Sugar is actually a necessary source of fuel for your body and occurs naturally in many foods; however it is also added to a wide range of products available in any supermarket. In fact, it is often present when you do not expect it to be; such as in bread, sauces or condiments! It is this added sugar that is easily consumed in excess and can lead to excessive calories being consumed and an increase in your weight.
Use the following tips to help reduce the amount of added sugar you are putting into your body:
Pay more attention to ingredients on labels
The label on any food product should list its ingredients. Many products will have sugar added to them; studying their labels is the first way you can identify which products are high in sugar and attempt to avoid them; or at least reduce consumption. Don’t forget that sugar can be listed as any of the following: glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolyzed starch, corn syrup or honey.
Breakfast cereal – make healthier choices
You may be surprised how high in sugar many of your favorite breakfast cereals are. The good news is that you can usually locate a low sugar, or no added sugar alternative to your regular breakfast. Have you tried replacing current cereal with oatmeal and some fresh fruit?
Processed food and ready meals are prime candidates to be high in sugar; even savory foods have sugar added! Wherever possible avoid using ready-made products. Fresh food is higher in the vitamins and minerals which are essential for a healthy body; and far less likely to have added sugar!
You are probably already aware of the amount of sugar in your daily snack; the biscuits in the middle of the morning and the chocolate bar mid-afternoon. These boost your energy levels temporarily and help you through the day. The best way to reduce this sugar rush is to swap your sugary snacks for unsalted nuts, oatcakes or plain popcorn. Fruit is also an excellent alternative, although dried fruits tend to be high in sugar and are likely to stick to your teeth and increase your risk of tooth decay.
It is essential to consume liquid throughout the day. However, fizzy drinks and sweetened juices are particularly high in sugar. Many cordials and squashes are, as well. Replace your high sugar drink with low fat milk, soda water, sugar free variety of drinks; or, the best option is water. If you have sugar in your tea or, then gradually reduce the amount you add.
These are, by the very nature, full of sugar. However, you can limit the number of desserts or the size of your portion. The best way to start is to reduce your intake; just have a dessert after your evening meal. You can also switch from cakes and high sugar puddings to fruit, low fat yoghurts or low fat rice pudding.
It is not advisable to simply stop consuming sugar. Not only will you be likely to suffer from symptoms of withdrawal; you will also be more likely to give in to your cravings. Take your time and slowly reduce your intake; this will ensure you have changed your eating habits for life.
It can seem like a good idea to switch from sugar to artificial sweetener. However, this will not change your craving for sweet things and may actually cause weight gain! This is because you body will expect calories when you consume something sweet and it will not get these from a sweetener. This will, consequently, confuse your body and have it demanding more sugar.
To successfully reduce your sugar intake you will need to persevere! Adhere to a healthier diet by including more healthy foods into your diet. If you can’t, you can always go for all-natural supplements such as Marine collagen capsules which are meant to promote general wellbeing. You will have good days and bad days but stick to your aims and your taste buds will adjust and make the job easier for you.