7 Easy ways to cut sugar out of your life
Sugar is one of the main cause of our nation's expanding waistline. It is also the promoter of dangerous diseases like diabetes, heart problems and even cancer. With sugar being smartly sneaked in to enhance the flavor of numerous food items, it can be hard for even health-conscious folks to totally slash sugar from their diet.
Below, you will find 7 smart ways to eliminate sugar from your life.
Read more ¿Qué más?: 5 Healthy snacks to take on the go this summer!
1. Know the hidden names of sugar. The nutrition labels rarely say "sugar", which makes it harder to identify. Educating yourself on the different names sugar likes to go by is the fastest way to spot down the unhealthy stuff. Some of the aliases of sugar include high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, carob syrup, buttered syrup, barley malt, beet sugar, brown rice syrup, molasses, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, glucose, lactose, galactose, maltose, invert sugar, maple syrup and honey.
2. Avoid "diet" and "sugar free" versions. Artificial and fake sugars curb your cravings for sweet treats without actually providing your body with calories. It is almost like making your body think it is receiving real food, but tricking it with the fake version instead. Your body gets confused on how to respond when it doesn't get what it expects. This actually increases your appetite and induces cravings for even sweeter and calorie rich food.
3. Be cautious of those innocent looking drinks. Sodas are not the only drinks filled with sugar. Smoothies, fruit juices, enhanced water, iced tea, coffee drink, flavored milk and sports drink are just some of the innocent looking drinks that might just be the sugar bomb you are trying to avoid.
4. Read the ingredient list. Many of us buy things based on face value, seldom turning it around to read the food label. Read the contents of every item you buy, even things that you might not think are sweet can actually hide some form of sugar for enhanced flavoring. Also, remember, if the item you are about to purchase has sugar written in the first few spots of the ingredient list, stay away from it.
5. Eat a fat and protein rich meal. Eating a diet rich in unhealthy carbs will cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate up and down rapidly. This can initiate hunger attacks, making you prone to reach for sweet and calorie-dense items. Eating a well balanced meal filled with fiber, healthy fat and protein will keep you full for longer periods of time. It will curb that sudden urge to reach for sugar-filled cookies or muffins by keeping your sugar level stabilized.
6. Add your own flavor. Instead of purchasing flavored almond milk, yogurt or latte, just order the plain version of the drink and add your own flavor, whether it be vanilla powder, honey, cocoa powder, or spices like nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. By doing this, you know exactly what is going into your food. It will eliminate not just unhealthy sugar, but also other artificial flavor enhancers from going into your system.
7. Want that dessert? Indulge! Don't go cold turkey by eliminating sugar completely. Instead discipline yourself by saving that sugary treat for a specific time, like after dinner or only while going out to a restaurant. What you do want to stop is reaching for your sweet items like cookies, muffins, cereals and even ketchup throughout the day.
Image via Thinkstock