You might have no idea how much sugar you’re consuming each day, and that can be extremely dangerous. Cutting down on sugar intake is associated with far better health outcomes and lower risk for all kinds of chronic illnesses.
Eating too much added sugar is linked to health risks like heart disease, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, obesity, and type-2 diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 25 g per day (about six teaspoons) to avoid health risks.
A can of Coke has 39 g, which is roughly ten teaspoons.
Sweet beverages and snacks, however, are not the only places you’ll find added sugars. It’s also in places you might not expect. Sauces, condiments, salad dressings, drink mixes, and more are loaded with it.
You’re probably getting way more added sugar than you should be if most of your food comes in packages.
So, how do you eat less of it?
What might seem relatively straightforward in theory can be far more difficult in practice. It’s not easy to kick a sugar habit (especially if you don’t know you’ve got one), and a plan can help. Here are some helpful tips to assist you in eating less sugar.
- Track intake: It’s hard to cut sugar intake if you don’t know where to start. Take a look at the labels of the food you eat to get an idea of how much you’re eating. Reading labels is essential going forward.
- Don’t quit cold turkey: You might find that you’re eating a lot more sugar than you’d thought. Because sugar is addictive, quitting cold turkey can be very difficult, and perhaps worse, unsustainable. Instead, start slowly cutting back so your body can better adjust. One less soda or spoonful of sugar in your coffee is an excellent first step.
- Increase water intake: When you’re feeling hungry, you probably reach for a snack, right? These snacks are often sugar-laden. But before eating, it’s wise to have a glass of water. Dehydration is easily disguised as hunger, so having a drink can often ease hunger pangs.
- Water is the beverage of choice because it’s sugar-free, unlike many other drinks. If you want some flavor, infuse water with lemons or berries to add some taste.
- Find naturally sweet options: Diets high in added sugar can mess with your taste buds. But as you cut back, taste buds will regain their sensitivity to naturally sweet foods. Apples, pears, berries, melon, and sweet potatoes are healthy options to satisfy a sweet tooth.