Research is continually revealing the risks sugar poses to our health, both in the short term and the long term. Not only do added sugars lead to larger waistlines and tooth decay, they also cause blood sugar spikes and drops, which leads to internal inflammation. A diet high in sugar puts you more at risk for developing Type II Diabetes. And these are only a few of the problems associated with excessive sugar consumption.
With all the problems caused by sugar consumption, many people have a goal of cutting down or eliminating added sugars in their lives, but going cold turkey can prove so difficult that many people give up the goal quickly. Take these simple steps to dramatically cut down the sugar in your diet painlessly.
- Go Gradually. Take a couple of days to monitor all the added sugars you consume. Don’t forget to note sneaky sources like the sugar that is added to pasta sauce and crackers. Once you have determined an average amount of sugar you are consuming, make it a goal to cut down that amount by about 20 percent each day over the next couple of weeks. You don’t have to cut out 20 percent each day, just gradually reduce the amount until you have reduced it to 12 grams or (ideally) less per day.
- Cut out the Artificial Sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners seem like a perfect way to replace the sugar you are cutting out. Unfortunately, because artificial sweeteners are hundreds of times sweeter than actual sugar, they can recalibrate to make you want more sugar than you naturally would. Instead opt for a little stevia extract or the natural sweeteners of foods like fruits.
- Note Changes. Perhaps the greatest motivator to making changes is not just a knowledge of the damage sugar can do, but rather the positive changes you note as you make healthier choices. Pay extra attention how you are feeling, cravings, and energy levels as you work to cut out sugar. If you slip and have excess sugar, do not let it be a setback for you, but do note how that influx of sugar impacts how you feel.