One of the reasons why it’s hard to limit your sugar intake is because sugar is highly addictive. And it doesn’t help that it’s easily accessible. There’s never a shortage of sweets and different kinds of delectable treats to be had. But, no matter how good they taste we all know consuming too much isn’t good for our bodies. If you’re not careful, excessive sugar consumption can be a contributing factor to developing cavities, obesity, diabetes, and other types of diseases.
Reasons to Quit Sugar
Apart from contributing to obesity and the development of diabetes and other diseases, excessive sugar consumption can also speed up cellular aging. One particular study involving over 5,300 adults showed that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with premature cellular aging, as evidenced in the shorter telomere length observed. While telomeres naturally shorten over time, having poor lifestyle habits such as eating too much sugar can speed up the process.
Excessive sugar consumption can also increase your risk of depression, developing fatty liver, gout, as well as cancer. Cutting off sugar from your diet isn’t as easy as deciding to do so; but it starts there. If you’ve decided to do what’s best for your body and get over your sugar addiction, here’s a few helpful tips you can follow.
Learn to be More Mindful of What You’re Eating
Another reason why it’s so easy to overindulge in sugar is that sugar lurks in almost everything we consume. While it’s harmless to stick to natural sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, what throws you off the health train is the excessive consumption of added sugar. Learn to differentiate the two. If you don’t want to think too much about it, just steer clear of processed food. Apart from added sugar, these are also laden with chemicals and preservatives that bring more harm to your body than good.
Learn to Identify Added Sugars on Food Labels
Reading can be tedious for some but if you are bent on making a positive change for your body, you have to be familiar with the things you need to avoid. On your next grocery trip, be mindful of these items that may be listed at the back of your favorite snacks:
- Agave nectar
- Barley malt syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Corn syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- High fructose corn syrup
If you see them at the top of the list of ingredients, it might be best to put them back on the shelf. If you want to make sure that you don’t eat them, do a conscious effort not to surround yourself with these unhealthy food items.
While you’re in the process of quitting sugar, you will get to experience a lot of cravings in between. Your body will not get used to it in a snap. Once you feel an urge to devour something that’s laden with sugar, get yourself a glass of water instead. It won’t taste the same but it will fill you up just enough to stifle the sweet craving. If it doesn’t work, look for a watery and healthier snack option, such as an apple, watermelon, cucumber, or berries.
Snack on Healthier Sweets
Sweets aren’t the enemy, it’s the added sugar. So if you really need to satisfy your sweet tooth, choose something that’s beneficial for your body. If you love chocolate, switch to dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. While it’s not as sweet as your regular candy, it makes up for it by providing you with a dose of heart-friendly antioxidants.
Switch to Healthier Sweeteners
If you think plain tap water is boring and you’d rather drink soda, why don’t you try drinking infused water instead. All you need to do is soak up a few slices of your favorite fruits in a liter of water and you’re good to go. A wedge of lemon or a few slices of cucumber can do so much to alter the flavor of your water.
Aside from that, you can also ditch the sugar and go with all natural, zero-calorie substitutes such as Purisure’s Stevia Powder or Monk Fruit Powder. Both can be used as substitutes for cooking or baking. Add it to your coffee and smoothies. The ways in which you can use both sweeteners are endless as your creativity!
The Bottom Line
Sugar isn’t all that bad when taken in moderation. However, when you do ingest too much sugar, you are actually making yourself susceptible to an array of diseases. You don’t need to forgo sugar altogether. You just need to learn how to set limits to how much you should consume in a day. Also, you need to know that when you’re used to eating high amounts of sugar, a sudden stop may cause you to experience symptoms of withdrawal. If you want to avoid that from happening, you might want to gradually reduce the amount you consume daily instead of quitting cold turkey.