Let’s be honest about it; we all love sugar. We stir it into our teas and coffees, we add it to our cereal; we bake with it, and so much more. The problem is that as much as we love the sweet taste that sugar gives, it’s not good for us. It slows brain function and causes weight gain. It also increases your chances of early onset aging, it affects your immune system and causes so many other health problems. I love chocolate and sweet treats as much as the next person but is it really worth it?
The good news is that if you decide to quit (or cut down on) sugar, you can reverse the effects it’s had on your body. And it’s not as if you can never have anything sweet again, as there are lots of sugar alternatives. In case you like the idea of cutting down on your refined sugar intake, I thought I would share a few easy steps to take to do so.
Steer clear of processed foods
A lot of the processed foods we eat, even savoury ones, are packed full of sugar. Supermarket bread contains at least five grams of sugar per loaf. That’s a lot of sugar for a savoury food. Pasta sauces such as Dolmio Pasta Sauce, contain a whopping six grams of sugar per serving. Alpen fruity muesli contains an astounding 11 grams of sugar – that’s a cereal that’s meant to be healthy! Those are just a few examples, but you get the idea – processed foods are packed full of sugar. Don’t even get me started on drinks…
Swap refined sugar for alternatives
The good news is that you don’t have to cut all sugars out of your diet, as natural sugars don’t cause a problem. To sweeten foods and drinks, swap to using natural honey or Agave Nectar. You can even use these sugar substitutes for baking. The good news is, that if like me, you’re chocolate mad, you don’t have to give it up; you just need to swap to raw chocolate. This is the least processed form of chocolate, it’s as natural as possible and contains only natural sugars. My favourite is orange raw chocolate – the orange oils give the chocolate a beautifully refreshing taste. A bit like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange only healthier…
Stick to whole foods
To reduce your sugar intake, it’s best to stick to whole foods. Foods like pasta, rice, oats, fruit, vegetables, and lean meats and fish, are what you want to stick to. A lot of people aren’t keen on fruits and vegetables because sometimes they can taste sour. If you’re not a fan of fruit because of this, give miracle berry tablets a try. After eating one of these sugar-free, calorie-free, natural tablets, foods that you normally find sour, will taste much sweeter. Pretty cool, right?
By opting to make whole foods a part of your diet, you can significantly reduce the amount of sugar that you’re intaking. Instead of using ready-made sauces to cook with and eating ready meals, it’s best to make as much as you food as possible from scratch. That way, you know exactly, what is going into it. There are lots of quick and easy recipes for healthy homemade sauces and meals, so there’s no excuse not to cook from scratch.
Let’s be honest about it; we’re a nation that’s sugar mad. The problem is that with sugar being so bad for us, we shouldn’t be eating as much of it as we are. That’s why, if you want to be healthier, it’s time to quit refined sugar. Or, if you can’t quit, at least cut down on the amount that you’re consuming.