Sugar, a carbohydrate, has a number of advantages. It helps provide energy to the muscles, brain, and body.
However, consuming too much of it could lead to serious health risks, like abdominal obesity, cavities, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Want to change the way you consume sugar? Here are 6 tips to cut sugar out of your diet.
1. Cut down on processed foods
This is one of the first things that you should do if you want to cut down on sugar. Processed foods usually contain high sugar content, especially breakfast cereals and fruit juices.
Processed foods usually contain excessive quantities of sugar like glucose, sucrose, fructose, and maltose. When cleaning your pantry, look at the nutrition panel to check how much sugar is in your food.
Find the “carbs as sugars” part of the packaging. According to a nutritional therapist, less than 5g per 100 of sugar is in the low range, and over 22.5g per 100g is high range.
2. Always have a stock of healthy emergency snacks
Take snacking to the next level by knowing what to pack. One of the things that contribute to weight gain is unhealthy snacking, so you need to make sure that you leave the house with the good nutritious snacks.
There are a lot of options to choose from: trail mixes, organic protein bars, fresh fruit, nuts, bite-sized veggie sticks, and so on. These “emergency” snacks will save you from the dangers of hastily consuming unhealthy food.
3. Make your own dressings and sauces
This tip is for those who often make pasta, sauces or salad using canned or bottled sauces. If you notice that these sauces have a sweet, delicious kick to them, it’s because they’re loaded with sugar.
If you consume these products on a regular basis, you can easily gain a pound or two by the end of the month. Ketchup, for example, seems harmless, but did you know that a bottle of it could contain ¼ parts sugar?
If you make your own sauces, you can control the amount of sweetener that you put in—you can use healthy sweeteners like agave and honey (get the real thing so it won’t go bad) as an example. Making sauces from scratch isn’t only healthier; it’s a good cooking exercise, too
4. Go for a sugar substitute
Most of you may already know that honey is a good sugar substitute, so I won’t focus on this anymore. Instead, let me talk about another good natural alternative: agave.
This plant is not only good in terms of flavor—it also has immune-boosting and anti-microbial properties. This was actually used by the Aztecs to treat wounds.
If you want something sweet but don’t want to increase your sugar intake, this one is an excellent sugar substitute. Agave is a sweetener with low glycemic index, which means that when you consume it, it won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
Improve your protein intake
Consuming foods that are rich in protein is a great way to balance your carbohydrate/sugar intake.
Protein-rich foods slow down stomach emptying, which will help you control cravings. This way, you’ll crave sweets and unhealthy snacks less. Stock your fridge and pantry with fish, chicken, nuts, and yogurt (the unsweetened ones).
Improve your pantry.
Check your food supply and see how you can make it healthy. I suggest you get rid of all items with high sugar content, like candy, and canned/bottled condiments.
Starting from home is an excellent way to exercise discipline. You don’t need to get rid of all of them at the same time—just do it gradually!
Making a conscious move to stock your pantry with healthier alternatives is a great place to start: with healthy grains (brown rice, quinoa), whole grain flour and pasta, herbs and spices, nuts, seeds, beans.
Did you get new ideas from this post? I hope you learned a thing or two. Applying these six suggestions is a great way to start. Cutting down on sugar sure is challenging, but it is doable.
If you have comments and suggestions, send them my way. I’d love to hear from you. The comments section below is all yours!
Vivian has a huge passion for cooking. That’s why she created “Cookingispassio.com” to share her great love with other people. She believes that fine food is not only the key to promoting family cohesion, but it also helps make every member become closer.