Most people, especially kids and teenagers, like sugary foods like candy, cakes and soft drink. Even adults love chocolate bars, cookies, ice cream, iced cafe lattes with whipped cream. All these foods or drinks have sugar. Sugar causes a surge in the blood sugar level which make you feel good. Too much of a good thing can be bad thing and sugar is one of the examples.
A healthy adult consumes about 2000 calories a day and the intake of sugar should not be more than 40 gram of sugar a day.
Now, 1 level table spoon of sugar is about 6 to 8 gram and it has about 15 calories. So, if you pour 4 table spoons of sugar into your coffee, you have already added about 60 calories. Do not belittle this small addition, 2 cups of coffee a day and you will have 60 cups a month. With 60 calories of sugar in each cup, 60 cups will give you 3,600 calories in total every month. Calories are related to weight gain. Weight gain result in heart disease. Sugar sitting on your teeth may lead to gum infection and and too decay problem. Cutting back on sugar will help you overcome obesity and ensuring your teeth is intact.
Here are the 12 tips on what to look out and how to cut down sugar in your daily diet:
- One can of Coke has 12 teaspoons of sugar. Large amounts of sugar are added to cover the bitter taste of caffeine. (Same with coffee.) I actually call soda as “liquid sugar” because its main ingredient is really sugar. If you cut down Coke, you have cut down much sugar in your diet. Alternatively, go for diet version. Better still, give up soda and go for water. If water is too plain for you, add a squeeze of lemon. Even sparkling water is better than soda.
- If you have kids at home, try not to pamper them with candy. If children develop a taste preference for sweet foods (which last a lifetime) since young age, they may end up eating more high calorie diet when they grow up.
- Do not be fooled by the “fat-free” processed foods. They are often loaded with sugar. Many other foods like ketchup, hot dog and jam are loaded with sugar too. If you read the food label, you may be surprised that sugar is the top 3 ingredients. Spot on those words end with “ose”. They are actually sugar in disguise. For example, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose and glucose. Other sugary ingredients include syrup, honey and brown sugar. So, find out the nutrition information before you make the purchase.
- Ask your mum to reduce sugar in baking. Sugar can often be reduced by half.
- If you want to eat a piece of cake next time, stop yourself and reach for an orange, water melon or mango instead. Fruits are sweet and they give you fiber. Developing a preference for the sweet taste of fruits is a great alternative to sweeties.
- Instead of adding sugar to cereal, top it with fresh fruit which adds healthy sweetness.
- Instead of using flavored yogurt, add fresh fruit like banana or kiwi to plain yogurt.
- Avoid canned fruits and vegetables. They are packed with high fructose corn syrup.
- Do not take drastic step to cut all sugar at once because you will not be able to do that successfully. Reduce it slowly with phases approach. You will not feel the pinch as much. Instead of three tablespoons of sugar, get down to two and then one. Some people use the “quota” method, which can be daily or weekly quota. In other words, they allow themselves to indulge in sugary food with that quota. Establish a rule – whether dessert or Coke. Choose only one to fill up the quota. Bear in mind that this is just an interim solution until you can forgo the habit and be able to control.
- Make your own soft drinks. What you need is soda water and choice of fresh fruit juice.
- Do not keep junk food like ice cream or chocolate at home.
- If you eat irregularly, you may interfere with how your body processes sugar. Therefore, always eat 3 regular meals with 2 to 3 snacks a day to regulate your body metabolism. Have a well balanced diet which includes protein and carbohydrates. By doing this, you will ensure your body has sugar and feel fuller and more satisfied all day. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. Check out the article of Why You Should Not Skip Breakfast and What To Eat For Breakfast?
- If you must bite on something sweet to stop the crave, chew sugar-free gum.
- Watch out mixed alcohol drinks. Some mix with soda.
- Buy diabetic condiments. Most condiments and other packaged foods for people with diabetes are made without sugar or with sugar substitutes.
Remember that sugar can be addictive: The more you eat, the more addictive it becomes and the more it takes to satisfy you. The opposite is also true: Train your taste buds to become accustomed to less and you will be satisfied with less.
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