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The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Added Sugar in Your Diet

One of the best ways you can live healthy and decrease your risk of heart disease later in life is by simply cutting down on the added sugar. While it’s found naturally in many foods, especially in fruits, your body doesn’t need a lot of it in order to function properly.

In fact, added sugar should make up no more than ten percent of a person’s daily caloric intake, and an unhealthy diet could potentially put you at risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.  

Finding Added Sugar

The first step to cutting down on the added sugar in your diet is knowing where you can find them. However, there’s more to it than simply substituting for healthier options.

Aside from the obvious sources, such as cereals, beverages, candy, chocolates, and baked goods, you can also find sugar in the following foods:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Frozen foods
  • Preserved fruit (dried, canned, or as fruit juice)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Condiments

The good news is that you don’t have to be overly concerned when you do find sugar in the contents label, since nearly everything you’ll find in the grocery store or supermarket will have some amount of sugar in them.

Cutting Added Sugar

The simplest way to cut down on added sugar is to not use it in your meals or actively look for it, and make healthier choices that involve lots of fruits and vegetables.

However, if you’re having trouble doing so, try these handy tips for cutting down on your sugar cravings and reduce your overall intake:

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to food and drinks, such as pancakes, coffee, or even tea. Instead of your usual amount, try adding only half. For baked goods, try cutting down on the recipe’s sugar by ¼cup.
  • Read nutrition labels! Sugar isn’t just “sugar”, but also comes in all kinds of names, such as maltodextrin, fruit juice concentrate,
  • Buy fresh fruits as much as possible. Avoid buying fruit canned in syrup.
  • Add fresh fruit to cereals or oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Use spices instead of sugar to enhance flavor, such as allspice and cinnamon, to name a few.

Dealing with Cravings

The initial cravings for sugar will last for a certain period of time, but these will eventually subside as your body gradually adjusts to your new dietary habits.

When you do experience a craving during this period, keep in mind that you may simply be looking for a good source of protein, which, plays an important part in digestion, hormone production, and muscle build-up.

You should also drink more water and get enough sleep, since you’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when your body feels tired.