5 Tips To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

5 Tips To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

Though you may love your sweet treats, they aren’t really very good for you. Sugar is often an unnecessary additive that has a lot of detrimental effects on health. It contributes to obesity, heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions. Consider these tips to cut sugar out of your diet and make senior living more enjoyable.

Currently, Americans have a real issue with the sweet stuff. The Heart and Stroke Foundation stated that more than 13 percent of daily calories come from added sugars. Added sugars are tricky – just because you can’t taste it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Many beverages such as sports drinks, fruit juices, and even types of tea and coffee can have added sugar. To put things in perspective, one can of soda contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sadly, most of these drinks have empty calories, meaning you get calories without the nutritional benefit.

Instead, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommended making sugar less than 10 percent of your daily calorie consumption. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s about 48 grams of sugar, so that same can of soda takes up about 85 percent of the daily limit. This number doesn’t include naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in vegetables, fruit, milk and grains. Worried about how you’ll knock sweets out of your diet? Follow these suggestions:

  1. Avoid sugary beverages
    If you’re a milk fan, it’s time to reevaluate. Whole milk and other types are high in fat and sugar, not to mention any flavored milk such as chocolate. Though milk is high in calcium and vitamin D, even low-fat milk has 14 grams of sugar, the Dairy Council of California noted. The solution? Shoot for non-fat milk. Or if you’re just thirsty, try water with lemon or natural fruit. Bottled fruit juice is normally artificially flavored and has no real nutritional value.
  2. Skip dessert
    Feeling a little hungry after dinner? Don’t grab that brownie or baked good. Instead, mix fresh fruit into a cup of low-fat yogurt or grab a handful of roasted nuts.
  3. Eat out less
    Restaurants often have greater portions, which can lead to more calories. Many plates also exceed the normal daily intake of many nutrients, including fats, sugars and sodium levels. Since the meal is cooked for you, you’re less likely to know exactly what went into it. Sugars can sneak into your meal without you even knowing it.
  4. Be mindful of labels
    Marketers are sneaky these days. Just because a package says reduced sugar, doesn’t mean the food actually is. Often times, it’s just less than it originally was. Look at the nutrition label, which has to be honest on every package. These lists will give you the exact amount of sugar in your product, natural and added. You’ll be shocked by some numbers. Also look at the ingredient list. This will show you what type of sugar is in your food. It could be glucose, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, molasses, dextrose, honey, and so on. Look for these ingredients, as some are better than others. For example, honey has antioxidants and nutrients, yet corn syrup is high in calories and has very little nutritional value.
  5. Cook at home more often
    Cooking at home and eating out less reduces the chances of eating processed foods. Sometimes, sugar can sneak into frozen or packaged meals, especially ones with sauces. Aim to cook a meal with whole, natural ingredients. Lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, lentils, and beans are all a great start. That way, you can assure you’re getting real nutrients. Helpful tip – none of these products should have an ingredient label.

These are just a few tips to cut out sugar. Spread the word among your friends in the senior community to promote healthy eating.