We’re a world that loves sugar, that much is certain. We put it in and on everything, from our morning cup of coffee to the dessert we end the night with. All this sugar adds up and accumulates, resulting in less than stellar health. So, what should we do? The answer seems obvious, but the execution is far less so. Here’s what you can do to consume less sugar:
1. Switch out your sweeteners.
Let’s get this out of the way first: not all sugars are bad. In fact, you need some of them to provide your body with energy. Refined table sugars are not one of those kinds. Instead of adding a few lumps or spoonfuls to your morning beverage, reach for something like honey. Beware of artificial sweeteners that claim to be sugar substitutes; the vast majority of them are no better.
2. Ditch soda, candies, and pastries.
Besides the fact that these treats offer no nutritional value, they’re packed with sugar. They might taste good, but in addition to not filling you up, they can damage your teeth and contribute to insulin resistance, leading to diabetes. There are so many alternatives, and if you still want pastries occasionally you can make your own at home and control the amount and type of sugar you use. If you just have to have something bubbly, go for sparkling water and flavor it with fresh fruits.
3. Look out for added sugar on food labels.
Sugar is sneaky and can pop up in unexpected places. The best way to cut out sugar besides staying away from the obvious sources is to check food labels. Sugar has many different names on labels (you can find a list here), so be aware that it won’t always be the obvious “sugar” you’ll see. Sugar isn’t always added for flavor; sometimes it’s present to enhance shelf life, so don’t think that only sweet foods and drinks will have added sugar. Things like canned soup and pasta sauce can have way more sugar than necessary, so read diligently.