Sugar (like salt) is in just about everything we ingest these days and it definitely has some pretty serious drawbacks.
Yes, we know it tastes scrumptious, but it is also a contributor to the development of diabetes and, obviously, obesity.
So what are some ways we can curb that sugar intake? Well, here are some steps for you to consider and perhaps embrace.
7 Steps to Getting Your Sugar Consumption under Control
Apparently, when it comes to sugar, the average Canadian ingests about 26 teaspoons while Americans are known to down a slightly smaller amount, 22.2 teaspoons.
The fact of the matter is, we consume far too much in the realm of sugar and sweeteners (more a day than our ancestors had in a lifetime).
Interestingly enough, a good portion of that consumption is found in sodas. Think about how many sodas you go through a day. This thought leads us to the first move in our 7 step plan.
1. Cut out the soda! Hey, we understand the difficulty in eradicating the Mt. Dews. We get that desire for something fizzy, or that need for an extra pick me up (on top of the several cups of coffee we have already chugged). If you simply must experience the carbonation, then opt for a sparkling water. Otherwise, do the right thing and make water your beverage of choice. There are a number of homemade flavored waters to consider. These won’t fill the soda void, but they might be a little more interesting than that bottle of Zephyrhills.
2. Try gum. Sure, the concept might sound a little bit lame, but when the sugar tooth kicks in and you are feeling a leaning towards those delightful chocolate and peanut butter mixtures, curb the need with some gum. The great thing about picking the gum over the Reese’s, is that your breath won’t be kickin’ like Jackie Chan. Your co-workers will thank you for that!
3. Do it in halves. This step is mad cool! It will help you get through the sugar withdrawals by slowly weaning you off the stuff. So, in case you didn’t know, mix half regular sweetened yogurt with half unsweetened, and do the same with your sodas and sauces, jams and preserves. Eventually you will be able to cut out all the “sweetened” stuff. Do it in steps: half sweetened, then quarter sweetened, then it’s gone!
4. Set dessert rules. Oh, we get it, we know the greatness that is dessert (cheese cake is definitely yummy). That is why we are not telling you to eliminate it from your life entirely. Instead, make some dessert rules. Determine to only eat dessert after dinner (that will help eradicate mid-day candy snackin’). Then, try making it an only on even days of the month, or weekends, deal. Cutting back will decrease your cravings (and probably your waist line too). By the way, you can always choose your own dessert and therefore, we think it prudent to point out that peaches, grapefruit and watermelon make great grilled desserts.
5. Read the labels. Yes, it can be annoying standing there in the aisle reading the labels, but once you realize just what you are putting in your body, you might be more inclined to get things under control. For instance, did you know that 1 tablespoon of ketchup has nearly a half a teaspoon of sugar in it? That’s just ludicrous! Start buying sugar free condiments (but be vigilant about the substitutes being utilized as well since some are worse for you than natural sugars).
6. Get the right cereal. We have all heard over and over that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but when we are starting our days with a sugar overload, chances are we are negating that whole concept. It is hard to find a minimally sweetened cereal these days. Actually, it’s pretty hard to find a minimally sweetened anything. However, if you are really looking, try to stay below 8 grams of sugar per serving and then use fruit to add sweetness to your bowl.
7. Only eat the best. While it might be easy to cram six or seven Oreos in your mouth at one sitting, chances are you would much more enjoy a Godiva truffle. So, here is something to consider, think about only ingesting the best quality sweets you can afford. Only eat a sweet when it is one of your favorites. This way, you won’t feel so bad about the indulgence, and you will be less likely to indulge because you don’t want to spend all your money on gold covered chocolates. In addition, avoid all the silly calories found in workplace snack foods, stay away from the donut table and candy jars.
Why Cut the Sugar?
Now that we have told you how to at least get a start on sugar consumption elimination, you might be wondering why we are pushing the issue.
Sure, you are aware of the weight complications associated with high calorie diets (most of which come from sugar), but there are other health risk arenas that perhaps you hadn’t realized.
While sugar has an unduly high caloric make-up, it is virtually useless in the nutritional realm. Our predecessors thought it was great because it gave them the get-up-and-go they needed for life on the plains, in the wilderness, etc.
We, however, don’t live like that and yet we are so jacked up with sugar that we are too chubby to run from the lions they were facing. Truth be told, most of us are too chubby to run from much of anything.
Not only that, but sugar can accelerate infection and bolster inflammation while lowering your immune system’s ability to fight such things.
It raises the levels of insulin in your body, triggering fat storage and increases the probability of mood swings, arthritis, gall stones, hypertension, asthma and diabetes.
In fact, it may contribute to cardiovascular disease as well. That makes cheesecake a little less appealing for us, what about you?
Look, sugar is everywhere and in nearly everything, bread, sauce, pre-packaged and processed foods. It is hard to get away from.
However, if you will adhere to our seven steps and truly understand the dangers lurking within high sugar consumption we believe you will be able to limit, if not wholly eradicate, your sugar consumption.
We understand that things in moderation are typically ok, and therefore we are not necessarily pushing you to drop all sugar, all the time.
However, we do want what is best for your health and would therefore like to see you get your sugar cravings under control. If you’ve got additional recommendations, or questions, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below!