No not all sugar is bad for you! Sugar is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The problem begins when there is sugar added to foods that do not naturally contain them! The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 6 tsp of added sugar per day. Most people double this! But why should you start paying attention to your sugar intake? Too much added sugar causes tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and messes with our metabolism! There are also some really great benefits to cutting added sugar from your diet! Just some of them include lower cholesterol, decrease in risk of heart attack and dementia or Alzheimer, clear your skin, give you more energy, and so much more! Cutting sugar to receive all of these benefits may sound difficult, but it might not be as hard as you think! Here are some easy tips to start cutting sugar one step at a time:
- Start reading labels! Make sure to read the amount of sugar per serving and sugar is disguised by other names! Corn syrup, glucose, sucrose and other names that rhyme with gross are all other forms of processed sugar we do not want to put in our body!
- Make your own! Start plain and buy unsweetened versions of yogurt or oatmeal and add fruit, honey, granola, or cinnamon for flavor! Make your own flavored drinks by drinking smoothies or making your own juice or add sliced fruit, lemons, cucumbers to your water!
- You don’t need the extra sugar, syrup, or whip cream in your coffee or tea! Milk, Splenda or stevia is fine! Give it a try without all of the extra stuff you might be surprised how little you’ll miss it!
- Up protein and fat to slow the release of blood sugar in your body! This will slow down the absorption of sugar in your body and help prevent sugar spikes!
- Don’t drink your sugar! Soda, juices, and coffee can contain crazy amounts of sugar and cause you to take in more than you might even be aware of! Slowly start to cut these drinks and replace with water. Don’t forget you should be drinking 8 cups of water a day (:
- Cut sugar in recipes by 1/3-1/2 and add some vanilla extract or honey instead! Or even better replace with Splenda. You won’t even notice the difference!
- Don’t go cold turkey- try one week, then two! Make a goal of cutting added sugar for one week and see how you do, you’re not going to be perfect and that’s okay! You’re going to realize there is added sugar in products you would never think of once you start paying attention! The next week you’ll be even more prepared and see if you can do even better than the week before!
So what do you say?! If you can start bettering your life by trying out some of these easy tips, why wouldn’t you? Let’s start today!