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Blog > 7 Tips to Lower Your Sugar Intake

7 Tips to Lower Your Sugar Intake

Consuming too much sugar can have deadly consequences, so take control of your health by lowering your sugar intake with these simple adjustments.
Taking spoon of sugar

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Whether you tend to indulge on weekends or see recurring patterns in your eating routine, it’s important to reflect on your daily sugar intake. According to the American Heart Association, the average American’s sugar consumption is around 77 grams per day, which is more than three times the suggested amount for women.

Concerned that your diet might be high in sugar? Fortunately, making a few small changes now can significantly reduce your sugar consumption and enhance your overall health.

What Is Sugar?

Sugar, in essence, is a carbohydrate. It’s a concentrated source of energy. In early human evolution—in hunter-gatherer communities—the sources of sugar available to us were not harmful. Humans mainly found natural sugar in fruits, which was an excellent source of energy for the body.

However, modern times have given way to sources of sugar that can be harmful, so now our instincts for carbohydrates can be detrimental to our health if we aren’t mindful of them — especially excess sugar intake from refined sources.

Why Is Sugar Bad for You?

Sugar is everywhere (and seemingly in everything), and it can wreak havoc on your health over time. The amount of sugar you consume now may increase your likelihood of developing certain diseases—such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity—later in life.

While a bit of sugar isn’t necessarily dangerous to your health, sugar is overabundant in food products, and many people struggle to manage their intake. Health professionals talk about sugar intake so often because it’s easy to overconsume and is highly addictive.

If you have a particularly strong sweet tooth, you’re not alone. Humans are hardwired to enjoy sugar because of the body’s survival instincts to search for energy.

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What Is Sugar Addiction?

Sugar triggers an addictive response in most people. It activates the opiate receptors in your brain and affects its reward center, which leads many people to compulsive behavior. This can make sugar as addictive as cocaine, heroin, or morphine.

Many people are surprised to learn that almost all food products contain added sugar. The most heavily concentrated food products with excessive sugar include sugar-sweetened beverages, packaged snacks, alcoholic drinks, and processed foods like cereals. You may already be addicted to sugar without realizing it.

Here are some signs of sugar addiction:

  • You need something sweet after every meal
  • You have spikes and drops in energy levels
  • You get bloated after meals
  • You need to eat every two to three hours
  • You can’t or won’t give up sugar

To overcome sugar addiction, many people believe artificial sweeteners are the solution. Reduced calories in these products often lull people into a false sense of security, which may only encourage them to eat more sugar from other substances. However, artificial sweeteners can be just as addictive, if not more addictive, than regular sugar.

7 Tips for Reducing Your Sugar Intake

Reducing sugar in your diet is wise to keep it from taking a toll on your health. Even if you don’t have health issues now, scaling back on sugar is wise for your future self. As with any addiction, your taste buds and body will adapt to the changes over time.

Here are seven tips to help you eat less sugar:

1. Eat More Fruit

Fruit is a natural source of sugar, and consuming it is a healthy way to satisfy your craving without eating artificial sugar. While it might not be as satisfying as scarfing down a brownie, it will help train your taste buds to consume less sugar over time.

2. Compare Nutrition Labels

Added sugar can sneak into your diet through several products you might assume are lower in sugar. Pasta sauce, canned soup, yogurt, salad dressings, and coleslaw have shockingly high sugar levels. Compare labels on these products to choose a lower-sugar alternative.

3. Watch Your Drinks

Sodas, juices, coffees, and energy drinks are notorious for containing copious amounts of sugar. Avoid these drinks or choose alternatives that have less sugar.

4. Use Honey or Applesauce as a Substitute

When cooking or baking, swap sugar for honey or applesauce. These more natural alternatives will taste similar while helping you reduce the amount of sugar you consume.

5. Eat Full-Fat Foods

If you’re craving sugar often, try adding more full-fat foods to your diet, such as avocados or extra virgin olive oil. Fats are slow-burning fuel, and they keep your body satisfied for longer. Eating more fats also makes you less likely to need a quick energy hit. Furthermore, low-fat or non-fat products may contain more sugar to make up for the fat they’re replacing and improve the product’s taste.

6. Make Your Own Products

If you can’t find low-sugar or sugar-free replacements for your favorite foods, do some research into creating your own versions. By making homemade granola, salad dressing, pasta sauce, or other types of food, you can control how much sugar you’re consuming.

7. Use a Habit-Tracking App

If you want to cultivate the habit of eating less sugar in the long run, the key to success is tracking. There are a variety of habit-tracking apps available that can help you keep track of your progress and stay motivated. Remember, small changes over time can add up to big results, so don’t get discouraged if you slip up now and then. The important thing is to keep moving forward and stay committed to your goals.

The Bottom Line

Sugar can be a tasty and enjoyable part of our diets, but consuming too much can negatively impact our health. To reduce sugar intake, start by paying attention to hidden sugars in packaged foods, drinks, and condiments, and opt for whole, unprocessed foods when possible. Use a habit-tracking app, like Arootah’s Habit Coach App, to monitor your progress.

Gradually reducing your sugar intake over time can help you establish healthier eating habits and improve your overall well-being. Remember, small changes can add up to big results!

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Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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