Did you know that the average Canadian consumes about 26 tablespoons of sugar a day? That’s a whole lot of sugar. And the consumption of large amounts of sugar is directly related to the rise of obesity and chronic disease, like kidney and heart disease, in Canada.
What’s even more alarming is that there are so many foods at the grocery store that appear to be healthy, but aren’t. These foods contain quite a bit of added sugar that may fool even the healthiest of us.
Do you and your family consume any of the following?
- Fruit juices (orange, apple, etc.)
- Canned Soups
- Fruit juices
- Salad dressings
- Infant formula
These are just a few, of many, common foods that have unnecessary sugar added to them.
Keep this in mind while grocery shopping: most processed and packaged foods at the grocery store contain high amounts of added sugar. So what’s the solution? You need to switch to whole foods. This means you need to learn how to make your own dressings, soups, and other meals from wholesome and fresh ingredients. By making food from scratch, you get to control what you put into your body and what stays out.
How to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet
Here is my cheat sheet for how you can cut unnecessary sugar out of your diet:
1. Limit Processed Food
Sugar is easily hidden in many processed foods like, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and salad dressings. Read food labels and choose “no added sugar” or “all fruit” products.
2. Avoid Soda
We all know that soda has a lot of sugar. This sugar acts as empty calories that the body does not easily recognize and, in turn, makes you unnecessarily hungry. Moreover, soda contains phosphoric acid, which depletes calcium and magnesium in the body.
By exercising, you can reduce food cravings for sugar and also reduce insulin levels after exercise
4. Sweeten Naturally
Do you find yourself reaching for sugar to add flavor to your food and drinks? You can replace white sugar with alternatives like:
- Maple syrup
- Apple sauce
Stevia comes from a plant and has no calories. It’s also 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. You can even use these alternative sweetners while baking.
5. Choose Whole Grains (Complex Carbohydrates)
Whole grains, or complex carbohydrates, make our bodies work hard and use energy in the process. At the same time the process of breaking them down takes a long time. This results in sugar molecules enter the bloodstream slowly. Simple ways you can switch to complex carbs include:
- Switching white rice to wild rice or brown rice
- Choosing whole grain pasta
- Buying whole grain bread
- Shaking things up with other grain options, like quinoa
There are many ways that you can cut sugar out of your diet. It will take patience, commitment, and being more involved in what you are putting into your body – but you can do it. To make it easy on yourself, take small steps. Begin with cutting added sugars out of your diet for one day and then build up to one week, one month, etc. The next time you go grocery shopping, you can swap out a few of the common packaged foods for their wholesome, raw ingredients. It might even be fun to learn a recipe or two along the way.
Eliminating added sugar from your diet doesn’t mean you cannot have a cheat day here and there. Even the healthiest of us will want to indulge during times of celebration, like birthdays and holidays. But when you do cut added sugars out, you will notice an improvement in your overall health.
Have you limited added sugar from your diet? Comment below and let me know about your experience.
 Huffington post.ca 2013/08/19