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10 Tips For Reducing Your Sugar Intake

by Leanne J. Sotir, PhD, RNCP

10 Tips For Reducing Your Sugar IntakeI think by now everyone understands that sugar is NOT part of a healthy diet. The most devastating consequence is its ability to suppress the immune system. This can lead to many chronic health issues as well as serious disease. Trying to eliminate sugar from your diet can be very difficult because it is found in so many foods and beverages. Reducing your sugar intake can be one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. Try eliminating it slowly overtime by changing your diet with these 10 easy tips.

  1. Eliminate soda and fruit juices. These beverages contain lots of sugars in the form of high fructose corn syrup.  When making your own fruit juice with a juicer, remember to use mostly vegetables (including green leafy ones) and very small amounts of fruit.
  2. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Skip the “sugar-free” foods and beverages. They are NOT a healthy alternative. These products contain Aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal) or Sucralose (Splenda) and are man-made chemical products. They have been linked to weight gain, sugar cravings, neurological symptoms, and digestive problems.
  3. Avoid “fat- free” snack foods. These products are processed and usually contain a large amount of sugar.
  4. Read labels. Sugar is often disguised by many different names such as barley malt, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltodextrin, malt syrup, rice syrup and many more.
  5. Reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates. Foods such as bread, pasta, quick cooking rice, and bagels are broken down quickly by the body into sugar. The body doesn’t know the difference between refined carbohydrates or table sugar.
  6. Do not be fooled by false advertising. Sugars such as agave, turbinado sugar, cane juice, raw sugar, or corn syrup are NOT healthy alternatives. Sugar is sugar!
  7. Eat as many whole foods as possible. Avoid foods that are from boxes, cans, and packages. These are processed and contain lots of hidden sugars. When you start eliminating sugar and switch to a diet rich in whole foods, you can begin to slowly eliminate your cravings for sugary foods and snacks.
  8. Adding sugar to your coffee or tea? Try adding stevia as a sugar substitute. Please read the labels, some stevia products actually contain sugar and other additives.
  9. Feel like something sweet? Why not grab for a piece of fruit! Although fruit does contain sugar in the form of fructose, it also contains vitamins, minerals and fiber which causes it to be digested more slowly and does not cause a spike in blood sugar the way other types of sugars would.
  10. Choose your breakfast carefully. This is a meal where you can consume a large amount of your daily sugar. Skip the refined cereals, muffins, frozen waffles and choose healthier breakfast options such as oatmeal, eggs, or even try something you might eat for lunch or dinner.