We’ve been taught since young that having too much sugar is a big “no-no”, but we all know how hard it can be to stop once you've gotten a taste of something deliciously sweet! Now that we’re free to eat as much delicious sugary snacks as adults, the last thing most of us would want to do is police ourselves. However, we can’t ignore the endless health reports that point out the health risks of having too much sugar. From obesity to diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases, Excessive consumption of sugar poses too much of a danger to our health for it to be ignored. Minimising our intake of sugar might be challenging at first, but here are some tips that might make it easier to succeed:
1. Get an alternative sugar fix
Cutting sugar out of your life is by no means an easy feat, so start simple and look for nutritious substitutes to sugar. Some healthy foods are naturally sweet so you can still enjoy your sweet food – examples include sweet potatoes, fruits, cinnamon, vanilla and cherry tomatoes. If it’s the rush that you crave, go for a strong herbal tea such as peppermint tea instead. It will give you the mental boost you need without any unhealthy side effects.
2. Be careful when eating out
It’s much easier to avoid or limit your sugar intake when you cook your own food, but it's a different story when you dine out. The onus is on you to be certain of what goes into your food before you order something and if necessary, to request for certain changes to the dish to make it healthier. For example, skipping on salad dressing is always a wise choice as most ready-made dressings tend to contain lots of sugar.
3. Do some mind work
The hardest part of cutting processed sugar out of your diet is gathering the willpower and motivation to go through with it. After all, this is a vice that you have been engaging in for a long time. When sugary snacks have assumed the position of “lifesaver” on days when you feel moody or low on energy, you need to acknowledge that this has become a problem and find healthier ways of coping. Changing your perspective on processed sugar will also make it easier to kick it out of your diet. When you label it as something that is “bad” or “forbidden”, your brain will naturally want to rebel. Instead, focus on the benefits that you will get from reducing your sugar intake and let this positive reinforcement be a source of motivation instead.
Sugary foods have had a constant presence in the modern diet for so long that it seems nearly impossible to say “goodbye” to them for good. However, it’s a necessary act for the sake of our long-term health. At the very least, aim to limit the overall intake of sugar and reduce your reliance on this addictive substance. Start by taking small steps towards a low-sugar way of eating and work your way forward to a healthier lifestyle!