Sugar is the biggest enemy of our health and harmful to our bodies.
It is a product that unquestionably manages to hide in our favorite dishes. Our body converts sugar into energy, and the other amount that is not processed is converted into fat, which in turn causes weight gain.
Sugar is present in almost all the products we consume daily, not only in sweets but also in bread and fruit, as well as in most products labeled as sugar-free, such as energy cereal snacks. Too much sugar in the body means increased body weight, diabetes, cancer, depression, and possible cognitive problems.
Why is sugar harmful, and why is it a significant cause of many diseases?
The adverse effect of sugar on health stems from the impact it has on insulin. Namely, insulin is a hormone that aims to “put in the cells” the entered sugar. At times when we ingest too much sugar, the body begins to secrete too much insulin immediately, and blood sugar levels drop sharply. After a short time when insulin “does its job,” blood sugar levels drop sharply, causing hunger and the feeling again to reach for something sweet.
When you eat foods that have a low glycemic index and do not cause a sharp rise in insulin levels, the fluctuations in blood sugar levels are small, and that is why you have no hunger attacks or a feeling of constant nibbling.
The biggest problem with sugar occurs when cells become insulin resistant (type 2 diabetes) and blood sugar levels do not decrease.
Increased blood sugar is a silent killer and a cause of many chronic diseases (arteriosclerosis, kidney problems, cardiovascular problems, etc.).
The other negative effect of sugar is the ability to convert it into fat (if it is in excess) and accumulate as fat.
Obesity is a problem in modern life, and many illnesses and health problems are caused by overweight.
If you have decided to reduce the amount of sugar that you eat, then you should not do so abruptly, because it is not a healthy way.
It is proved that sugar can cause dependence, due to the sudden rise in serotonin levels, so it can be quite tricky and challenging to get rid of it.
Experts believe that sugars should not contain more than 5 % of the needed daily energy. Also, adults should not consume more than 30 grams (7 cubes) of sugar per day, but we are all aware that we intake much more sugar than allowed.
The World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 10% sugar per day.
It seems hard, but the decision to quit sugar will keep you healthy and with a slim and fit line.
It is essential to realize that the constant consumption of sugar in the form of liquids or sweets is a habit. Precisely a habit of addiction, the more you want sugar, the more you will need it. So here are some tips on how to reduce your daily sugar intake and create healthier habits that will positively impact your health in the long run.
Read these 5 easy ways to cut down on sugar and start to reduce your sugar intake daily.
Be Careful What You Drink
The general rule is that any liquid except water and unsweetened teas contain a certain amount of sugar.
Proper hydration of the body is key to good health. Knowing this, 90% of the liquids you consume during the day should be water or unsweetened tea, and the rest can afford a glass of juice or wine.
If you’re a fan of carbonated juices, try replacing them with squeezed lemon juice or orange mixed with mineral water. Almost 25% of the daily calorie intake is ingested through sweetened carbonated or industrial fruit juices.
Rejecting your favorite beverage can be difficult, but it is advisable to gradually lower sugar in sweetened beverages to one teaspoon or less per drink.
Drinking water is vital for the hydration of the body. Drinking helps reduce the desire to consume sugar, no matter how much we believe it. The truth is that often, “when we want sugar, we are thirsty.”
Green tea regulates blood sugar levels. If you drink up to four cups of green tea a day, you can reduce high sugar. It also suppresses appetite, which is why many nutritionists include it in different menus. But you should not exaggerate with green tea, as it is nearly as strong as coffee and can contribute to having insomnia.
Read The Product Declarations And Avoid Sweeteners
Knowing what to read on the packaging is excellent if you are trying to reduce sugar intake, as sugar can be listed on the label in many different forms.
Do a thorough research and learn to identify the various ingredients that are sugar.
The products that are sugar-free or contain natural sugar are suitable for the whole organism because they are processed differently from artificial sweeteners.
There are many artificial and self-proclaimed natural sweeteners on the market that serve as a substitute for sugar. Try to avoid them, as they are not entirely healthy for use as they are advertised. They may not have calories, but their use actually makes you addicted to sugar, and you will always need sweets.
Also, many people think they can reduce calorie intake by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners and thus lose weight without significant dietary changes. However, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners do not help with weight loss.
Avoid groceries With 0% Fat And Processed Foods
The groceries with 0% fat are being advertised as a healthier alternative, but have you ever wondered if this is entirely true?
There are mayonnaise, sour cream, chips, ketchup, and other groceries with 0% fat. But if you compare the composition of cream with less fat and a standard variant of cream, you will notice that the sugar level in the sour cream with 0% fat option is significantly higher.
Also, keep in mind that sugar in the grocery can be hidden under various names such as starch, dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, and the like. To be sure, check the number of carbohydrates in the product and how much sugar they contain.
When one decides to stop consuming sugar, among other things, they stop eating fruit.
Nutritionists advise that fruit can be your secret weapon because it is full of nutrients. Fruits will maintain a stable sugar level during periods of increased need for sugar.
Avoid dried fruits because they contain sugar. Try filling your fridge with fresh or frozen foods or fruits and vegetables. The fruit is healthy, but keep in mind that it contains a lot of sugars. Sure it’s OK to eat fruit, but try to limit your daily intake. Or eat only fruits that have a low glycemic index. They do not increase blood sugar levels. Such are apples, plums, dried apricots, cherries, lemons, and oranges.
The elimination of processed foods will help you reduce your daily intake of unnecessary sugars and keep you healthy.
Measure The Portions And Don’t Go Shopping For Food On An Empty Stomach
If you love desserts, cakes, chocolates, candies, or ice cream, don’t give up on them, but for a start, reduce the amount and do not take a turn. After a while, you will have a reduced craving for sugars, without any change in mood.
Most people eat sweets out of habit, not out of necessity, and often exaggerate and ingest much more than the body requires.
So before impulsively to reach our for sweets, you should check your urge (if you are hungry and eager, then react impulsively or unconsciously).
If you love to eat sweets, reducing your sugar intake can be scary. One of the simplest ways to do this is to skip the dessert. If this seems like an impossible mission, try replacing it with a healthy alternative, such as a piece of fruit, at least a few days a week.
If you go shopping for food on an empty stomach, you are more likely to reach for unhealthy foods. In this situation, the human brain uses its survival instinct and tries to gather as much food as possible. So the next time you go to the market, don’t go on an empty stomach!
Plan Your Meals In Advance
Meal planning is helpful, especially for regular meals. Health means commitment, and it involves planning, especially when it comes to sugar intake.
In order not to experience sudden drops in blood sugar, which leads to impulsive eating of all kinds of sweet foods, be careful to consume enough protein, whole grains, and whole grains.
Cereals and yogurt can be a source of tons of hidden sugar. So if you want to reduce your sugar intake, make a change to your usual breakfast. A healthier option is eggs that are full of protein and will keep you full for longer.
Use cinnamon. It helps reduce the need for sugars. Cinnamon also adds a specific aroma and flavor that can replace sugar (in the morning coffee) or at least minimize the amount of sugar needed for a recipe. Cinnamon also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which will help you overcome frequent hunger attacks.
Nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and avocado will regulate blood sugar levels and keep you full all day.
Between work and daily responsibilities, and the availability of sugar as an ingredient in many products, avoiding it should be a conscious choice.
So make a plan.
For some, the best approach is to remove it entirely, but for others, this way makes them feel even more in need of sugar. If you find yourself in the second group, you better choose the approach of gradually reducing your sugar intake.
And most importantly, do not punish yourself if you make a mistake, but make a deal with yourself as you continue to be disciplined in adhering to your healthy eating plan.