5 ways to cut back on sugar intake
It is extremely common to reach out for a sugary snack every time you feel depressed, or low. However, having a hyperactive sweet tooth is bad for you. Sugar has a lot of side effects and adversely affects your health. This is why a lot of people have already quit refined sugar. If you are trying to cut back, here are a few tips.
Here is what our expert says
- Sugar addiction has a similar effect on the brain as morphine or cocaine.
- High consumption of sugar is directly related to obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, increased risk of heart attacks and cancer.
- The trick to reducing sugar intake to less than 100 calories/day is to remove processed and hyper-palatable food like sweetened beverages, bakery goods, and fast food from the diet.
Go slow and gradual
Reducing your sugar intake is not a one-day job. It is a gradual process and you should start off with simple things. For example, if you are in the habit of adding sugar to your smoothie, replace it with honey or brown sugar. Slowly stop adding these sweeteners as well and start savoring the natural sweetness of fruits.
Keep sugary drinks at bay
It is a well-known fact that cold drinks, sodas, and fruit juices are loaded with sugar. Just go cold turkey and quit these drinks. Mocktail and cocktail mixers are also full of sugar. A glass of cranberry cocktail contains over seven teaspoons of sugar. Such drinks are not only harmful to your heart but also lead to weight gain. Sip on herbal teas instead.
Limit sauces and other relishes
Your favorite tomato ketchup and barbecue sauce have high sugar content. Notably, one tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon or five grams of sugar. A study also concluded that these sauces have around 29% sugar content, which is more than the sugar content of ice cream. If you need condiments, use spice flavors like mustard and vinegar as they are less sugary.
Stay away from unhealthy carbs
If you are addicted to refined carbohydrates like pizza, waffles, and white rice, then you are also at risk of developing sugar-related health issues. Replace refined carb-rich foods with healthier alternatives like brown rice, green veggies, and potatoes. Make snack time healthy with nuts and fresh fruits. Ensure you have a healthy snack with you at all times to avoid binging on carbs.
Add more protein-rich foods to your diet
A smart trick to curb your sugar cravings is by making yourself feel fuller for a long time. The job is best done with protein-rich foods. Protein lowers the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin and promotes appetite-reducing hormones. A study has asserted that including 25% of protein-rich foods in your diet can cut back on your cravings by almost 60%.