[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Regularly excessive consumption of sugar can lead to the onset of many diseases, such as diabetes. In food, few ingredients are as harmful as sugar. Stopping consuming sugar, or at least reducing the amount, is essential. However, it is also something very difficult to do, because sugar is an addictive substance. If you want to put this addiction aside, the following tips can help you.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
What are the different types of sugars to avoid?
Don’t panic and don’t throw away everything sweet in your kitchen. Take a moment to understand the difference between added sugar and natural sugar.
Fruits, vegetables and plain dairy products contain natural sugar which shouldn’t worry you too much. Because fruits and vegetables contain other nutrients that slow digestion like fiber and healthy fats, your body doesn’t process this sugar as quickly as that in a cookie or candy bar. In other words, the sugar in apples and peppers won’t contribute to weight gain and diabetes like soda will.
The World Health Organization defines “added sugars” as all sugars incorporated into foods during processing. This includes syrups, honey, as well as added sugar in concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.
However, remember this: the official recommendation is to reduce added sugars, not all sugar.
Learn to recognize sugar on labels
Now that you know what ingredients to look for, don’t stop there. There are a variety of different names for added sugar, including:
- cane sugar,
- beet sugar,
- cane juice,
- fruit juice concentrates,
- high fructose corn syrup,
- agave syrup,
- brown sugar,
- brown rice syrup,
- Maple syrup
- sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose or any word ending in “-ose”.
If multiple forms of sugar appear on the label, think twice before purchasing the product. Sometimes manufacturers use multiple forms of sugar on the label to prevent a single source from appearing in excess. In this case, check the Nutrition Facts panel to see the total amount of sugar.
Stop sugar by eliminating soda
Removing soda from foods is the first and most effective measure to reduce sugar consumption, according to many nutritionists. According to these professionals, drinking a can of soda every day leads to the ingestion of a kilogram of sugar at the end of the month.
Canned juices should also be avoided. Despite their name, they contain more preservatives, sugar and coloring than fresh juices. To quench your thirst, nothing better than water, diluted natural juices or isotonic drinks.
How to eat fruit to stop eating sweets?
Although not as appealing as a strawberry pie or a chocolate bar, fruit is still the best dessert option in everyday life, according to dietitians. Pineapple and papaya, for example, are sources of enzymes like bromelain and papain, respectively. They are most suitable for those who have digestive problems because they facilitate the process. As a general rule, choose the fruits you prefer and, of course, don’t add sugar.
Cut out sugar by avoiding processed foods
The salty taste of processed foods, like sausages, hides the exorbitant amount of sugar they contain. The attractive, shiny appearance is often due to the sugar, which forms a sort of syrup around them. According to experts, sugar also serves widely as a food preservative. In order to appear healthier, some products therefore advertise that they are free of preservatives, even though they use sugar as a preservative. So read labels carefully and don’t be fooled by advertisements.
Cut out sugar by drinking sugar-free coffees and teas
Some people don’t like sweets very much, but can’t resist a good cup of coffee with sugar. At the end of the day, however, all that sugar added to coffee, teas, and other drinks can cause a real health hazard. In this case, reduce your drink intake or try to get used to its original flavor. Our palate adapts to certain flavors and tends to reject what is different. So, re-educate yourself to know the true taste of the foods you eat.
Over time, you will begin to appreciate them. A tip is to gradually reduce the added sugar to get used to the taste. If you use three teaspoons to sweeten the coffee, cut them in half and so on until the minimum amount is reached.
Eat sugar-free chewing gum
If even eating fruit after lunch it is not possible to kill the desire to eat something sweet, try sugar-free chewing gum. The taste and chewing end up deceiving the desire of many people.
Chewing gum on an empty stomach is not recommended. This leads to the production of gastric acid in the stomach. If the latter is empty, this can trigger gastritis.
Stop sugar by reducing your consumption of fast foods
Even when avoiding industrialized options, it’s not always possible to get a truly healthy meal at a fast food restaurant. In some places, even salad can contain sugar due to the accompanying sauces.
Additionally, snacks rarely have natural seasonings. To top it all off, the drink that accompanies the meal is usually canned juice or soda, which is very high in sugar.
How to stop sugar by eating primarily at home?
Even when eating at restaurants that prepare food on site, it is not possible to know which foods contain sugar and how much. So, always give preference to eating in your own home, where you can have more control, especially when cooking. Remember to use natural spices and look for products that are as natural as possible.
Eat every 3 hours
To keep insulin stable and cravings not triggered, you need to eat every 3 or 4 hours. Three main dishes rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats (fish, chicken, egg with vegetables or brown rice) and two snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt. Start the day with a breakfast rich in fiber and protein (skim milk with oatmeal and a fruit)
Drink green tea and bake your own pastries
In addition to its antioxidant properties, green tea helps control blood sugar levels. Therefore, in addition to preventing diabetes, it is very useful in combating moderate anxiety. If you’re a cook, you can make your favorite cakes by replacing refined flours and sugar with healthier, less addictive options. Use whole wheat or oat flour instead of refined white flour. Use stevia, a natural sweetener, instead of sugar. Use olive oil, instead of butter.