Let’s be real. We’re eating way more sweets than we should. The CDC reports that the average American consumes between 14 and 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day (335 for men calories for men, and 230 for women). That’s over three times the daily limit.
But why should this be alarming?
Here’s the truth. Added sugar is undoubtedly one of the worst ingredients in our modern-day diet. It’s also one of the worst things you can put in your body.
Over the past decade, sugar’s impact on health has been well documented in a long chain of damning research. Research shows that excess intake affects organs throughout your body, from your heart to your liver. It increases your risks of obesity, diabetes, heart issues, kidney failure, tooth decay, metabolic syndrome, etc.
But how can you cut back when your stomach is yelling, “Chips, cookies, candy, coke!” the entire time.
Don’t lose heart if this resonates with you.
Whether you’re trying to remove sugar entirely from your diet or simply cutting back on the sweet stuff, here are some practical tips for consuming less sugar without starving to death.
Let’s get started.
NO SUGARY DRINKS
Take your first step on your sugar-free journey by avoiding all types of sweetened drinks. From sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, and even coffee—these are nothing but liquid candy, providing little to no nutritional value.
Sweet drinks are also a great source of calories, contributing a staggering 40 percent of added sugar in the American diet, according to the National Institute of Health.
And these are as bad, even worse, than other forms of junk food. According to research reported by the American Journal of Public Health, sweet drinks intake boosts the risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues. Eeeew!
Instead of guzzling loads of sugar a day, switch to unsweetened lemon tea, black coffee, or only water—it has no calories, and it’s good for you.
REMOVE THE JUNK
Save yourself the trouble—and a lot of calories—by declaring your living space a sugar-free zone.
Research says that you’re more likely to eat unhealthy food when it’s within arm’s reach, especially after a stressful day. Research has also revealed that individuals who kept junk food at home found it harder to lose or maintain weight.
Toss everything away whether your poison is cakes, potato chips, candy, sodas, or any other sugary bites.
Instead, stock up your pantry with healthier alternatives.
Here are my top picks:
- Peanuts: Six grams of carbs, two of which are fiber.
- Walnuts: four grams of carbs, two of which are fiber.
- Almonds: six grams of carbs, three of which are fiber.
- Hazelnuts:five grams of carbs, three of which are fiber.
- Cheese: Less than one gram of carbs.
AVOID WHITE BREAD
Bread is bad for you, especially white varieties made from refined grains. The stuff contains a lot of carbs and little nutrients. Have too many slices, and you’ll get fat.
Often people will have bread with other high-calorie foods, such as jam, butter, honey, or peanut butter. This results in a caloric surplus, therefore, weight gain over time.
Don’t take my word for it.
Research out of the University of Navarra in Spain reported that consuming more than four slices of white bread a day makes you more likely to be obese by 40 percent.
But I love white bread! What can I eat instead?
I know it’s hard to give up bread altogether. After all, it’s the bread (no pun intended) and butter of the western diet. But there are ways to ensure you eat less of the stuff.
Here are a few suggestions
- Avoid bread baskets at restaurants
- Pass on the sandwiches
- Choose breads with “100% whole wheat” or “100% sprouted wheat.”
- Bake low-carb bread recipes
- Stick to one slice per meal.
BECOME A LABEL DETECTIVE
Although I’d urge you to avoid foods that come in packages and/or have labels, at the very least, know what you’re putting into your body if you’d to consume processed foods.
Sugar is sneakily added to virtually all foods in the supermarket. You’ll be surprised to find it in items that don’t even taste sweet, such as barbecue sauce, instant coffee, salad dressings, and the like.
When checking food labels, look for the following words:
- Dried cane syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Fructose corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Organic cane sugar
- Brown sugar
- And other words ending in “ose.”
If two or more of these are listed as the first ingredients, don’t touch it unless you want to get fat. You should also avoid products whose sugar serving size is greater than 10 grams if you’re really serious about reducing your sugar intake. You’ll be stunned to see how many items this cuts out immediately.
There you have it! These eating tips are all you need to get started on eating less sugar. Doing so will have a drastic positive impact both on your health and well being. Don’t take my word for it. Just make sure to implement the tips you learned today ASAP. The rest is just details, as the saying.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
Keep Eating Healthy.