You might not have a sweet-tooth but that doesn’t mean that your daily diet doesn’t contain sugar. One of the most common reasons is that sugar comes in various forms; by and large all that we consume on a daily basis has some amount of sugar content in them. Even food items that don’t even fall into sweet category contain sugar including breads, sauces, dips, biscuits, processed foods etc.
Though we all know how sugar in our foods causes multiple diseases, we don’t always take necessary steps to control sugar intake. Here are some easy steps to follow if you wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle sans sugar.
So let’s get into the bitter-sweet truth
1. Learn to read food labels
The creativity of the manufacturer’s knows no bound when they try to make their food items look super healthy with crafty names of not-so-healthy ingredients. Don’t get fooled by the “sugar-free” label in the list, debunk the trick by reading the nutrition labels and make a smart choice. Moreover, sugar is sometimes hidden under those jazzy names such as dried cane syrup, honey, sucrose, molasses, corn syrup, invert sugar, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup to give you an air that you are consuming very less or no sugar at all.. So it’s time to reconsider all your health foods depending on the sugar quantity they mention on the labels.
2. Ditch those sugary names
While opting for sugar less food items, make sure you pick up food items that bear nothing as mentioned above for sugar. In addition to that, you can stick to one simple strategy if you don’t want to fall into the trap—go for unsweetened or no added sugar food items. If any of the food items you buy bear one or more tricky names, take it as a hint that the item you are planning to buy is not worth your money. It’s surprising that only 1/6 th of the sugar comes from desserts that we love treating ourselves with, most of the sugar comes from sweetened beverages and foods that most of the time don’t fall under “sweet” category.
3. Befriend protein, fiber and healthy fats
You will be surprised to know how much sugar is actually lurking in the daily foods we eat. Unhealthy carbs laden with sugar induces high blood sugar level and drop just as fast, giving your hunger pangs another chance to come back faster. Sujetha Shetty, Gympik Nutritionist and Diet expert suggests, “To alter this process, include healthy fats like nuts, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, and protein such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, soy products, low fat dairy products etc. in your diet. Protein from plant sources and many carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains supply fiber which is a type of complex carbohydrate. It slows down the release of blood sugar in the body and keeps your tummy full for longer and keeps your sugar cravings at bay.”
4. Junk is Sugar “Trunk” in disguise
You heard it right—junk food and processed foods are the main sources you get your maximum calories rather sugar intake from. Foods like pizza, cakes, condiments, granola bars, energy bars, dips, French fries etc are the food items where sugar hides sneakily. The best way to avoid is to eat real food instead of the processed ones. Though some of these food items are marketed as “low-fat”, “sugar free”, or “fat free” foods, these are often massive storage of hidden sugar and synthetic sweeteners.
5. Eat real foods sans artificial flavors
Are you aware that the most advertised fruit juices and flavored yogurts contain more sugar than you can imagine. It’s better to avoid even those fruit juices in stalls as most of them use flavors instead of real fruits and add extra sugar to make them taste good. Moreover, by gulping down fruit juices, you are depriving yourself of the most essential fibers and all the natural benefits of fruits. Pick those unsweetened and unflavored yogurts if at all you are hard pressed for time to prepare at home.
So guys, here we tried to bring the not-so-sweet facts to you without sugar-coating even an iota of reality. Now it’s your turn to buck up and scrap your unhealthy habits of munching on anything and everything that says “healthy” and choose wisely. Let us know your views too in the comments section below. Till then stay healthy, stay fit!