It’s no surprise that sugar isn’t the best thing for you, and you should be trying to eat less of it. Eating too much of it can lead to many health risks including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. However, avoiding sugar completely is impossible. What you need to cut back on is added sugars, not sugar that naturally occurs in your food. It can be tough to figure out where to begin. Here are 6 tips to help you change your relationship with sugar.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
Buying processed foods is one of the main things that contribute to your sugar intake. Almost everything you buy in a box, a bag, or a can has added sugars. Believe it or not, the processed food your about to eat could have four or five different types of sugar added to it. If you cook your food from scratch you know exactly what’s in it, which can help you stay on a healthy diet!
2. Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices
If you get enough sleep, you may not need coffee, or crave bad food. If you drink a lot of water, it’ll curb your hunger which will avoid you buying processed foods at the grocery store. Making small healthy lifestyle choices will lead you to make your meals at home, which will help you focus on vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. It just takes small steps!
3. Learn to Read Nutrition Labels
If you know how to decode nutrition labels, in general, it will help you make healthier decisions. It will make you realize what all those sneaky words mean (a lot of them mean sugar). If you know what these fancy words mean, you’ll understand not a lot of the ingredients are good for you. I was always told to avoid foods that have more than five ingredients in it because the more there is, the more highly processed it is. *This rule is just for products in grocery stores, it doesn’t imply for ingredients in recipes.
4. Keep Healthy Snacks With You
If you keep healthy easy-to-reach snacks on you, you’ll be less tempted to eat sugary foods. This means you’ll be fueling yourself up with nutrients instead of sugar.
5. Don’t Drink it
Pop isn’t the only drink packed with sugar. Drinks that claim to be healthy can also have a lot of that sweet stuff in it. For example, store-bought smoothies have more than a dozen teaspoons of sugar in it, and that is just for a small. Flavored water also has about eight teaspoons of sugar in it. Stick with unsweetened teas and water with fresh fruit in it!
6. Buy Unsweetened
Stick with unsweetened applesauce, almond milk, and nut butter. If you buy products like this, the sugar and calories you’ll be saving yourself from will add up over the course of a year.
At the end of the day, your sugar intake adds up in sneaky ways. It’s even in bread, condiments, and sauces. Although it may feel impossible at first to cut-back, it’ll get easier. Once your taste buds adjust to your new diet, you’ll start thinking foods like ice-cream, candy, and cake taste way too sweet. Your first step is to take these helpful tips and stick with them! Your body will be thanking you.
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