7 Steps to Reduce Sugar Intake

Posted on: October 29th, 2012 by Jeff Ritter No Comments

According to the USDA, about 17% of a typical American’s diet consists of refined sugars. Americans eat nearly half a pound of sugar per day and about 150 pounds annually.

Excess refined sugar consumption from processed products such as soda, fruit juice, baked goods, candies, and desserts, result in high insulin levels, high cortisol (stress hormone) levels, increased body fat, increased inflammation, metabolic imbalances (diabetes) and chronic diseases.

Below are 7 steps to reduce your sugar intake. By taking these small steps to strip sugar from your daily diet, you’ll experience more nutrients, an increase in energy and faster weight/fat loss.

1. Drink More Water

Not only does water support your health, it also prevents you from drinking sugary, processed beverages such as soda, sports drinks, chocolate milk, and fruit juice. Stay hydrated by starting each morning with a large glass of water and pack a bottle to fill wherever you go. Add variety to H2O with cooling cucumber slices, zesty citrus wedges, spicy grated ginger or fresh mint leaves.

2. Sweeten With Stevia

Switch from refined sugars and artificial sweeteners to Stevia, an all-natural herb that consists of zero sugar, zero carbs, zero calories, and has zero effect on blood glucose. Stevia can be used to add sweetness to beverages, smoothies, shakes, yogurt, homemade ice cream, desserts, sauces and salad dressings.

3. Eat Whole Foods

Choose whole foods over processed products. Whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, and seafood. are high in nutrients. Processed products such as crackers, chips, candy, cookies, snack bars, pretzels, and 100-calorie packs. The less processed/refined a food is, the better.

4. Read Food Labels

Processed products contain around 40 different types of refined sugars and artificial sweeteners! Take a moment to read the ingredients listed and you’ll save yourself from loads of excess sugar. Look for minimal ingredients, whole foods, zero artificial ingredients, and less than 4 grams of refined sugars per serving. Avoid ”low-fat,” “fat-free,” “low-calorie,” and “sugar-free.”

5. Enjoy Balanced Meals

Include high quality protein, natural fat and lots of vegetables at every meal, especially breakfast. Enjoying a balanced breakfast is a great way to set the tone for a healthy day and can reduce sugar cravings. Check out these delicious balanced meal ideas for BreakfastQuick BitesPacking LunchesLunch/Dinner,DinnersDining Out and Fast Food.

6. Select Smarter Snacks

Healthy snacks can help you meet your daily nutrient requirements and prevent you from overeating at your next meal. Although most people grab a granola bar, pretzels or something out of a vending machine, those insulin-spiking processed products can actually leave you hungrier than before. Make better snack choicesby packing balanced snacks or “mini meals” filled with natural, whole foods.

7. Plan to Cheat

Being healthy is not about being deprived, it’s about nourishing your body, mind and spirit. However, avoid indulging without a plan as it can be dangerous to your health and disastrous to your progress. Instead, select either one day or two meals per week to “cheat” and indulge in whatever you want.

Make The Turn Nutrition programs are facilitated by CNK. Click Here to learn more!

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