By now, everyone who can read these words knows that too much sugar is bad for you. Excess sugar consumption can place stress upon the heart, become habit-forming, contribute to the nation’s obesity epidemic and cause diabetes. Here are some tips for avoiding sugar entirely with sugar substitutes, or reducing sugar intake significantly.
Winning the sugar war tip No.1: Cut out processed foods
Any food that comes in a box, can or jar is very likely to contain either cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. In both cases, the concentration of this sugar or sugar derivative is going to be relatively high. Processed foods tend to add this much sugar not only to make them more palatable, but to extend shelf life, a major concern for bulk grocery sales. Whenever possible, avoid processed foods and replace them in your diet with all-natural foods, including fruits and vegetables. A certain amount of sugar is fine, and fruits and vegetables also provide the body with dietary fiber that helps the body process sugar much more slowly.
In the even that you do purchase processed foods, look carefully at the sugar content per serving, and weigh that against the number of servings per package.
Winning the sugar war tip No.2: Start from scratch
When you make food from scratch successfully, it just tastes better. Plus, it’s much easier to regulate the amount of sugar in your diet. Over time, one’s palate tends to adjust to the taste, and hence it becomes retrained to avoid the tastes of heavily processed, sugar-laden foods. If you don’t have a ton of time, start small, such as with salad dressing or sauces. You’ll save money and you’ll be healthier, because you’ll avoid all the artificial sweeteners.
Winning the sugar war tip No.3: Pace yourself
Small changes over time is the operative mode here. If you have cravings, have a little dark chocolate with a handful of almonds. Or a banana with peanut butter. Mixing something sweet with something healthy is a great way to fill up without the sugar rush. It’s quality over quantity.
Winning the sugar war tip No.4: Sugar substitutes
Chewing gum or a big pickle are two things that can work as a substitute when you have a craving for sugar. In the case of the gum, it should be sugar free. With the pickle, the strength of vinegar beats the sweet thoughts off your palate. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners whenever possible. They may have no calories, but still contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Winning the sugar war tip No.5: Buy in small quantities
If you want to enjoy the occasional sweet treat, don’t buy them in bulk. Having they around the house serves as a constant temptation. If you must, buy one treat. Next time you want another, walk to the store, instead of driving.