Sugar is such a common part of any modern day diet. Sometimes we consume it without fully realising that it’s there. Sugar is no doubt a hard habit to kick, but the health benefits are undeniable. Below are a few tips to get you started.
1. Stop Adding Sugar to Food
This is probably the most obvious and the simplest method. It will provide the most immediate results. Forgo that teaspoon or two of sugar that you would usually add to your tea, coffee, or cereal. It will take time to adjust to the taste, but you will get used to it in no time!
2. Reduce or Eliminate Processed Carbs
Carbohydrates can be a great source of energy, but they can also be converted to sugar in your body. Which is then converted into fat. It doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? The most common processed carbs are breads, pastas, and snack foods. The main trick here is limiting your intake and watching portion sizes.
3. Read Packaging Labels
Learn the lingo. Check the labels for sugar content. If the sugar content is high, put it back down. If you must buy it, search for the product with the lowest sugar content.
4. Add Colour to Your Grocery Basket
An abundance of colour is a good measure of a healthy diet. Just remember to keep it limited to fresh produce. Colourful packaging doesn’t count! Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are an indicator of fresh and even low-glycaemic produce.
5. Limit Fruit Intake
Fruit is an important part of any diet. They contain fibre and plenty of nutrients. However, they also contain natural sugars. If you consume too much, the sugar can be stored in your body as fat. Limit intake to two pieces of fruit per day.
6. Avoid Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are packed with sugar. They may seem like a healthy option but the reality is far from it. They don’t contain any of the nutrients or fibre found in raw fruit. You’re better off eating the real thing!
7. Look for Alternatives to Sugar
If you are making a dessert that requires sugar, try adding a fruit puree instead. Cinnamon, garlic and nutmeg are great sweeteners when added to some vegetables. Rice can be made sweeter with the addition of cinnamon sticks, ginger, or cardamom. Do your research and you will find some interesting natural alternatives!
8. Don’t Be Fooled by ‘Fat-Free’
If you are aiming to lose weight, be wary of ‘fat-free’ products. While they may be fat free, they often contain a lot of sugar. Unless you work it off, this sugar will be stored in your body as fat.
9. Learn to Love Fresh, Natural Produce
Once you learn to love fresh foods, there will be no turning back. It is much easier to say no to sugar-laden foods when you find the fresh alternative more tantalising. There are just so many fresh and delicious alternatives out there!
Did you find these tips helpful? Are there any more that you’d like to add?
Top Photo Credit: stringy