Sugary foods are a part of many diets since they enhance taste. However, consuming too much of it can lead to problems. According to The American Heart Association (AHA), daily consumption of sugar should be limited to 6 tablespoons (for women) and 9 tablespoons (for men) in a day but Americans have been exceeding these limits. On average, an American is said to consume at least 19.5 tablespoons of sugar per day. That’s a lot. Taking too much sugar is unhealthy and can cause health problems such as weight gain, risk of diabetes, tooth decay etc. Therefore, cutting out sugar from your diet is essential to stay healthy.
What Is Sugar?
Sugar is a carbohydrate that is found in many kinds of foods to enhance the taste. Moreover, it is also found naturally in different foods. When we hear sugar, our mind wanders to the crystalline sugar that we add in tea, coffee, milk etc, but there are many kinds of sugars available. Mostly, all forms of sugars contain 4 calories per gram.
How To Cut Off Sugars From A Diet?
Here are some tips on how to cut sugar out of your diet:
Say No To Products That Contain Added Sugar
There are a plethora of food products that contain added sugar. These products are responsible for feeding you a large part of sugar which is why eliminating them from the diet is essential. Some of the products that you need to eliminate from your diet are:
- Coconut Sugar: It may be low-glycemic but contains added sugar as well and contributes to cravings and addiction in people.
- Cane Syrup: This syrup doesn’t contain refined sugars but regular sugar which is evaporated and can be harmful.
- Rice: Rice has a higher GI (glycemic index). A high GI means that a certain food is capable to spike blood sugar levels. A good alternative is to turn to brown rice since it has a lower GI.
- Plant Based Milk: Plant based milk may or may not have higher amount of sugars. To be on the safe side, make sure to buy unsweetened milk.
- Replace Cereals In Breakfast With Oatmeal: Most of the cereals we eat in breakfast contain high amounts of sugars. You can eliminate that from your diet and introduce oatmeal. To enhance the sweetness, you can cook the cereal in the presence of unsweetened applesauce.
However, if you are a real cereal fan then you can go for cereals that contain lower amounts of sugar such as plain porridge, whole grains plain biscuits etc.
Say No To Chocolates Except Dark Chocolate
We all love chocolate, but it can damage our body if we do not control the amount that we consume. Giving up on chocolate altogether can be difficult, which is why you should turn to dark chocolate. The recommended amount to eat dark chocolate per day is 6 grams. It is low in sugar and provides several health benefits.
Say No To Processed Foods
Processed food usually contains added sugars. Boxed, canned and bagged food are processed foods and are made with added sugars to enhance the taste.
Eat The Right Fruits
Fruits sure provide you with many nutrients but some of them are packed with higher amounts of sugars and if you’re looking to cut sugars from your diet, you need to eliminate sugar packed fruits as well.
This doesn’t mean that you have to turn away from all kinds of fruits, you can eat the ones that contain less sugars.
- Avocados: Eating an entire raw avocado will feed you only 1 gram of sugar.
- Cranberries: One cup of these berries will provide you with only 4 grams of sugars.
- Raspberries: A single cup of these will get you 5 grams of sugars, plus they’re loaded with fiber so you will feel full eating just one cup.
- Grapefruit: Only 7 grams of sugars will enter your body when you eat 100 grams of a grapefruit.
- Kiwis: 9 grams of sugar per 100 grams is what you’ll get when you eat a kiwi.
Avoid Eating These High Sugar Fruits
- Lychees: One cup of this fruit has 29 grams of sugar.
- Figs: One cup of fig has 27 grams of sugar.
- Mango: One cup of mango contains 23 grams of sugar.
- Cherries: One cup of cherries contain 18 grams of sugar.
- Grapes: One cup has 15 grams of sugar.
Say No To Flavored Yogurt
Flavored yogurt is packed with added sugars which is why you need to turn to plain yogurt or yogurt made at home. You can add honey to increase sweetness.
Check The Labels
Make a habit of checking up the labels before you buy food. Also, pick food that contains less amount of sugars in them.
You do not know how much sugar a food contains which is why it is important to have a look at the labels. Foods such as tomato sauce, crackers, salad dressings may contain high amounts of sugars.
Avoid Going Cold Turkey
Going cold turkey refers to cutting off sugar completely and instantly. This can be troublesome for many people because sugar is an addictive and craving food.
The right thing to do here is to limit the intake. If you add 3 tablespoons of sugar in your tea, cut it down to two in the 1st week and 1 in the second, and so on. This won’t trigger too much craving and will help you shut off sugar intake without any problems.
When you consume less sugars, it will keep your blood sugar levels balanced and help you control diabetes. Other than this, it can also help in weight loss.