But why should you keep it this low?
Sugar is undoubtedly the worst ingredient in our modern-day diet. Research shows that it contributes to a host of diseases and is sneaked into seemingly endless food and drink products. By the same token, cutting on your sugar intake is likely the single best thing you can do for your health and well-being.
Looking to reduce your sugar intake? You’re in the right place. What follows are some of the best guidelines that can help reduce your intake of the sweet stuff without starving to death.
Let’s get started.
Stop Drinking Soda
Your typical 12-ounce can of soda packs in about 40 grams of carbs, and a 12-ounce sweetened iced tea contains 35 grams of carbs. According to the National Institute of Health, sweetened beverages make up the third large source of calorie intake in the standard American diet.
Why should this scare you? Liquid calories are as bad, maybe worse, than junk food. In fact, research published in the American Journal of Public Health reported a strong association between sweet drinks intake and a higher risk for a plethora of health conditions.
Instead, drink plenty of unsweetened tea, coffee, or stick to water—it’s good for you and has no calories.
Remove The Junk From The House
If you’re really serious about reducing sugar intake, those cabinets full of junk food have to disappear. In other words, it’s time to declare your home a junk food free-zone.
Throwing out your junk food may seem like a dramatic move, but it’s worth it. The research reported by Plos ONE revealed that subjects were more likely to snack on junk food placed at arm’s length than when the food was placed 20 feet away.
So, keep those sweets out of sight and clean out your pantry once and for all. Head to the kitchen, get a large trash bag, and toss in all the soda, crackers, candy, pastry snacks, as well as salty and savory food like popcorn, chips, and pretzels, and all that.
Increase Protein Intake
Protein is another key nutrient that you need requires to grow, health, and rejuvenate each day. But that’s not the whole story.
Research has found that increasing daily protein intake helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is critical for taming cravings. It has also shown that higher protein intake increases metabolic rate—meaning you’ll be burning more calories, even when at rest.
High-quality protein helps to promote a greater fullness by triggering your body to release satiety hormones.
Add the following lean protein options to your diet:
- Nuts and almonds
Read The Ingredients
Want to take sugar intake one step further? Analyze food labels and ingredient lists before you toss anything into your cart. By learning this, you’ll quickly realize just how much sugar is added into virtually everything.
Sure, not all packaged foods have added sugars, but many do. In fact, you’ll find added sugar in surprising places, like salad dressing and bread. Not only that, it’s not easy to catch sugar as it goes by many names—up to 60 synonyms standing for added sugar in one form or other.
Here’s what to look for:
- Fructose corn syrup
- Dried cane syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Maple syrup
- Organic cane sugar
- Fruit juice concentrate
Next, check the sugar content in grams and go for items with the least per serving.
Not all decisions regarding your sugar intake have to do with your diet. Your lifestyle choices also matter a great deal, especially time spent under the sheet. In fact, getting a good night’s sleep could be the answer you’re seeking.
Being sleep deprived may harm your weight loss efforts and compromise your eating habits.
Research out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that subjects who upped the amount of sleep they each night lowered their added sugar intake by roughly 10 grams the next day compared to how much they consumed the start of the study.
To balance out your hormones, make sleep a priority, and aim to get at least seven to nine hours per night.
Have Healthy Alternatives
When trying to control your sugar cravings, it’s good to have a few healthy bites within arms reach in case you get hungry between meals or later in the evening.
Having this kind of snack is the best strategy when hunger strikes between meals. Research reports that people who ate a high protein snack consumed 100 fewer calories at dinner, compared to a low protein one.
Here are a few examples:
- Non-starchy veggies
There you have it. By making the above changes to your daily eating menu and lifestyle, you’ll definitely (and drastically) cut on sugar intake. Then, it’s just a matter of time and practice before you build healthier eating habits and reach your fitness/health goals. The rest is just details.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.