The impacts of high sugar intake have been linked to everything from diabetes to heart disease. And aside from the obvious issue where overconsumption can lead to weight gain – it’s also been shown to alter your metabolism, impair brain function, and possibly even lead to cancer.
Fortunately, a few diet tweaks can help you quickly reduce your sugar intake dramatically. Start by putting these simple sugar-reduction steps into action today!
- Buy plain foods and sweeten them naturally.
We’re inclined to buy the flavored versions of foods these days (because damn, is marketing good) but buying the plain or unsweetened versions can be just as good – if not better! This includes Greek yogurt, oatmeal, even almond milk. Switching to the unsweetened or plain versions of foods such as these gets rid of the added sugars and gives you the chance to control the amount and type you use to sweeten it. For example, adding spices like cinnamon or all-natural flavored extracts (we love Frontier brand!) to your daily oats, as opposed to the “brown sugar flavored” oatmeal you’ll find at the grocery store.
- Let H2O be your BFF.
It’s 2016, so you probably already know by now that Pepsi should not be on your grocery list. Close to 40% of added sugars in American diets today come from sugary drinks like soda, tea, and juices. Kick the habit by sticking to old fashioned water and add in your flavor from lemon, lime, mint, cucumber or fruits to mix it up. Or try an all-natural flavored seltzer for some added carbonation!
- Read between the lines of your nutrition labels.
Sugar comes in so many different forms, and nutrition labels will try to trip you up if you’re not careful. Look for words including corn syrup, brown sugar, rice syrup, fructose, maltose, dextrose, molasses, evaporated cane juice, cane syrup, and cane sugar. The higher up any of these are on an ingredient list, the more sugar is contained in that food. Always be on the lookout and know what you’re putting in your body.
- Think protein and fat.
Sugar overload can create an internal rollercoaster, causing your blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and quickly fall – leaving you hungry soon after. Minimize the problem by having protein, healthy fats, and fiber with your meals – all of which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer, which will decrease your desire for sugar.
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