Sugar might be tasty, but it may be doing some pretty nasty things to your health. Overconsumption of sugar can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes while also increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer, depression, and acne.
The American Heart Association suggests that women should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and men should consume no more than 35 grams of added sugar daily. Meeting those limits may mean that you will need to curb your sugar intake dramatically. So, how do you cut out sugar without feeling like you are making huge sacrifices?
One way to resist the urge to eat sugar-filled foods is to feel more satisfied with the foods you are eating. Start by adding more organic fruits and vegetables to your diet. An organic meal will be more flavorful than its conventional counterpart.
Chemicals and pesticides impact food flavor in a negative way. Organic foods often taste more intense. In particular, organic fruit naturally seems sweeter. This is good news for curbing your sugar intake because when you are more satisfied with the way meals taste, you are less likely to experience cravings for sugar later.
Switch to honey
If you are guilty of spooning sugar into your tea or coffee, substituting honey is an easy way to reduce your sugar intake. While honey may not be perfectly safe for diabetics, is it a better choice than sugar in most cases and provides many health benefits. Eating locally-sourced honey can help minimize allergy symptoms while also providing antioxidants and helping to lower blood pressure.
Swap water for soda
Sodas, which owe much of their flavor to artificial sweeteners, are a significant source of sugar for many people. While water is a much healthier choice, which will also keep you hydrated and help flush toxins from your body, the switch can be difficult. To ease the transition from sugary soda to plain water, look for flavorful alternatives.
Bottled flavored water, flavor powder, and flavor drops can all taste more interesting than plain water. But, be careful to read the nutrition labels. Many flavored waters contain large amounts of artificial sugar. Instead, opt for infused water.
Add fresh fruit or herbs to water for a sugar-free drink that is tasty and healthy. Sparkling water can also help with cutting out soda. Sparkling water has the same fizz as soda, which can help satisfy cravings without the sugar.
Try natural peanut butter
Peanut butter is high in protein and can be part of a healthy diet. But, many much-loved brands are also high in sugar. If you want to keep an easy snack in your diet without all the sugar, try switching to natural versions. Natural peanut butter typically contains much less sugar and contains no artificial sweeteners.
You will need to stir natural peanut butter before spreading it because it does separate in the container, but you will likely be impressed with the flavor.
Eat a savory breakfast
Your morning meal sets the tone for the day. If you fill a bowl with sugary cereal, you are more likely to crave sweets all day long. Rather than opting for a sweet start to the day, fill your plate with high-protein savory options.
Sip hot tea
If you experience mid-afternoon energy shortfalls and cravings, a warm cup of tea might be the answer. Chai, mint, ginger, and fruit-infused herbal varieties taste sweet without containing sugar and can help curb cravings. So, rather than reaching for a cookie, soothe your sweet tooth and get a pick-me-up by popping a tea mag into a mug of hot water.