5 Tips to Stop Singing the Sugar Blues
Are you trying to eat better these days?
One of the best things you can do is reduce the amount of sugar you consume.
We eat too much added sugar in our diets– often without even realizing it, and often from processed foods. Sugar adds to a range of health issues common later in life, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and stroke.
If all that weren’t enough, researcher Robert Lustig says, “Sugar turns on the aging programs in your body. The more sugar you eat, the faster you age.”
Here are five tips to put a dent in your sugar intake.
- Start with breakfast. This is when we often consume sugary beverages and packaged foods like highly sweetened and processed serials. Stick with whole foods instead. Oats with fruit, nuts and seeds are a good alternative.
- Read food labels. Be skeptical of terms like “high-fructose corn sugar,” “agave” and even “honey,” since they are added sugars, too.
- Most whole fruit is generally OK, because the sugar comes with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. It won’t jolt your blood sugar in dangerous ways. Fruit juices are another story.
- Reconsider dessert. Go for Greek yogurt with fruit, or dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa level, the less sugar).
- Don’t keep it in the house. Buy natural sweeteners like Stevia, and avoid high-sugar, highly processed junk food that’s packed with added sugar. If it’s not in the cupboard, you can avoid the temptations a lot easier. Instead, keep nuts, jerky and hard-boiled eggs handy for when snack cravings hit.
Reducing your sugar intake along with not eating highly processed and chemically enhanced foods may reduce your cravings for sweets.
And remember, it’s not meant to be torture. Have a treat once a week, but be smart about even that, since sugar can cause us to want more and more of it.
Gordon Palmer; CPT, Functional Aging Specialist, Brain Health Trainer.
Project Body Smart at Global Fitness & Racquet Club.
Sources: The New York Times, Healthline