It seems like every year there’s a new scare when it comes to dieting. With new fads, conflicting health news, and frightening testimonies, knowing what’s true and important can be hard to distinguish. However, there’s no question when it comes to sugar intake. Less is more.
According to a 2015 study, 43 obese children had remarkably positive results to their overall health and metabolic rate, just in a nine-day sugar restricted diet! It’s clear that reducing sugar intake can be beneficial, but how, exactly do we do it?
Here’s a list of seven easy tips to help you cut sugar from your diet.
1. Drink more water.
Hydration is everything. But not only that, sometimes in just consuming more water per day, you can reduce sugar cravings! In a 2016 survey, people who increase water intake by 1-3 cups found that their sugar intake was reduced between 5-16 grams! That’s a big deal!
2. Opt for almond or peanut butter.
Sugar cravings are a thing, but instead of totally restricting, or beating yourself up when you inevitably cave, opt for something healthier and lower in sugar instead!
Almond and peanut butter can be great alternatives. They are filled with protein, fats (good ones!) and fiber that will help your body, not harm it.
3. Use spices as sweetener alternatives.
Are you big into cream and sugar in your coffee? Why not try something different, like cinnamon (a natural digestive helper!) instead.Don’t opt for sugar when you’re looking for a sweet taste; instead, try things like nutmeg, ginger, or even a low-sugar blend like pumpkin in your drinks, oatmeal, yogurt bowls, etc.
4. Choose sugar free (with special attention to unnatural sweetener substitutes).
So sugar free is good…except when the sugar is subbed for unnatural or chemically-based sweeteners like aspartame. Be both conscious of what you’re consuming, and mindful of what alternatives are out there.
One great option? Beet sugar instead – slightly healthier and more natural.
5. Eat less processed foods.
When’s the last time you really studied a nutrition label for crackers, bread, frozen meals, etc? Chances are it’s been a while, but change that! You’ll be surprised how many sugars are hidden in foods you consume every day—even foods that aren’t sweet!
When you can, always opt for natural and whole foods.
6. Keep your pantry, lunchbox, and car stuffed with healthy options.
One of the easiest ways to fall into bad sugar-consuming habits is to have the snacks available. When you get rid of the crap, and instead sub for healthy alternatives (like these low-sugar summer treats!), you’ll be less likely to cave.
7. And when you can’t cut it—reduce it!
I get it, there are some things you just love having sugar for. Whatever that is for you, don’t stress yourself over cutting it completely; instead, just opt for cutting it in half.
Drink half the coffee, eat half the slice of cake, etc. Just being mindful and actively taking steps to reduce your sugar intake will make you overall healthier and more energetic!