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7 hacks to reduce refined sugar from your diet
10 June 2020
We all have become accustomed to having an after-dinner sweet or grabbing packets of chips/biscuits out of boredom. However, did you know that WHO recommends no more than 50 g of sugar in your daily diet and for a healthy diet, they recommend that you cut down your sugar intake to 25 g or lesser?
The worst of the constituents of these foods are refined sugar or its equally harmful alternative, high fructose corn syrup. The risks of developing diseases like obesity, cardiovascular aberrations, insulin resistance, diabetes and even cancer also increases substantially with refined sugar. While you may feel caught right about now on how to change this, there are some ways to significantly reduce your sugar intake-
Stop keeping processed food
They say a good rule to avoid eating unnecessary sugar is to ask yourself whether you would consider eating an apple at that time. If the answer is no, you are probably eating out of boredom. Buying processed/junk food is actively letting these foods into your life as you can reach out for them whenever you like. If you don't stock these foods though, the chances are that you probably won't rush to the supermarket every time a craving arises. If you still feel a need for sugar, stick to stocking up on fruits. They are filling and usually satisfy any sugar cravings you might have.
Try natural alternatives
While white sugar is deemed the enemy to our health, alternatives such as brown sugar or organic honey work just as well with your food or drinks. A popular traditional alternative that you can use is jaggery which is a much better and healthier substitute for sugar. It is the best way to lower sugar intake without compromising on your sweet tooth. Especially when it comes to Indian sweets or even a cup of tea, jaggery tends to have a ton of health benefits like increasing your immunity and helping you fight the toxicity of pollution.
Eat more whole foods
Did you know that your regular diet has a direct impact on your sugar cravings? For instance, if you have processed foods like cereal for breakfast, the chances of you feeling hungry and wanting more sugar later will be higher. To kick this habit, have food items that are high on fibre and have more nutrients as they keep you full for longer. Some of these include whole grains(atta, barley etc.), fruits, vegetables (raw/cooked) etc. This will eventually lower the sugar cravings as it is an effective way to lower sugar intake.
Always read the label
Refined/added sugar isn't just limited to chocolates and desserts these days. If you go to any store, you will find that most packaged foods contain one or the other form of added sugar. The most common mistake we make while buying food is picking something "healthy" up because it is marketed that way. If you take a minute to read the label, you will see that the ingredients in there are anything but healthy. Some common examples include artificial juices, breakfast bars etc.
If you really wish to eat healthy, sticking to fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to go!
Watch your portions
When packaged foods/desserts first came to the market, they were treated as a rare meal and eaten less frequently. However, with mass popularity began mass production, which gave rise to cheap and easily available goods. What we are trying to say here is that refrain from eating these goods in abundance. The best way to lower sugar intake while still not depriving yourself of it is to have measured portions of your foods. Your appetite can expand up to 40%, but that doesn't mean you subject your body to such meals on a regular basis.
This is also very relevant for smaller children since consuming heavy quantities when smaller may lead to various kinds of health issues such as obesity in adolescence itself.
Add protein to all your meals
Adding protein to all your meals is known to reduce sugar cravings. It is also generally recommended by doctors to those who are looking to lose weight as it keeps you full for longer. Lentils, almonds, fish, chicken, tofu, broccoli etc. there is no dearth of the food items that you can experiment with. They also give you strength and boost your immunity.
Sometimes, despite adopting these ways to lower sugar intake, there still are possibilities of you falling sick. So, it's always smart to prepare against those odds with a robust health insurance plan, while you cut down on sugar to stay healthy. Max Bupa understands your needs and offers a wide selection of health insurance to pick from. To know more about their health insurance plans, click here.