We all know sugar is bad for us. At Elizabeth Street Dentists we know better than most the effects that too much sugar can have on our teeth, let alone our bodies as a whole. But however bad we previously believed sugar to be, recent studies have revealed the sweet stuff could actually be even worse than scientists and nutritionists thought.
From triggering our bodies to crave more and more sugar through our brains and hormones, to having an incredibly detrimental effect on our metabolic health, sugar is a dangerous substance – and one we should all fight to eliminate from our diets.
But cutting out the sweet yumminess of sugar is no mean feat, firstly because our bodies are hard-wired to crave more of it, secondly because sugar is in, well, virtually everything; from concentrated fruit juices to honey. If you’re keen to give yourself an instant sugar-free health kick, here are four smart ways to cut it out.
1. No More Processed Foods
It’s very difficult to know which ingredients have gone into processed foods, but in many cases the answer is “a whole lot of sugar”. From breakfast cereals and ready meals, to soft drinks and tinned vegetables – steer clear of the processed stuff and stick to fresh ingredients in their natural state.
2. Learn Your Labels
Understanding food labelling will help you avoid sugar. Alongside the obvious ingredients like sugar, cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, avoid anything which ends in an “-ose” (like xylose, ribose and dextrose).
3. Reduce Natural Sugars
Even “natural sugars” which purport to be a healthier alternative to sugar can have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels which can be harmful to health. Products like stevia and agave nectar are worth avoiding.
4. No More Sweet Drinks
We all know how bad sweetened soda drinks are for us, but even sweet fruit juice is chock full of nasty quantities of sugar. Avoid these beverages like the plague to enjoy a sugar-free diet.
Do you have too much sugar in your diet? How do you curb cravings and cut down? Share your stories and tips with other readers below.