Short and Sweet: 10 Easy Ways to Remove Sugar from Your Diet
Your doctor’s advice to “eat less sugar” is easier said than done. Even in seemingly healthy options like coconut water and peanut butter, hidden sugar is lurking everywhere, making it difficult to remain within the recommended daily quantity (about 40g per day, depending on your age and gender). Well, as difficult as it may be to obtain those abs of steel you’ve been dreaming about, we’re happy to tell you that it is completely possible to cut back on sugar! We’ve put together these 10 simple tips to help you do just that, and reap the many benefits that come with following a healthy, low-sugar diet.
1. Get Informed
It’s important to first fully understand a few key factors before you throw out everything sweet you find in your fridge or pantry. First and more importantly, however, is to differentiate between added and naturally occurring sugar. For instance, fruits, veggies and dairy products contain naturally occurring sugar that shouldn’t make you worry. Because these foods contain nutrients like fibre and protein, the liver won’t digest the naturally occurring sugars like those, for instance, found in a chocolate bar.In other words, the natural sugars found in apples and tomatoes won’t contribute to weight gain like soft drinks or cake will!
2. Know Thy Enemy
Now that you know which types of sugar to look for, it is crucial to comprehend that sugar takes on many undercover identities in terms of its nomenclature. Did you know? Sugar has more than 56 different names, so you’d better get familiar with them if you want to be able to recognize them when you check ingredient lists. The most common aliases for sugar include high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, sucrose, or any word ending in “ose,” for that matter! Moreover, if you see more than one appearance of any of these sugar aliases on the ingredient list, it’s most likely a product you’ll want to avoid buying.
3. Rethink Your Drink
According to Health Canada, the largest source of sugar in the average person’s diet comes from soft drinks. Did you know? One can of Mountain Dew contains 52 grams of sugar, which is more than the recommended total daily sugar intake!!! Simply swapping soft drinks for water or unsweetened teas can actually help you lose more than ten pounds in one year! If you crave natural sweetness, try adding cinnamon or berries to your drink to keep those taste buds dancing!
4. Beware of Dried Fruit
Though you would think dried or canned fruit is a healthy snack selection when compared to a chocolate bar or cookie, you may be surprised to discover that this is actually not true in many cases! Many manufacturers choose to add sugar, syrups and juice concentrates to their products in order to improve their flavour and extend shelf life! Be sure to read the ingredients on dried fruit before buying any to avoid falling victim to one of these sugar culprits!
5. Go Dark or Go Home
Are you a chocolate addict like we are? Well, we’ve got great news for you! There is no reason you have to cut out chocolate in all of its forms! Instead, keep dark chocolate on hand and reach for it when you have a craving. You’ll be glad to know it actually has four times the iron countenance and four times the fibre than milk or white chocolate. How do you like that?!
6. Spice Up Your Life
Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, try adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg! For every packet of sugar you keep out of your cup, you’ll save 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar. Plus, spices like those mentioned above help to control blood sugar and promote a healthier metabolism! Cocoa powder and natural vanilla are also great ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, in addition to being available on most coffee shop countertops as free extras.
7. Sleep In
This one may be our favourite! Did you know that less sleep will make you want to eat more sugar? A study conducted at Berkeley University found that lack of sleep tends to increase your desire to eat sugary snacks or meals. Furthermore, lack of sleep has also been known to lead to an increase in appetite! So, get into bed 30 minutes earlier or hit the snooze button without feeling guilty because it’s just what the doctor ordered!
8. Style Your Own Salad
Another misleading food choice on menus is salad! While you think you’re making a smart choice by ordering one, you may actually be ordering the most high-sugar menu item if you’re not careful. Added ingredients like dried cranberries and croutons can up sugar content to alarming levels, not to mention the dangers of some salad dressings. Even the fat-free salad dressings you purchase at the grocery store can be a threat to your waistline. Did you know? When manufacturers cut the fat out of dressings, they tend to replace it with salt and sugar. In order to ensure that your salad is a healthy one, stick to oil-based dressings, and steer clear of any vinaigrettes that contain honey, sugar, vegetable or soybean oils, concentrated fruit juice or any of those sneaky sugar aliases we mentioned in Tip #2. An even better move would be to simply make the dressing yourself!
9. Skip the Sweeteners
When you think of cutting sugar, it’s only natural to think about how to get that sweetness in other ways. Due to its low-calorie content, people tend to select artificial sugars to add sweetness to their coffees, yogurts or desserts. Contrary to common intuition, this is actually dangerous! Not only do sweeteners introduce chemicals into your body, they have also been linked to waist expansion and weight gain!
10. Pro Probiotic
While its certainly true that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body can be achieved through monitoring and adapting the foods we eat, priobiotics have also been proven to be an effective way to achieve this objective! Did you know? A premium probiotic supplement like Probiophilus from Herbasante’s natural product range ensures that more good bacteria enters your GI tract, where they can in turn assist in maintaining a normal level of glucose in the body. This is achieved with an enteric coating that ensures that the bacteria aren’t destroyed on their way to the intestines. Friendly flora have even been proven to help support the absorption of nutrients and promote a healthier immune system, which will further contribute to keeping you feeling your best each day.
Recommended Products: Probiophilus