A healthy diet doesn’t only mean that you avoid junk foods and eat fruits and vegetables. You also need to consider that there are foods that seem to be healthy but contains a ton of sugar in it. Sugar is often referred to be an empty calorie food. It has no proteins, minerals, nutrients, and is not necessary to be added to your diet for your body to produce energy.
There are countless of harmful effects that foods with high amount of sugar can do to your body like an increase in uric acid levels and cause metabolic dysfunction. For you to understand why limiting sugar is important, we’ll talk about how sugar is broken down into different types including glucose, sucrose, and fructose.
- Commonly called the ‘good sugar’, Glucose is the sugar found in the food that you eat and is used by your body for energy or will be stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen for later use.
- Fructose is a sugar found mostly in many types of fruits, soda, and fruit-flavored drinks. It is not the preferred energy source of the body and can only be metabolized by the liver.
- Table sugar or sucrose is obtained from sugarcane or sugar beets which contain both glucose and fructose.
Aside from these sugars, there is also added sugar – the sugar that is added to processed foods and drinks. Food manufacturers may add both natural sugars and processed sugar like high-fructose corn syrup to processed foods and drinks to improve the color, texture, and taste of their products. Added sugar provides very little to no nutritional value which is why it is important to limit it.
Take a closer look at what you eat on a daily basis. Chances are, what you’re eating contains added sugar. You may think that you are good at being healthy because you avoid cookies, sodas, and fruit juice, but even food that looks healthy contains sugar that is bad for your body. Knowing how to reduce sugar intake in your diet will surely be a life changer. We’ve compiled some simple ways to ward off diabetes, tooth decay, and a lot more health problems by cutting back on that added sugar.
Clean out the Pantry
One of the first steps on your new lifestyle goal is to clean out your pantry. Throw away the bad food like chips, soda, and over-processed food.
Lower it Gradually
Sugar addiction is real and getting rid of it is harder than some. Others may succeed going cold-turkey, but if you feel like that won’t work, then you can just try to eliminate sugar in your diet little by little.
Some example of going natural is by adding fruit instead of sugar in your bowl of oatmeal. Try making your own peanut butter and fruit jam at home as an alternative to your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Monitoring your serving sizes and reducing your calorie intake may lead to weight loss. A study shows that being able to control food portions promotes healthy blood sugar levels which may also reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.
Get Enough Sleep
A study reveals that lack of sleep leads to a greater tendency to overeat. Sweets and desserts are also more appealing to adolescents who are deprived of sleep. This may increase their risk for chronic illnesses and weight gain.
Read Food Label Thoroughly
Most of the time, you buy what you are most used to. Try opening yourself to broader options and look at other food and brands to compare to each other. There are multiple names for added sugar including but not limited to corn syrup, maple syrup, sucrose, and about fifty more. The food that you are most used to may be one of the culprits why your blood sugar is high.
Having a sweet tooth is not really that bad, but remember that it is possible that you may be a victim of sugar addiction. Try other natural sweeteners like raw honey, stevia, or coconut sugar to add a bit of sweeter taste to your food. Be wary of artificial sweeteners that are often called fake sugars. They hide in common products like toothpaste, chewing gum, or cough syrup and can be dangerous.
Avoid These Common Foods that are High in Sugar
Did you know that a single can of soda is almost equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar? A lot of people substitute water with soda because this is tastier and sweeter than plain-tasting water. But water has better multiple advantages than soda that your body can benefit from.
Dipping your food in condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce does make the taste better but keep in mind that they can also be high in sugar. You may opt for other options such as salsa, hot sauce, or mustard.
With its high content in sugar, eating a lot of candies is not only bad for your teeth but it can also be harmful to your health. Eating too much candy gives a lot of unhealthy substances in your body like fats, sugar, and calories.
Sugar can still be in your bread. Check the labels first before buying and look for bread that has no added to little sugar or an ingredient with a whole wheat flour listed in it.
Cutting back on your sugar might be challenging at first but reducing it gives a lot of benefits to your health. Some advantages of reducing your sugar are feeling less sleepy, hungry, tired, and anxious after two to three hours of eating a meal. Also, it results to a healthier weight, fewer cavities, and a more youthful appearance.
Knowing how to reduce your sugar intake in your diet is one thing but actually having the discipline to go through it takes effort. Remember that having a healthy mind and body could not be achieved without action and that determination is the key to making your healthy diet achievable.