Reducing Sugar Intake
If you have decided to keep to a healthier diet, you are going to have to give up on some of the foods you have been eating for years. Sugar is as sweet as it is dangerous, so it tops the list of ingredients to be dumped. However, this can be a challenge, especially for those who have not imagined their lives without sweets so far. This can be hard, but not impossible.
What do I Take Instead?
To begin with, cross out sugary beverages, such as sodas, designer coffee, synthetic juices and cocktails. These drinks are high and sugar and, worse still, synthetic chemical sweeteners, which are even more dangerous. Therefore, specialists recommend staying away from all these drinks, including sugar-free ones. Instead, they say, it is better to drink plain or sparkling flavored water. Adding Stevia powder is another good way around sugar. This powder is based on a natural substance extracted from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. It is much healthier than sugar and synthetic sweeteners, and it has no calories.
Read Nutrition labels!
Different packages use different systems to specify the concentration of carbohydrates. There is some general information for consumers to tell a sugar-rich item from sugar-low and/or sugar free one:
Foods containing 22.5g of sugar per 100g are graded as high in sugar.
Foods containing 5g or less of sugar per 100g are graded as low in sugar.
Some of our everyday foods, which do not taste downright sweet, contain much more sugar than we think. These include salads dressed with cream, pasta- barbecue-, and curry sauces, chilli meals, ketchup, etc. These may contain more than 20g of sugar per 100g.
This information will help you calculate and control your intake of sugar and outline your diet. Please, note that food manufacturers use a variety of terms, such as nectar, dextrose, honey, sucrose, etc. To avoid buying a sugar-rich food, please, memorize all these names and be careful when shopping for food.
It Takes a Bit of Getting Used to
Everyone knows that parting with a favorite meal can be frustrating. Happily, there are decent ways to fill in the gap. For example, if you have to switch from sugary cereal to plain one. If you have a habit of adding sugar to your cereal, you can start with adding a decreased amount of it and use dried fruits (apricots, prunes, etc.) as a substitute. If you have been eating toasts for years, you can switch to a type of bread that is richer in fiber and reduce the amount of chocolate or jam. Today, groceries offer similar items, which are much lower in sugar and are safe for even diabetics.
Take Your Mind off It!
There are a couple of tricks, which can alleviate your longing for the good old sweet taste. Drinking is just one of them. By drinking more you can trick your hypothalamus – a gland, which regulates appetite and thirst – into ‘thinking’ that your body has just received a portion of food.
Make sure there is always some food in store. It is advisable to plan your next meals beforehand instead of giving yourself up to what is there lying in your fridge. This sort of planning creates a sensation of satisfaction and pretty much eases the craving.
Go for It!
Like any new undertaking, switching to another diet takes quite a bit of patience, time and effort. It is advisable to outline a pattern prior to actually changing it, and follow it strictly. This can be difficult for the first couple of weeks. However, when you do eventually overcome the difficulty, you will learn to enjoy the true benefits of your new diet, and you will trade your all-so-sweet past with no regrets!