In the United States, we consume 130 pounds of sugar per person on average per year, whether we know the harm sugar causes to our bodies or not. The harmful effects, however, go far beyond empty calories and many have been proven. Sugar gives us a large supply of fructose, which can transform into fat, harm your triglycerides and cholesterol and increase the risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. So why are we not eliminating sugar from our diets?
How to Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet
Get Rid of Sugary Beverages
Why: There are a lot of culprits, such as sweetened waters, soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks, fruit drinks and apple juice. Convenience stores, fast-food chains and movie theaters all have these sugary beverages. Some of the beverages are even offered in portions which contain more calories and sugars.
How to eliminate: If you drink a lot of sugary beverages, this can be a difficult try to get rid of them, so quitting cold turkey is the best option. Write down a list of all the sugary beverages you drink, make up a plan of substitutes, so you won’t feel as tempted to cheat. Pour out any you still have at home down the drain, and remove them from your shopping list.
Cut Back on Processed Foods
Why: Almost all processed foods are loaded full of sugars which fuel your addition to them.
How to eliminate: When you are eliminating sugar from your diet, it is best to start at the basics and eat fresh foods only. Attempt to shop at the grocery store where you can get all the fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and meats which are completely free of hidden sugars that would kill your attempt at kicking the sugar habit.
Avoid Junk Foods
Why: If you always have junk food available in your pantry, these will really add to your addiction to sugar.
How to eliminate: You will have to cut out sweet foods such as cookies, cakes, ice cream and candy bars, plus salty and savory foods like popcorn, chops and pretzels, all prime examples of junk food. Remember, however, to take a modified cold-turkey approach here.
Pay Attention to Hidden Sugar
Why: Sauces, dressings and some condiments can add whole grams of sugar to your foods which you didn’t realize but actually are there.
How to eliminate: Remember to always read the nutrition labels on everything, so you know what you are eating and it can help you find replacements which are sensible.
Eat Less Salt
Why: Your body will naturally crave sugar to balance out the flavors when you eat a lot of salt. If you add salt to an already salty dish, for example, like cheese and eggs, there is a big chance that you’ll want to eat a side of pancakes and syrup even if you aren’t hungry anymore.
How to eliminate: if you want to cut back on sugar fast, it is best to stay away from foods which are salty for a week at least. After you no longer crave sugar, you can add the saltier foods gradually back into your diet.
Try Unrefined Sweeteners
It you are having too much trouble eliminating sugar completely, try instead some unrefined sweeteners, such as raw honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar. These all have vitamins and , which makes them less stressful on your body. They are also not as addictive, and some, such as coconut sugar, will not raise your blood sugar much at all. Stevia is a great choice for anyone who wants something sweet without the rise in blood sugar or the calories.
Eat a Comprehensive Diet
Simply learning how to eliminate sugar and doing so can greatly improve your health, but for great health, you will need to eat foods which are good for you as well. Eat regular, hearty meals to make sure that you won’t eat a cookie or donut while you are out, or reach for candy from a co-worker out of hunger.
Maintain Your Diet Routine
Eliminating sugar is not just a temporary fix, but a way of eating. The important thing here is to make it a habit, and not how quickly you can achieve it. In the long run, you will see that it will be well worth it. If possible, try to pass it on to your children as well, because it will surely benefit them greatly, too.