How to cut out refined sugar from your diet? 10 useful healthy eating tips
Cutting refined sugar out of your diet can be quite hard. It’s not just about the sugar that you add to your drinks and food itself, that you can measure, but it’s also about the sugar that is added by manufacturers to foods, both sweet and savory, which is far more difficult to monitor. Sugar, though, has been linked to many serious diseases and not just associated with weight gain, so here are ten ways that you can cut down or cut out the refined sugar in your diet:
1. Stop drinking sweetened soda and eating candy
Let’s begin with the obvious, one of the easiest tips on how to cut out refined sugar off your diet is – cut out the soda and candy, this will drastically reduce your sugar intake immediately. One can of ordinary soda can contain up to around ten teaspoons of sugar, so work out how many cans you drink a day and multiply by ten, that’s how much sugar you’re taking on board and that’s without all sugar from other food you eat.
2. Check the labels for added sugar
Sugar is added by manufactures to many different types of food and it’s not just the sweet foods that you have to check, many savoury foods have added sugar too. Check the labels for added sugar and remember that it might not be called simply sugar. Added corn syrup, syrup, fructose, maltose, lactose, etc,…they all mean that a sweetening agent has been added.
3. Choose wisely when dining out
You might think that by choosing the salad, you are choosing the healthy option, but watch out for the dressing! Most salad dressings are loaded with sugar and so, negate the positive health benefits of choosing the salad in the first place.
4. Cut out refined sugar gradually
Another tip on how to cut out sugar from your diet is – do it gradually and slowly. Having a sweet tooth sounds so innocent but, in fact, what you are experiencing is a craving, just like any other. If you do need to satisfy your urge for sugar, then eat just a very small portion of sugary food or natural sugar substitutes (but about it, a little later) and that will satisfy the craving, while you get used to going without. Then continue to reduce sugar quantities, until you won’t feel any need for it any more.
5. Don’t buy prepared meals
Even the so called healthy or organic pre-pared meals often contain added sugar, so it’s best to avoid them all together. Best option is not even to keep any at home and then, you won’t be tempted; home cooked food is much better for you all round anyway and you know exactly what you put in.
6. Reduce the refined sugar use in your own cooking
You can probably cut down or cut out the sugar in most of your home recipes too, and you won’t even notice the difference. You can use natural fruit or honey, instead of refined sugar, to add sweetness and spices like cinnamon, vanilla and mint can add a sweet taste to many dishes.
7. Fill yourself up with vegetables instead
When you feel a pang of hunger, the chances are that you’ll reach straight for a sugary treat; so, instead, fill yourself up with plenty of low calorie, fresh and nutritious vegetables with your meals and avoid the urge to overdo it with refined sugar rich foods.
8. Refined sugar substitutes
Just because a store bought product says that it ‘contains fruit’, this doesn’t mean that it’s healthy and it doesn’t mean that it’s not packed with added refined sugar. The best way to get a fruit flavor is from the actual fruit. It contains sugar, so it will satisfy your craving, but it’s a natural sugar and there is far less of it in a fruit, than there is in a sweet, manufactured, snack. Here are some of my favorite sugar substitutes: honey, dried grapes, dates, cranberries, puréed Banana, apricots, mangoes, etc.
9. Watch out for the breakfast cereal
Many, apparently healthy, breakfast cereals contain added refined sugar too, so check the labels carefully and select those, labelled as having no added sugar or salt and then, add a touch a sweetness with some sliced fresh fruit, honey or a sprinkling of dried fruits and nuts.
10. Experiment with new flavors
Another great tip on how to cut out sugar from your diet is – experiment with new flavors. There are many ways to enjoy food that has little or no refined sugar. You can help yourself by experimenting with new flavors and taste experiences to keep your food interesting. There are so many healthy dessert recipes, so try adding more spices and herbs (cinnamon, vanilla, mint…) to your cooking, rather than sugar, and cook heartier, comforting, foods such, such as stews and soups, to give you that warm, glowing feeling inside and it will help take your mind of the sugar.
How to cut out sugar from your diet? Do you have your own healthy eating tips and secrets? Please, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!