6 ways to cut down on sugar
Sugar is really not your friend if you're trying to lose weight, or even if you just want to stick to a healthy diet.
Speaking to dietitian Jentty Ngobeni about sugar intake, he said most adults eat much more sugar than recommended and that this sugar doesn't even include natural sugars such as fruit and milk.
Ngobeni says replacing sugary foods with healthful ones can help you get all of their essential vitamins and minerals and it may also help anyone lose weight.
Take it slow
One of the most important things to consider when changing your diet is to do it slowly.
Changing from a diet full of sugar to one containing no sugars should be a slow process.
It may help to start by eliminating the most obvious sources of sugar such as baked goods including cakes, muffins, sweets and sugary beverages.
Its also advisable to try reducing the amount of sugar and cream in your coffee and tea and ideally gradually omitting it completely.
Working up to a no sugar diet can help retrain the palate so that you don't crave the missing sugar.
Read food labels
When you've managed to cut out the most obvious sugar from your diet, you can turn your attention to other products that contain sugar.
Reading labels can help identify types of sugars to avoid. Sugar has many names and is in many different syrups and concentrates.
There are at least 61 different names for sugar on food labels.
The most common ones include: Brown or white sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, beet sugar, honey and corn syrup.
Keep your eyes open for anything ending in the suffix “-ose” which is usually a type of sugar example including sucrose, glucose, dextrose, lactose and fructose.
Do not drink sugar
Sugar may be easy to avoid in processed foods, but sugar sweetened drinks including soda, specialty coffee, sweetened teas, fruit juices, and are one of the most significant sources of added sugars in the diet.
As result replacing these drinks with unsweetened tea, coffee without sugar, sparkling mineral water or plain water can help you reduce your sugar intake and stay hydrated.
Avoid simple carbohydrates
Many no-sugar diets advise that you should avoid simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates includes white flour, white pasta and white rice, reason being these foods can be quickly broken down into sugar in the body, which may cause the blood sugar levels to spike.
You can replace simple carbohydrates with whole grain foods.
Plan the meal
When it comes to sticking to a diet with no plan it's difficult. When hunger strikes you're more likely to reach for that unhealthy snack if you don't have nutritious meals and snacks nearby.
Many people take a day to do both their shopping and meal preparation for the entire week. With food at the ready, they are less tempted to eat a candy bar or soda.
Spice it up
The palate often misses sugar because it has no other flavours to replace it.
Many sweet tasting herbs and spices can easily be added to food and drink to replace sugar.
Common replacements include cinnamon and vanilla.
These can be added to coffee or sprinkled on top of oatmeal or yogurt.