Let’s be honest.
We’re consuming more sugar than we should, especially in the U.S. In fact, the average American ingests around 25 to 30 teaspoons of sugar each day, according to The American Heart Association.
To put that into perspective, that’s an extra 360 to 500 calories each day from sugar alone—and more than three times the daily suggested limit.
But why should you cut out sugar in the first place?
The evidence against the sweet stuff keeps piling up. It’s one of the worst ingredients you can put in your body. Excess intake has been linked to a plethora of health conditions, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, tooth decay, heart disease—the list is long and full of terrors.
By the same token, cutting back on sugar promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of health issues, and generally helps you feel and perform better.
If you want to reap some of the benefits (then some more), then you’re in luck. In today’s post, you’ll discover five practical strategies to help reduce sugar intake without starving to death and with minimal pain and suffering.
Say no to Sugary Drinks
Did you know that almost half of the added sugar comes from liquid sugars? As a matter of fact, one can of your typical soda packs in all or more of the daily limit for added sugar in one day.
That’s why passing on sweet beverages should be your first step.
Instead of slurping teaspoons of sugar every day, switch to unsweetened lemon tea, black coffee, or sparkling water with fruit essence. Or best of all, drink water—it has zero calories, and it’s good for you.
Toss the Junk Food
Our environment impacts our daily decisions and thinking patterns like nothing. It actually shapes us.
So, how do you set it up for sugar-free success?
Simple. Declare your living space a sugar-free zone. You’re more likely to indulge when you have junk food within arms reach.
Go through your kitchen boards, freezer, and any other compartments, then toss away all forms of sugar-high items, including cookies, chips, pretzels, soda, cake, and the like.
Pass on the Bread
It might be the bread (no pun intended) and butter of the western diet, but bread provides little to no nutrients with a lot of calories, especially white bread.
Research conducted at the University of Navarra in Spain revealed that having more than four slices of white bread a day may increase your chances of becoming obese by roughly 40 percent.
If bread is part and parcel of your diet, then at the very least limit your intake to once slice per meal. Also, consider baking low-carb bread recipes. Or substitute white bread with healthier grain options such as quinoa, barley, whole wheat, or brown rice bread.
Eat Your Non-Starchy Veggies
Eating less sugar doesn’t necessarily involve limiting food choices. It’s also about adding healthy options to your menu—and nothing beats vegetables.
However, not all veggies are created equal when it comes to sugar content. Some pack in more than others.
Starchy vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, lima beans, and corn contain a lot of sugar that might send you sugar intake soaring after consuming them.
Instead, your diet should revolve around non-starchy veggies. These contain significantly fewer carbs, and research shows that consuming them helps regulate blood sugar levels—which is key for taming sugar cravings.
Some of the best non-starchy veggies to add to your menu include:
- Brussel sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Bamboo shoots
If you’re consuming any pre-packed, packaged, or processed foods, you’re also taking in a lot of sugar—whether you know about it or no.
Surveys show that the sweet stuff is added to more than 600,000 product items on supermarket shelves. It’s present even in foods that don’t inherently taste sweet, such as barbecue sauce, baked beans, flavored coffees, salad dressing, ketchup, etc.
When choosing a food product, check the ingredient list for the following names:
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Fructose corn syrup
- Organic cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Dried cane syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Raw sugar
- Turbinado sugar
- Molasses sucrose
- And other words ending in “ose.”
Taking these simple measures should help you drastically cut back on sugar intake without sacrificing taste. It’s up to you now to take what you have learned in today’s post and implement it in your life. The rest is just detail, as the saying goes.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Have a great day.
This post has been sponsored by Runner’s Blueprint
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