It is no secret, Americans love sugar and we put it in everything. Sugar is added to whole wheat bread and muffins and even cigarettes. Yes you read that right! Sugar is added to whole wheat items traditionally deemed as “healthy” as well as unhealthy items such as cigarettes for its addictive properties. This just proves how much Americans adore sugar.
Another piece of information that will not surprise you is that sugar is extremely unhealthy. Sugar has been traced back to many common health aliments since its widespread introduction in the 17 & 1800’s including acne, yeast infections, mood swings, mental health diseases and even Cancer. All of these health problems were introduced to the public when we went from consuming approximately 10 pounds of sugar a year to 157 pounds a year.
Here is a simple list to help you cut the sugar out of your life the healthy way and put your body back to nature.
1. Read labels
Look for sugar in the ingredients and not just the nutrition facts. Sugar occurs naturally in many foods and is healthy for the body. The goal of reading the label is to make sure sugar is not an added ingredient. If it is not added then do not worry about the natural sugar on the fact list.
2. Leave the sugar on the table
Resist the urge to add sugar to your coffee or tea. Many of our favorite beverages are already full of unnatural sugar. By not adding extra sugar in your drink you have cut sugar, which leads me to my next tip…
3. Go sugar free
Surprisingly, many beverages to which we add sugar taste great sugar free. With the growing popularity of flavored drinks at your local coffee house, companies have started catering to those who desire a sugar free lifestyle by making sugar free flavoring. Next time you order that latte you love so much, try ordering it sugar free. Chances are that you will not notice much difference and you will have done something healthy for your body.
4. Read the menu and ask questions
Going out to eat can be a dangerous feat. Do not be afraid to ask what is in your dish when eating out. Wait staff will know the ingredients that are not listed on the menu and if they are not sure then they can ask the chef.
5. Get a cookbook
Plenty of people know how damaging sugar is for them have figured ways to rid their bodies of this poison. Cookbooks and internet sites have a plethora of information on how to cook sugar free. It may surprise you how easy it is to cook treats including cookies and cakes sugar free.
6. Eat your fruits and vegetables
Your parents did not tell you “no desserts until you Eat your fruits and vegetables” for their health, but your health. While fructose, a natural fruit sugar, is found in your fruits this is okay for you to eat. This is a type of sugar that your body does need and offers your taste palette a sweet treat which is actually healthy.
7. Pack a snack
Whether at the office or at school there are an abundance of opportunities for you to consume unnecessary sugar from vending machines to the break room. By bringing with you a healthy and sugar free snack, you are less likely to indulge in something sweet and sugary that you will regret later.
8. Keep a journal
Journals are a great way of keeping track of not only what you do and do not eat, but how you feel as well. Taking unnatural sugar out of your diet will leave you feeling energized and healthy. It will also improve your overall health and that is something to write about!
9. Reward yourself
While eating sugar free is not always easy do not feel like you can never have sugar again. When life presents itself with celebrations such as weddings and birthdays, do not feel as thought you cannot celebrate. Just take everything in moderation and enjoy the food knowing that afterwards you will do something healthy for yourself with a nice piece of fruit.
10. Share your newfound health
When making healthy changes in your life you may feel alone while everyone else is enjoying treats. Share with friends, family, and co-workers what you have learned by changing your eating habits and they will respect your change. If they can see how healthy and happy you are, they may even join in with you.
Challenge yourself to a new way of enjoying food, without the sugar, and see just how much better you feel!