sugar . A longer list of brands have only one gram, or less, per slice . Authentic Middle Eastern breads, like pita and lavash, are particularly good options and a growing number of supermarkets sell them.
- Homemade granola. You can also make your own granola and play around with the sugar amounts.
- Scrambled or fried eggs
- A small portion of well-spiced vegetables, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Better: Be Selective Of Your Sweetness
Now that youâve cut out most, if not all, of your sugary beverages, itâs time to look at your other sources of daily sugar. Instead of grabbing a cupcake to satisfy your craving, âfind sweetness elsewhere,â says Gans. âChoose fruit for dessert instead of something grain-based, or replace your midday candy bar with a flavored yogurt.â These little substitutions can not only make a big difference, but choosing an alternative will likely clue you in to just how much added sugar you were actually eating in the first place.
Make sure you have these sweet alternatives on hand by being more selective in what you buy at the store. Yes, those bags of fruity loops and chocolate-chip cookies are less expensive if you buy in bulk, but they tend to be loaded with added sugar. And once you bring them home, you may feel obligated to eat them . âDonât over-purchase,â says Blake. âInstead of loading up on packaged cookies, buy a gourmet one from a bakery as a treat. In addition to upping the quality — itâs probably made with better ingredients — youâll also feel more satisfied.â Visualize yourself eating a few bites of that gourmet cookie, versus holding a bag of sugary cereal hostage on your couch. The choice seems pretty clear.
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Be Wary Of Packaged Bars
We love the grab-and-go convenience of them, but granola and energy bars supply a lot of the added sugar in our diets. So scan for ones that are low in sugar and as minimally processed as possible . They often taste just as good and can save you 5 to 15 grams of added sugars per bar! Even better, put a handful of nuts, seeds and oats, plus some unsweetened coconut flakes and a few dark chocolate chips in a travel container for a snack that’s packed with nutrients, protein, fiber and very little sugar.
If you want to go above and beyond, make your own. It’s a great way to keep sugar in check and customize the flavors to meet your preference.
Good: Substitute At Least One Sweetened Beverage
One of the easiest — yet most significant — changes you can make is to âcut out the fruit punch or sweetened soda,â says Keri Gans, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. Start off slow, replacing one sweetened drink per day. âOpt for water flavored with fresh fruit or a hint of fruit juice,â says Gans. âI also think diet soda is OK, as long as youâre only having one per day.â
Once you feel comfortable, keep swapping sweetened drinks until you cut them out completely. After you begin, âyouâll start changing your palate,â says Blake, and those sweetened drinks may begin to actually taste too sweet. Blake also suggests filling ice-cube trays with lemonade or orange juice. After the cubes harden, add them to your glass of still or sparkling water. âI also love those water pitchers with fruit infusions,â says Blake. âBuy one! It makes you feel like youâre at a spa, pampering yourself.”
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Cooking Helps You Reduce Added Sugars
Use fruits and spices to add flavor at breakfast rather than sugar. Rather than having sweetened oatmeal packets, make plain oatmeal and flavor with blueberries and cinnamon. I even like adding a pinch of cardamom for an extra flavor-punch, McGrane said. You can also use sliced fruit instead of sugary jams on your toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sliced strawberries are my favorite, but peach, banana, and apple slices all work well, too, McGrane said.
Opt for homemade rather than store-bought baked goods. This gives you full control over the amount of sugar in your desserts. In most recipes you can reduce the sugar by a third without causing a noticeable difference in texture, McGrane explained.
Make your own granola or protein bars. I like making chocolate chip cookie dough bites that are sweetened only with medjool dates, almond extract and mini dark chocolate chips, McGrane said.
Create your own sauces and salad dressings. As condiments and sauces are often a hidden source of sugar in our diets, you can make your own versions while controlling the amount of sugar you add.
Try using salsa as your condiment instead of ketchup. Two tablespoons of standard salsa contains 1 gram of sugar, compared to 6 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons of ketchup, McGrane explained.
Switch To Natural Zero
There are several artificial sweeteners on the market that are totally free of sugar and calories, such as sucralose and aspartame.
However, these artificial sweeteners may be linked to imbalances in gut bacteria that can lead to poorer blood sugar control, increased food cravings, and weight gain. For this reason, it may be best to avoid artificial sweeteners too (
They are all naturally derived, although they do go through some processing before they arrive at your local grocery store. Still, research on these sugar alternatives is ongoing.
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Who Is At Risk For Prediabetes
Around 1 out of every 3 adults has prediabetes. Because there are usually no clear symptoms of prediabetes, many people with the condition do not know they have it.
While researchers don’t fully understand what causes prediabetes , it generally develops in people who already have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding to insulin and your body can’t produce enough insulin to keep up.
Prediabetes is more common in individuals who:
- Have a history of heart disease or stroke
- Are 45 years or older
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome
- Have a history of gestational diabetes
- Have metabolic syndrome
If you are at risk for prediabetes, you can prevent or delay its onset by eating healthy, engaging in regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Check Labels For Added Sugar
It’s important to distinguish natural sugars from added sugars. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products all contain natural sugars.
The first step in reducing sugar intake is to learn the names of various types of sugar that you may come across on food labels, as in the list that follows.
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Coffee And Tea Drinks
Many people are surprised to learn just how sweet coffee and tea concoctions can be. For instance, a medium Frozen Pumpkin Swirl from Dunkin has over 32 teaspoons of added sugars, which is way above the daily limit.
Heres how you can dial down the sugar in coffee drinks:
- Stick with traditional brews. Plain coffee and tea, along with traditional lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos are unsweetened drinks. Once you get into flavored versions with extras like pumps of syrup, whipped toppings and sugary drizzles your drink crosses the line to dessert.
- Watch out for added sugars in plant-based milk. The ones used in coffee shops are often sweetened. For instance, at Starbucks, a grande coconut milk latte has 10 grams of added sugar the oat milk version has 22 grams an almond milk latte has 8 1/2 grams whereas the standard latte made with dairy milk has none.
- Use flavor boosters. Cinnamon, vanilla extract, cardamom, nutmeg and unsweetened coconut or almond milk enhance the sweetness of coffee and tea drinks without sugar.
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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Simple Ways To Stop Eating Lots Of Sugar
Eating too much sugar may be devastating for your health.
Added sugar, which is the sugar found in sodas, sweets, and other processed foods, has been shown to contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and tooth decay .
Research suggests that most Americans eat anywhere from 5592 grams of added sugar daily, which is equivalent to 1322 teaspoons of table sugar each day representing about 1216% of daily calorie intake .
This is significantly more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of getting less than 10% of your daily calories from added sugars .
The World Health Organization goes a step further, recommending less than 5% of calories from added sugar for optimal health .
However, it can be challenging to slash added sugars from your diet. This article lists 13 simple ways to stop eating so much sugar.