Quitting refined sugar is important because it has several disadvantages to health. It is unnatural. You should eat sugar in natural food in its natural form. You can drink sugarcane juice. Its juice is not bad. Have you seen you don’t drink sugarcane juice on a daily basis? Why are you taking refined sugar on a daily basis? It should not be part of your diet. 1 to 2 times a month can be acceptable, but its daily use is not recommendable. Here Dt. Sneha discusses how can you quit sugar and replace it with healthy choices. – Dr. Jagdev Singh.
How You Can Quit Sugar and Replace It in Your Diet
As you have read in my previous article – Harmful Effects of Sugar on The Body, you now have many reasons to remove sugar out of your diet. Sugar is like an addictive drug, once you start eating it you cannot stop soon.
White sugar just tastes good, but there is nothing sweet it can do to your health. Hence, it’s best to slash it out from your diet.
Here are some tips for cutting down on sugar:
Note Down Your Sugar Intake
To begin with, note down your sugar intake. Know how much sugar you use in a day. Try cutting the amount of sugar you use by half.
Ditch the Sodas
Aerated drinks, packaged fruit juices, sports drink, and other sugar-laden beverages are a huge source of sugar. Because beverages don’t make us feel full like solid food, our body does not recognize the number of calories and sugar we consume from them. Ditch these beverages and replace them with drinks that are good for your body, like:
- Plain water.
- Herbal water or infused water.
- Coconut water.
- Thin buttermilk.
- Lemon water.
Desserts are loaded with sugar and they do not provide much nutritive value. Desserts can just make you feel heavy, tired and further increase your craving for sugar. Hence, it is best to replace these desserts with something natural and healthy, for example:
- A fruit.
- Fresh fruit pulps with nuts, without added sugar.
- Dried fruits like raisins, dates, apricots, and figs.
- Baked fruits sprinkled with powdered cinnamon and drizzled with organic honey.
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruits.
- A piece or two of dark chocolate.
Read the Food Label
Food labels are really helpful as they tell you about the ingredient list as well as the amount of sugar present in a particular food. You can read the label and then easily decide if the food is healthy for you or not. Check this for solid as well as liquid foods. Try and choose foods that contain no added sugar especially when it comes to breakfast cereals and other packaged foods.
Choose Fresh Fruits
Fruits are a source of natural sugars, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Always choose fresh fruits over canned fruits, which are loaded with sugars. Packaged fruit juices too are unhealthy as they contain a huge amount of sugar. Hence, it’s best to stick to whole fruits.
Add More Protein and Good Quality Fat to Your Diet
As mentioned earlier, sugar is an addictive drug, that increases the appetite as well as sugar craving. Limiting your sugar intake and replacing sugar and refined carbohydrates with healthy sources of protein and fat reduce appetite and hunger. This subsequently reduces calorie intake and helps in weight loss. Healthy protein and fat-rich food options include:
- Nuts and oilseeds.
- Full-fat dairy products.
- Lean meat. (1)
Overconsumption of sugary foods and beverages gives rise to several health problems. Excess sugar intake can be incredibly harmful to overall health. Therefore, it is important to delete obvious sources of sugar from the diet like desserts, candies, chocolates, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Control your sugar intake and replace it with other healthy alternatives. Do not stock sugar at home. Once it is out of your sight, it will be easier for you to choose other healthy alternatives.