We’re swimming in sugar: people take in more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Sugar is added to practically everything on grocery store shelves. Slash your intake with these smart tips.
Here are some things that you can do:
Read food labels
You’ll quickly realize just how often sugar is added to foods when you see it in the ingredients lists. Even things that you don’t think are sweet, like tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, and salad dressings can be full of sugar. Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product, so if sugar is near the top, that’s a red flag.
Cut the sweetness
You may not be eating Oreos or drink cans of Coke, but that doesn’t mean that sugar must be absent from your diet. You’re eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it. Sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste sweet, like breads, condiments and sauces. A high-sugar diet boosts your odds of tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain. Slash your sugar intake now with some expert tips.
Think about protein and fat
Unhealthy carbs loaded with sugar can cause blood sugar to rise rapidly. To minimize the rapid rise and fall, include protein, healthy fats and fiber with your meal which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer. Fats are a key player, because they help keep you full for longer, thus helping to decrease your desire for sugar. Focus on fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil and coconut oil.
Don’t drink it
Avoiding soda is a good idea, but that’s not the only sugar-packed drink out there. Even drinks that are considered healthy can contain more of the sweet stuff than you’re supposed to have in an entire day. Case in point: “enhanced” water (eight teaspoons per bottle), bottled iced teas (more than nine teaspoons per bottle), energy drinks (almost seven teaspoons per can), bottled coffee drinks (eight teaspoons per bottle), and store-bought smoothies (more than a dozen teaspoons—for a small).
You can still indulge in an occasional sweet treat after you resolve to slash sugar. The idea is to avoid wasting your daily sugar quota on non-dessert foods like cereals, ketchup and bread. To avoid overdoing it, set specific rules about when you may enjoy dessert: only after dinner on the weekends or at restaurants as a special treat.