Consuming too much sugar can have some pretty scary effects on your health, including obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and possibly cancer. Consuming sugar frequently also causes severe spikes and drops in your energy levels, leaving you fatigued and hungry only an hour after a sugary snack. Are you looking for ways to limit your sugar intake for better health? Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Don’t add sugar to tea or coffee. It might take you a little while to get used to the flavor, but pretty soon, you’ll come to enjoy your morning brew without the sugar.
2) Cut out soft drinks completely. Most people who consume too much sugar are getting it from soft drinks. While your at it, cut out sports drinks, which contain just as much sugar as soda. Opt for water instead. Water contains zero calories and is better for hydration.
3) Limit juice intake. If juice seems like a healthy alternative to soda, you’re right in some regards (juice provides more dietary nutrients), but wrong because juice actually contains high levels of sugar. Fruit is healthy because it contains fiber. This fiber slows the speed at which your body processes the sugar. Also, you usually only eat one apple, orange or banana at a time. When you drink juice, however, you consume almost no fiber and the sugar content five or more fruits. Juice is not much more than a highly concentrated dose of sugar.
4) If you have a craving for something sweet, eat fruit, not a cookie. Whole fruit contains fewer calories and sugars per unit of weight than other snack foods. They also contain important dietary nutrients that will leave you feeling more satisfied and healthy. Fruit is a terrific, low-calorie way to satisfy hunger.
5) Bake with less sugar. Baking at home is a great way to control your sugar intake because you get to decide how much sugar to add to a recipe. You can follow low-sugar recipes, or you can adapt the directions of your favorite pastry; as a general rule, you can usually get away with adding only 3/4 the recommended amount of sugar, sometimes less.
6) Fill up on healthy food. The only way to kick a bad habit is to develop a good habit in its place. Develop the habit of cooking and eating nutritious, low-sugar foods so you won’t be tempted to chow down on sugar-heavy convenience foods when you get hungry.
Sugar is ubiquitous on modern food and drink products. It can take a lot of initiative (and usually a fair amount of homemade food) to achieve a truly low-sugar diet. Most of the excess sugar that people consume is found within sodas, sports drinks and juices. If you limit sugary drinks, you’ve won half the battle.