3 Ways to Say “No” to Sugar

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Sugar is not your friend. You may have warm and fuzzy memories with products that contain sugar and sugar itself. That is okay, as we all have such memories. Yet, the simple fact is that medical science has proven rather conclusively that sugar is harmful, very harmful, to one’s health.

 

One of the single largest problems concerning sugar is that this harmful substance is literally sprinkled, often quite liberally, through the entire food supply. As a result of the ubiquitous nature of sugar, it can be very different to avoid sugar in its wide array of forms. Let’s take a look at how to play defense against this sneaky ingredient.

 

Tip #1-Beware the Name Game

 

sugarPart of what makes avoiding sugar so difficult is that even if you are reading labels, constantly sugar is often hidden under many different names. Much like the devil, sugar goes by many different names. Other names for sugar include high-fructose corn syrup, corn solids, corn syrup solids, beet sugar, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup, rice syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, molasses, sorbitol, malt syrup, the ever-popular maltodextrin. Sadly, the list goes on and on.

 

There are dozens of names under which sugar is frequently hidden. All of this points us to the fact that reading labels isn’t enough when it comes to avoiding harmful ingredients. Reading labels is a great first step in avoiding sugar, but it is not enough.

 

Avoiding sugar demands a comprehensive approach. But don’t worry it is not quite as difficult as it sounds!

 

Tip #2-Eat More Whole Foods

 

healthy-food-1348464_960_720As of yet, food scientists haven’t figured out how to inject sugar or other toxic substances into spinach, for example. This simple fact is your greatest single tool and weapon in avoiding processed sugar, no matter what name it might be hiding under.

 

Eating more whole foods also means boosting your overall health, as whole foods are packed with nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and disease fighting compounds. When you select whole foods, ranging from fruits and vegetables to nuts, seeds and other minimally processed foods, you are doing your body a huge favor.

 

A byproduct of opting for whole foods means that you are reducing your processed food consumption. Processed foods in the form of fast food and packaged food are often loaded down with hidden levels of sugar as well as disease promoting additives such as pesticides, food dyes and colors and more.

 

Eating whole foods will help you stay healthy, lose weight and, of course ,avoid sugar, regardless of what deceptive name it may have.

 

Tip #3-Use Caution When Dining Out

 

restaurantAvoiding sugar while dining out presents a very difficult challenge. The bottom line is that if you are dining out frequently, avoiding sugar can be quite tough. Restaurants, both chains and independent, often sneak a lot of sugar into food. It may even be hiding in dishes that you wouldn’t suspect such as pizza crust, pasta and even salads.

 

Your best option when dining out is to ask which products have the most sugar or if the sugar can be kept out of your meal; this is easier with independent restaurants than it is with chain restaurants. Chain restaurants prepare their food, usually thousands of miles away and have little control over ingredients. This means removing the sugar is impossible.

 

However, it is often possible to avoid sugar in sauces. It is likely prudent to simply assume to that sauces do, in fact, have sugar in them and proceed accordingly.

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It is vital to remember that not all restaurants are the same. For example, restaurants that cater to a healthier clientele such as organic, vegetarian and vegan restaurants are more accustomed to having their consumers ask questions. These restaurants are also more comfortable with helping their clients with their special request. Perhaps best of all is the fact that health oriented restaurants are likely to use less sugar and other toxic ingredients than in chain restaurants.

 

Bonus Tip-Consider Using Coconut Sugar and Xylitol

 

In the quest to avoid sugar, there is another factor that many people miss. It will take time for your taste to acclimate to removing or reducing sugar from your diet. Sugar has an addictive aspect and going “cold turkey” can be extremely difficult. This is why natural sugar substances are very important.

 

Natural options such as coconut sugar and xylitol, both of which are much lower on the glycemic index than sugar, is a smart move. Both xylitol and coconut sugar and natural. Many medical studies indicate that xylitol actually helps boost overall oral health. Of course, these benefits stand in stark contrast to artificial sweeteners which have been linked in studies to potential diseases. (Artificial sweeteners may in fact be worst for human health than sugar, so switching from sugar to artificial sweeteners is likely not the best move.)

 

The Key is Developing New Healthy Habits

 

Ultimately, avoiding sugar is about being proactive and developing new habits. Sugar is hiding everywhere but you can avoid it. Many of the foods that contain sugar are easy to spot, for example, any processed food is likely to contain a considerable level of sugar. While changing your diet may take time, the time you spend is an investment in you and your health.

Posted by November 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM under Home Living Tips

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