You may be thinking “I don’t eat alot of sugar, I’ve been trying really hard to eat healthy lately. This doesn’t apply to me.” But humor me and keep reading just a bit further. I think you’ll be surprised!
First, let’s tally up the sugar in a typical “unhealthy” day of eating:
- Coffee with 2 tsps Snickers coffee creamer – 2.5 tsps
- Avg sugar cereal – 3 tsps
- Danish – 5 tsps
- Coke at 11 AM – 10 tsp
- Fried chicken sandwich with honey BBQ dipping sauce and fries – 6 tsps
- Kit kat at 3 PM – 2.5 tsps
- Double cheeseburger with fries and ketchup – 3 tsps sugar
- Gin and tonic – 3 tsps
- Bowl of ice cream and a few cookies – 9 tsps
- TOTAL: 44 tsps sugar
Now the shocking part!
What many of us would consider a “healthy” day:
So even if you’re trying really hard to eat healthy in 2019,
sugar could still be sabotaging your efforts.
Have a little room for improvement? (or alot, no judgement)Tah dah! My top 5 tips to cutting the sweet stuff.
#1. Read Labels.
Ignore the front of the box.
“made with natural ingredients”
These mean NOTHING when it comes to sugar content..
Instead of reading what the marketing team came up with, look at the nutrition facts label and the ingredient list. First look at how many grams of sugar something contains, then look to see where that sugar is coming from.
If it’s coming from a natural source, you’re in the clear. But be reasonable. An all-fruit smoothie with 60 grams of sugar is not a good idea, even if all the sugar is coming from fruit.
If added sugar is one of the first three ingredients, try to find a healthier alternative.
Other names for added sugar:
- Agave Nectar
- Barley Malt
- Beet Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Cane Juice
- Fruit Juice Concentrate
- Corn Syrup
- Granulated sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Malt Syrup
- Raw sugar
- Rice Syrup
- Sorghum Syrup
- Turbinado Sugar
#2: Shift to Unprocessed.
Instead of juice, eat the whole fruit. Whole fruit has fiber in tact, helps keep blood sugars stable.
Instead of instant oats that are flavored and sweetened, opt for rolled or steel cut and add fresh fruit to sweeten. Ceylon cinnamon is a great way to add a sweet flavor without the sugar, AND it balances blood sugars!
Instead of store-bought salad dressings, try olive oil and lemon juice. Alot of salad dressings are loaded with sugar and inflammatory oils.
#3: Buy things naked.
No no, please don’t go to the grocery store in your birthday suit! What I mean is, buy things plain.
If there’s an unsweetened option, get it. You can always add small amounts of sugar yourself. The key is that you get to control how much sugar goes in. You get to decide how much sugar you eat, not the food company.
#4: Sweeten smart.
If you do decide to sweeten something yourself, there are four sweeteners that have a lower glycemic index compared to regular sugar. This means they will spike your blood sugars less than regular sugar.
- Raw/unfiltered honey
- 100% maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
- 100% molasses
Keep in mind they’re still concentrated sources of sugar, so use in moderation!
#5: Satisfy with nature's sweets.
Fruit and sweet vegetables (sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, etc.) are the best way to satisfy a sweet tooth. The natural sugar is wrapped up in fiber and has a high water content, which stabilizes blood sugars.
To stabilize your blood sugars even further, pair these natural sweets with a source of fat and protein.
Example? Instead of just an apple, pair an apple with some almond butter!