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There is No Way to Sugarcoat it

Sugar Sweets and Substitutes

There is No Way to Sugarcoat it

Added sugars are everywhere. They are the harbinger to our health in many ways.

The sweetness in sugar tastes too good, but it is one of the main causes of obesity and other health issues in the Unites States. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans do not consume more than 10% of our daily calories from added sugar, even stressing the importance of striving for no more than 5%.

There is no way to sugarcoat it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that people who consume more than 10-24% of their calories from added sugar were 30% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who had less of a sugar intake. A high-sugar diet can hinder cognitive function and possibly trigger tumor growth, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome according to the journal Nature Communications. But let’s get real. These are the scares. For many people, we want to decrease our sugar intake to feel and look awesome.

Here are some tips to limit your sugar intake.

1. Find out where sugar hides, and then make the changes.

Read labels very closely. Sugar hides just about everywhere. About 75% of grocery store packaged foods have about 75% sweeteners (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Sugar is even hidden in many foods that we consider “healthy.” Many times products advertised as “fat-free” or “reduced-fat” have added sugar or sweeteners to make up for the lack of fat. “Non-fat” milks or Greek yogurts, whole-grain breads, frozen or dried fruits, nut butters, granola bars, almond milk, frozen yogurt, deli meats, salad dressings, protein powders, green juices, Kombucha, and tomato sauce many times have extra sugar. Attempt to make the switch and try your best to look at labels acquiring no or very minimal added sugars!

2. Sugar Synonyms

Cane juice, coconut nectar, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, dextrose, and maltose are a few added sugar ingredients and ones to look out for!

3. Stay Away from Sugary Drinks

Sweetened drinks serve as one of the largest sources of sugar calories in the American diet. Obesity Facts found a correlation between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and obesity among children and adults.

4. Sugar Sweats and Cravings

The next time you have a sweet tooth, try drinking water, going on a brisk walk, or get up and move. This can help suppress your appetite and hunger hormones. And remember sometimes sugar cravings will be a cover for stress, so find out what is the source of your craving. Be mindful and be aware of your food intake.

5. Live that Sweet and Satisfying Life

I love sugar. I’m definitely a chocoholic, but I try to find healthier substitutes for added sugary snacks or desserts. Don’t think of it as a “cheat” day and eat like crazy. Have a “treat” day instead. Like I always say, if you want it, have it. Deprivation is detrimental. Find a healthier sugary treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, and if you really want to have that dessert, have it. Just have Sugar Smarts before you make your food choices.

Treat yourself to a Sweet Day not a Cheat Day!

Some healthier desserts:

-Halo-Top Dairy-Free Ice Cream

-Boom-Chica-Pop Light Popcorn

-Simply Sweet Dark Chocolate, no added sugars (Trader Joe’s; try it on top of a brown rice cake and that salty and sweet combo is too good)

-Sweet grapes

-Berries

-Rice cake with PB2 and bananas

-Oatmeal w dark chocolate and rice cake for crunch

-Recipes coming soon on my blog! 

Originally published at fitfoodjunkies.com

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