We are all guilty of it. It's something we think we have under control, but it creeps in at work, at parties and in your morning coffee. I'm talking about SUGAR!
It comes in many different forms; fructose (fruits, root veggies, cane sugar and honey), glucose (naturally occurs in fruits and plant juices) and sucrose (table sugar). Sucrose is the bad stuff you want to stay away from. The added sugar in our diets gives you no benefit and can negatively impact our health (causing inflammation). You should consume no more than 20g of added sugar per day (not including the 2-3 servings of fruit you should be eating as part of a healthy diet).
Focus on cutting out the bad stuff. Candy, fruit filled yogurt, bottles smoothies and juices, white bread, boxed cereal, granola, that creamer you put in your coffee, and any form of 'fake' sugar (equal/sweet 'n low). These 'foods' do not help you or your gut on a daily basis and can only lead to health issues if consumed too often.
Here are 10 ways to start cutting added SUGAR out of your diet:
1) Stick to the real stuff. I mean food that grows from the earth. Eat foods that you can buy at a farmers market. Stop buying anything packaged!!!
2) Cook at home. Making your own food is the best way to know what you're putting in your body and to better understand how certain things make you feel. You'll save more $ by cooking more at home. Put together a food prep day with your family and make it fun!
3) Read the label! Trust me. I've said this before and I'll say it again, if you don't know what is in the packaged 'food' product you're about to eat, your body won't know either. Digestion starts with your eyes. Pay attention to what your consume.
4) Try to get 20g or less of added sugar a day. One teaspoon = 4 grams of sugar. Think about this when you make your morning coffee or tea.
5) Staying hydrated with water helps keep you full for longer and flushes things out of your system. Aim for 8 or more glasses of water a day. Even more if you are active.
6) Stay active! Sweating helps your body get rid of toxins and burn extra calories.
7) Encourage a friend or family member to cut down on sugar with you! Having someone to challenge you will make you more responsible.
8) Sleep! Make it a priority. Sleeping helps your body rest and recover so that you have enough energy for the day ahead. This will be especially helpful when your energy lulls (usually in the afternoon) and you want to snack or binge.
9) Savor it! If you do have dessert, stick to 3 bites. Take your time when you eat something sweet. Remember we call them 'treats' for a reason.
10) Keep a healthy snack on hand. This will help you curb your desire for those cookies in the office. Try having some nuts or an apple.
This will only make you healthier and happier =)