One healthy swap a day can make a huge difference in reducing your sugar intake. 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. Many people really do eat too much sugar: 700g of the sweet stuff a week. That is an average of 140 teaspoons per person. The World Health Organization goes a step further, recommending less than 5% of calories from added sugar for optimal health. The good news is that cutting down on sugar may be easier than you think. Below, we have shared some tips for Cutting Down on Sugar.
Reduce Sugary Drinks Intake
Sugary drinks account for the highest percentage of sugar intake amongst people. People consume sugary drinks like: sodas, juices, energy drinks, sweetened teas and others. Furthermore, drinks that people consider as healthy, like fruit juices and smoothies, also contains added sugars. The body does not 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. Additionally, drinks also do not make you feel as full as solid food, so people who consume more drinks do not eat less to compensate and this spikes up their blood sugar level. Cutting down on sugary drinks can help in weight loss and boost the overall immune system. Swapping sugary drinks for healthier drinks is the best option. You can swap sugary drinks with: water, natural juice, herbal teas, sparkling water, black or green tea, coffee, et cetera.
Add Fruits as Smart Swaps
Any time you would normally use sugar, notice your impulse and then ask yourself if it is necessary to enjoy the food or drink. Be mindful and consider swapping. Like you can add a 1/4 of a mashed banana for your usual sprinkle of sugar in oatmeal or dried fruits like raisins, cranberries or apricots also, and take your coffee with a shake of cinnamon instead of flavoured syrup. Eliminating added sugar might leave your taste buds yearning for sweetness. Instead, get your sweets with creative swap hacks.
Learn to Read Labels
Read ingredient labels to know the sugar quantity in every food that you purchase. Some foods pack excess added sugar per serving, from the recommended quantity for an entire day. Also, while looking for sugar, note other names of sugar. There are at least 57 different names for it. To tell if a product contains added sugars, check the list of ingredients. The first line of defence is to look out for any ingredient ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose.
Avoid Sauces with Added Sugar
Sauces that we add into our food to enhance its flavour like ketchup, barbecue sauce, and sweet chili sauce are common in most kitchens. However, most people are not aware of their sugar content. For example, like 1-tablespoon of ketchup contains about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Better options for seasoning your food are by using herbs and spices, chili, mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, and lemon or lime juice, these have low proportion of added sugars. Also, if you are making tomato sauce, skip the sugar and caramelize onions in the recipe instead of just sautéing them. Their natural sweetness substitutes in well.
Consider Eating More Protein
High sugar consumption has been linked to increased appetite, and weight gain. Conversely, a meal that is low in added sugar but high in protein and fibre may have the opposite effect, reducing the appetite and promoting fullness. Proteins too directly reduce food cravings. So to curb sugar cravings, stock up protein-rich whole foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, avocados, dairy products and nuts.
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I am a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion content writer. I have worked with diverse clients over the years and some of my best qualities include being cooperative, patient, and always striving to meet my clients’ specifications. I developed an interest in fashion and fabrics from a young age. I have also had the opportunity of engaging in second-hand clothes retail business in Gikomba Market, Kenya.