Reduce Refined Sugar: 5 Easy Ways
Reading about added sugars and refined sugars is a complicated thing, so keep it simple and just remember that you really don't want a diet high in any added sugar.
One thing that may help you keep track of this is understanding the amount of sugar you're taking in. When looking at nutrition labels, remember this: there are approximately 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon. When you can visualize how many teaspoons are in what you're considering eating or drinking, it may help you make a better choice.
For example: if a candy bar has 28g of sugar in it, and there are approximately 4g of sugar in a teaspoon, then eating that candy bar is like eating 7 teaspoons of sugar.
TIP! When looking at nutrition labels, remember this: there are approximately 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon.
5 Easy Ways To Reduce Refined Sugar
I didn't say you had to give it up entirely. Moderation, remember? But cutting back is ideal. The USDA recommends no more than 32g of added sugar a day (or 8 teaspoons). According to this article, in 2008 the average American took in 19 teaspoons of added sugar per day. PER DAY. Yikes. According to the American Heart Association, women should limit their intake to around 6 teaspoons per day, and for men about 9 teaspoons. If you don't drink enough water, start there. Experts recommend (8) 8 ounce glasses of water every day, or 64 ounces. If that seems like a lot, buy a decent water bottle like this to carry around with you, so you can sip steadily throughout the day. Know how many ounces it contains so that you know how many times you should drink through it every day. For example, you should drink a 16 ounce bottle 4 times per day. Sip, don't chug, to help your body absorb it better.2. Cut back on your own use of sugar
Obvious enough. Pay more attention to how much you put in your coffee, tea, oatmeal, baked goods, etc. It might surprise you. Start by simply noticing it, or even recording it. Then, try to cut it in half. That's a great starting place. If you get used to that, you might even want to cut it back more.
3. Use spices or extracts instead of sugar
Spices like ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc., add a little flavor without extra sugar. I put a little cinnamon in my coffee every morning and it gives it a rich flavor without having to overload it with sugar. When reducing sugar in a baked recipe, use a little more extract to help you mask the reduced sugar as well.
4. Use natural fruit as a replacement
If you have a sweet tooth, try a bit of fruit instead of a candy bar, or whatever your go-to sweets fix is. I know. It's so not the same thing, but sometimes your body is craving sugar and that little bit of natural sugar may just do the trick. Breaking the cycle can be a powerful thing. You can also use this trick for things like cereal or oatmeal if you're used to adding sugar to them by topping them with fresh fruit instead. Start to think outside of the box when it comes to adding sweetener to foods. Instead of a sugary jam on your toast, add some fresh fruit. In many baked (sweet) recipes, you can substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar by using the same quantity of applesauce that the recipe calls for sugar. A quick Google search can help you with the quantity for your recipe.
5. Cut back on processed foods in general.
Processed foods hide a lot of added sugars, as already stated above. Many reduced fat foods add sugar to compensate for the flavor that the reduced fat has sacrificed. Try to avoid processed foods as much as you possibly can.
To sum it up... eat fresh foods as much as possible, avoid processed foods, and drink enough water.Love & Light.