It is a widely known fact that sugar tends to be addictive. Like salt, this substance is also a growing health issue nowadays.
Although glucose is imperative for the proper functioning of the brain, your body can't tell if you already ate too much sugary products. As a result, one may suffer from dental problems, type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart problems, depression, poor eyesight and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.
With that being said, how can you overcome your sugar addiction? Here are some simple ways to lower your desire for sweets.
Reducing our Fondness for Sweet Beverages
Sodas and other carbonated drinks are one of the common causes of high sugar consumption. Of course, you can't just quit drinking soft drinks in a cold turkey manner. This will lead to more cravings for sweets. So, what should you do?
The best approach you can do is to quit slowly, preferably on a weekly basis. For example, you drink five or more cans or glasses of cola per day. For the first week, you can drink one glass of water or unsweetened seltzer and four glasses of soft drinks a day. Keep shifting the ratio between water and soda until you finally reduced your affinity for sodas to zero or one glass per day. This is also applicable for juice drinkers. You can dilute your juice concentration until you are opting for more water.
As for individuals who love their coffee or tea sweet, you can also lessen the amount of sweetener you are using in a gradual manner through the aforementioned method above.
For tea drinkers, honey is a great substitute you can use. Studies confirmed that even though one teaspoon of honey contains more calories than a teaspoon of table sugar, honey is actually sweeter and has a higher nutrient value. Hence, a small amount of this sweetener will suffice.
Desserts and other Sweetened Snacks
Another cause of high sugar consumption is the abundance of sweetened snacks and desserts. Granola bars, cookies, breads and cakes are some of today's snacks and desserts that contain high amounts of sweeteners especially those that are commercialized or not home-made.
When buying sugary snacks including breads, always check their product labels. Avoid buying products with artificial sweeteners. This may reduce a product's sugar content. But, what you don't know is that these substances actually increase your cravings for sweet. Hence, instead of overcoming your sugar addiction, you become more addicted to it.
Another option you can do is to opt for unsweetened snacks like cheese or nuts instead of cookies and cupcakes. Lastly, while eating desserts after every meal is not prohibited, one should try to consume these occasionally, especially if it is not home-made.
You can also opt for healthy choices like a fruit plate instead of a slice of cheesecake. Yes, fruits contain sugar (fructose). But, these healthful products also contain various healthful compounds. In fact, one study showed that the phytonutrients in fruits can positively affect our blood sugar levels. As you know, consuming sugary products can rapidly raise our blood sugar levels. The phytonutrients in fruits may help slow this down.
Opting for Healthy Alternatives
Finally, opting for healthy alternatives is also a good way to overcome your sugar addiction.
Slpenda (sucralose) and Equal (aspartame) are two of the most common sugar alternatives sold in the market. Remember, while there are a lot of rumors about the health hazards of these substances, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other food-safety organizations say otherwise.
Nonetheless, we cannot disregard the fact that those mentioned products are now raising some health-related controversies. So, it is best to opt for natural sweeteners such as raw honey, a South American herb known as stevia, coconut nectar and date sugar. Most of these substances can also be used for cooking, baking and as sweeteners for coffee or tea.
Always keep in mind that the recommended daily dose of sugar is nine teaspoons for men and six teaspoons for women. If you are worried about losing your palate by reducing your consumption of sugary foods, this is not the case. Remember, you are doing this in a gradual manner. So, you will still taste the sweetness of a freshly baked pie. The only difference is that you will prefer less, which is healthier for your body.
More Information about Natural Sugar Alternatives
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