Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Cutting Sugar From Your Diet
Today Americans consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year. That is pretty horrifying when we consider that Americans consumed about 7.5 pounds of sugar per year in 1700. In our culture, it is easy to have dessert every day. In addition to sweets, sugar is hidden in unsuspecting foods, like crackers, salad dressings, or breads that are not even really supposed to be sweet. Soft drinks are the worst offender however, because a twelve ounce can of soda contains about eight teaspoons of sugar. It only takes four twelve ounce sodas to equal a quarter pound of sugar. Here is some advice on how to cut down on sugar.
· If you get used to less sugar, you will be satisfied with less sugar. Try cutting sugar intake down slowly. And once you go from three teaspoons to one teaspoon or even one half teaspoon in your coffee, you will be satisfied when you retrain your taste buds. Don’t go cold turkey, just cut down gradually.
· Use spices to flavor your food instead of sugar.
· Try stevia, an all-natural herbal sweetener that is 30 times sweeter than sugar. This can be found in health food stores. Other sugar substitute are full of chemicals, so stick to what’s natural.
· Drink way more water. Make it less boring by adding lemon, lime, berries, or soda water to it.
· Check food labels. Avoid foods that have high fructose corn syrup. Look for the labels that say “no added sugar” or “Half the sugar” but just make sure these foods aren’t making up for the lack of sugar with artificial sweetener.
· Set boundaries on dessert. Because desert is so abundant in our culture, we have to be more proactive about our intake of it. For example, try to only have it on weekends, or special occasions. If dining out is not such a frequent occurrence, only have it at restaurants. It seems so harmless, but it’s not something you should be having every day.
· Try cutting your sweet drinks in half with unsweetened ones. Mix soda water or water with your juice or lemonade, or diet soda with your regular soda. Mix unsweetened tea with your sweet tea.
Go for a walk when you start to feel the sugar cravings. This will switch your focus and stop your cravings for sweets.