Sugar is everywhere and hides where you least expect it. The goal is not to eliminate sugar completely but to lower your intake and choose your sugars wisely. The more you consume sugar, the more you crave it. Lower your sugar intake by swapping out bad sugars with good sugar alternatives below.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. Surprisingly, for most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day or about 9 teaspoons.
Impact of Sugar on Our Bodies
In her best selling book, The Sugar Impact Diet, JJ Virgin states, “when you eliminate high-impact sugar foods, you’re going to lose fat fast, regain control of your appetite, enjoy high steady energy and laser-sharp focus. More importantly, when you go low sugar impact, you’ll even begin to reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”
Avoid These Sugars
You should avoid these high impact sugars, or use them sparingly:
- Agave syrup (largely made of fructose, the most damaging form of sugar)
- Artificial sweeteners (you know, those pink, yellow and blue packets)
- Highly processed white and brown sugar
- Fruit juice concentrates (often found in fruit juices)
Sneaky Foods With Hidden Sugars
Here are a few food items you may never suspect are loaded with sugar:
- Sauces such as BBQ, cocktail, Teriyaki, soy, sweet and sour
- Pasta sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Low-fat foods (fat has been removed and sugar added)
- Wheat bread
- Dried fruit
- Watermelon, pineapple, and bananas
Choose Your Sugars Wisely
The more you consume sugar, the more you crave it. Give your body and tastebuds a break by swapping out these lower impact sugars instead.
- Local raw honey (packed with nutrients and helps reduce allergies)
- Pure maple syrup (keep in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage)
- Coconut sugar (Amazon) (contains vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients)
- Monk fruit (Amazon) (use sparingly as it 300x sweeter than sugar)
- Stevia liquid (Amazon) or Stevia powder (Amazon) (also 300x sweeter than sugar)
- Organic raw cacao in powder (Amazon) or nib form (Amazon) (pure chocolate)
- Chicory root syrup (made from the root of a Chicory tree)
Experiment with alternative sugars until you find a few that work. Become a label detective and read the ingredients. When shopping, leave the item on the shelf if sugar is listed as one of the top 3 ingredients. Your body will thank you!
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