Gradually reducing our sugar intake is probably one of the most important habits we must add into our lifestyle, as sugar is the biggest culprit in the obesity crisis. Besides being highly addictive, sugar can be hidden almost everywhere.
Your body responds to sugar by releasing the insulin hormone. This triggers cells to absorb energy from the blood. Once it’s absorbed, the cells don’t know what to do with this excess energy, so it gets stored as fat. Cutting out sugar can be hard! It’s best to start by slightly reducing the amount you eat each day. If you have sugar in your coffee or tea, can you do without it? Or at least cut down half of it?
The aim is to eventually cut it out completely, but start slowly and it will be easier for you to maintain. And also, try not to feel the need to go out of control when you are around sweet treats.
Effective tips to help reduce your sugar intake:
- Replace sugar with healthy fats
- Frozen mangoes – this is my go-to snack when I’m reducing my sugar intake and I’m craving sweets after dinner.
- Cinnamon – you can add to your oatmeal, toast, chai tea or coffee. One teaspoon per day can help control blood sugar and stops sugar cravings.
- Agave maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, and corn syrup are all fructose. Use these in moderation!
- Better alternatives are:
- Brown rice syrup – sometimes called “rice syrup” or “rice malt syrup”. It’s a natural sweetener made from fermented cooked rice, and is a blend of complete carbohydrates, glucose and maltose.
- Stevia – is a natural alternative derived from a leaf that contains no fructose.
Grocery shopping tip – Avoid foods labeled ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’! Both of these labels usually mean there is a ton of hidden sugar, additives, artificial flavors or sweeteners in the food. Manufacturers basically take out all the nutritious bits (the healthy fats) and replace them with sugar and artificial ingredients to make the food taste better. You won’t be getting much nutrition from these foods and they’ll easily be stored as fat.