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5 Simple Ways to Cut Back on Sugar
Unless you’re actively making an effort to eliminate all sugar from your diet, it’s very likely that you’re eating too much sugar! The modern Western diet includes far more sugar than is good for our health, thanks to highly processed foods—everything from dairy products to condiments to sauces to beverages—that are sweetened with processed, refined, natural, and artificial sugars. It’s going to take a concerted effort to clean up your eating habits, so here are some easy and simple ways to cut back on sugar:
Drink Water ONLY
Sugary drinks are the #1 enemy of a healthy body! They contain refined and artificial sugars that will be immediately turned into body fat, which will lead to far more serious weight gain than even high-fat foods. That’s why it’s in your best interest to cut them out. Start off by eliminating sodas and sweetened beverages from your diet, then move on to lemonade, sweet tea, and anything even slightly sweet. Remove all drinks from your diet until you’re ONLY drinking water, and give your body a few months of water only to get accustomed to this new unsweetened fluid intake. Over time, you’ll find you no longer crave sweet drinks!
Dial Back the Desserts
Desserts are a wonderful way to end a meal, but you’d be amazed by how much sugar they contain. Ice cream, cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, and baked goods can be loaded with far more added sugar than you’ll ever realize—or ever need! Instead of having a dessert after dinner, try closing down your appetite with a cup of warm (unsweetened) tea. Or, if you have to have desserts, make them all fruit-based with no added sugar. A bit of something sweet can do wonders, but make sure it’s all natural sugar.
Load Up on Fiber
Fiber bonds with sugar particles, preventing them from being absorbed into your body. Simply put, it can help to cancel out some of the effects of sugar. That’s why it’s so important that you add more fiber to your diet. Fruits and veggies are rich in the sugar-canceling types of fiber, as are nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. Make sure to add them to your diet as much as possible, and they can help to counterbalance the effects of any sugar you do end up eating.
Find Hidden Sugars
You know that ketchup and BBQ sauce contain lots of sugar, but did you know sugar is often added to mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressing, and even hot sauces? How about tomato and pasta sauce, canned soups, and flavorings? Yep, there’s often sugar in those, too! The truth is that sugar comes in many forms—glucose, dextrose, maltose, and fructose are just the easy-to-spot ones. It’s important that you read the food labels to find the hidden sugars and cut out those sugar-rich foods from your diet as much as possible.
Eat Only What You Cook
If you want to be 100% sure that you’re eating only healthy, low-sugar foods, why not try a few weeks of only eating the food that you have prepared yourself from raw ingredients? That means no canned soups or sauces, no condiments that you didn’t make yourself, and no pre-packaged and processed food. That can feel very limiting, but you’ll find there are lots of easy and delicious meals you can make from raw ingredients without the need for high-sugar additives. Not only will your cooking skills improve, but you’ll take back control of your health by being 100% certain of what you’re putting in your body.