If you look around finding vegan or lactose intolerant people will not be tough but you will be hard pressed to find women and men who do not like sugar. This is one ingredient in foods and beverages that can be addictive and most people are not even aware of their sugar craving, as it is! Excess sugar in foods leads to myriads of health issues such as tooth decay, diabetes and cardiac problems in the long run. Therefore, it is prudent that you adopt measures to avoid partaking excess sugar through foods. It can be a little trickier than you think, but cutting down on sugar consumption is not impossible either.
Top 7 Effective Methods Using Which You Can Cut Down Excess Sugar Consumption:
1. Identify The Sources of Sugar
It is important that you identify sources of sugar in foods you eat, including the hidden ones! While you may think using less sugar to make the tea or smoothie will be helpful, it is not enough. Sugar is used to make lots of snacks, beverages and condiments used by you every day. For example, sugar is used to make bread that may not taste sweet and it is also used in various types of sauces. Nutrition experts say you should not be worried about sugar in fruits and vegetables as these also contain essential nutrients.
[ Read: How To Get Rid of Sugar Addiction ]
2. Cut Down Slowly
Cutting down on sugar is not easy if you try to reduce the intake drastically. The theory is the same behind quitting any addiction like tobacco. You need to cut down sugar intake gradually. Or else the craving may strike and you will end up gulping down more sugary foods! You may start by reducing the amount you add in tea, smoothies or cereals for example. Wherever possible, use honey and lemon to add sweetness to food instead of sugar.
3. Read Food Labels
When you buy fast foods, condiments or ready to eat foods, ensure you read the labels carefully to evade eating excess sugar. As a matter of fact, sugar is used in many forms in these foods. The words you should look out for include glucose, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, etc. You should also look for phrases like ‘contains added sugar’ in such foods.
4. Discard OTC Juices And Beverages
Do not get lured by the promotional offer on fruit juice and fizzy drinks. They may contain artificial flavours and colours and these drinks are laced with additional sugar. It is always better that you make fruit juices at home where you can monitor sugar usage. The same thing can be said about flavoured milk based beverages.
5. Choose Breakfast Foods Wisely
Some breakfast cereals can contain high amounts of sugar. You can use plain porridges and oats that contain no sugar or additives. Dried fruits are rich in sugar and so you can eat them sparingly.
6. Eat Fruits Instead of Juices
Whenever possible, gorge on whole fruits rather than drinking fruit juice and this is applicable for homemade ones too. When fruit is crushed or ground, extra sugar is released. Ensure you limit your fruit juice intake. To quench thirst, there is nothing better than plain, pure water. You may add some lemon juice to water for taste.
7. Low Fat Foods Can Be Sugary Too
Some people think eating low fat labelled foods is a healthy choice. While some low fat milk, yogurt or drinks may have reduced calorie value- they still may contain a significant amount of sugar. So, you need to analyse the ingredient list to ensure sugar intake stays within limits.