5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Added Sugar
Sugar. We drink it, we eat it, it’s hiding everywhere, it’s delicious, it makes us want more, more, more, but it’s not very good for us. So why should we break our addiction with this tempting treat? Here are a few reasons to stop eating and drinking added sugars and 5 easy ways to cut them out.
It sends you on a blood sugar roller coaster all day long
Here’s what the blood sugar roller coaster looks like: You eat sugar, your blood sugar goes up, your body goes into fat storage mode. Your blood sugar then crashes, you free-fall into that mid-morning, late-afternoon slump, so your body craves more sugar to pull you back out. Then, you eat more sugar. Your blood sugar goes up, your body goes into fat storage mode, and you get the picture. Eating added sugar, especially first thing in the morning, sets you up for a roller coaster of spiking, crashing, and craving, leaving you to ride the waves of feeling wired, tired, and sluggish all day long.
It can make you gain weight…
…and make losing weight that much harder. While you’re at the top of that blood sugar roller coaster, your body sends out insulin to help lower your blood sugar. One of insulin’s jobs is to tell your body to store fat. So, eating and drinking added sugars all day long sets you up to fight against your body in the war on weight loss as it’s constantly getting the message to store fat.
Increased intake has been linked to disease
Higher intakes of added sugar have been liked to increased risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, chronic inflammation, and the list goes on.
How do you break up with added sugars? So glad you asked! Here are five tips…
Don’t Drink It
Soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks, and sweetened iced tea are a few of the beverages that can contain A LOT of added sugar. Drinking sugar is actually the worst way to consume the sweet stuff because it is in a form that is very easily absorbed by your body, sending your blood sugar levels up very quickly. Calories from beverages tend to be excess calories that we don’t need and could be easily replaced with things like water, black coffee (or coffee with ½ and ½ ), and unsweetened tea.
You can read more about this here.
Use Fruit Instead
Fruit is a source of sugar. However, it’s a naturally occurring sugar rather than an added sugar. If you allow fruit to become your something sweet, you will find that your body is happy with the level of sweetness and loves the added nutrients from the fruit.
Check the label
If sugar (or some other name for sugar) is one of the first few ingredients, put it back. Look for names like cane sugar, cane syrup, invert sugar, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, sugar molecules ending in “ose” (like dextrose, fructose, sucrose, glucose). It’s hiding in most packaged foods, so double check the ingredient list.
Also, look at the nutrition facts. Check out how many grams of sugar are in your food or drink. Labels now have an added feature which tells you how many grams of added sugar there are. Try to get as close to 0 grams of added sugar each day, and definitely not more than 25 grams.
Eat foods without an ingredient list
The best way to eliminate added sugars? Eat foods that don’t have any. Eat foods with no ingredient list, like an apple, or chicken, and you won’t even have to worry about added sugars at all!
Give your taste buds a chance
The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you will need to satisfy that sweet tooth. If you start to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, drink, or add, your taste buds will quickly adapt to the new level of sweetness.