Kicking the Sugar Habit…..Hype or Hope?

Do Sugar Detox Diets Work?

Can you defeat your sugar habit by quitting cold turkey? Some sugar detox plans urge you to purge your system of all sugar by avoiding all sweets. That means all fruit, dairy, and refined grains. Diet changes like this are too drastic to keep up long term. Changes that you can do only for the short term mean you’ll fall back to your old habits.

Starch Can Equal Sugarfrench-fries pic

You say you do not have a sweet tooth, but crave bagels, chips, or french fries? These starchy foods are complex carbs that the body breaks down into simple sugars. Starches can make blood sugar surge and crash just like sugar. White rice, white flour, and potatoes are top candidates. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.

Retrain Your Taste Buds

You do not need sugar as much as you think you do. In fact, you can train your taste buds to enjoy things that are not as sweet. Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. For example, pass on dessert after dinner. Start putting less sugar in your coffee or cereal. Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.

Choose Good-For-You Goodies

You don’t have to give up all that delightful sweetness. Just get it from other sources. Try fresh berries or pureed fruit in your oatmeal rather than sprinkling on the sugar. Explore fruit that is frozen, dried, or canned (without too much added sugar). A glass of low-fat milk or low-sugar yogurt can help satisfy the sugar urges.

Kick the Habit with Baby Steps

If you make small, simple changes to your diet, it is easier to keep them up long term. Start simply by eating more fruits and vegetables. Drink extra water. Check food labels, and pick those that do not contain a lot of sugar. Cut out a little bit of sugar each week. After a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at how little you miss it.

Protein is Helpfuleggs and nuts pic

Eating protein is a sure way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer. Protein does not make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbohydrates and sugars do. Pick proteins like lean chicken, low- fat yogurt, eggs, nuts, or beans.

Fill Up on Fiber                                                       

Fiber helps fight that sugar itch in many ways. High-fiber foods keep you full and give you more energy. Because fiber rich foods do not increase your blood sugar, there’s no crash after. Choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Or smear some peanut butter on an apple for a protein/fiber combo

Get Outside                                                                                                                    .

Exercise can help wipe sugar cravings and change the way you eat in general. Do something active that you enjoy, such as walking, riding your bike, or swimming. Start out slow, and work toward at least 30 minutes at a time, 5 days a weekwalking pic

Can Artificial Sweeteners Help?

Some studies suggest artificial sweeteners may leave you craving more sugar. This in turn will not help break your taste for sweets. Pay attention to what your body is telling you .If the artificial sweeteners are making you crave more sugar look elsewhere for that sweet fix.

Healthy Sugars are Still Sugars, Limit Them

Honey, brown sugar, and cane juice may sound healthy. But sugar is sugar. Whether it comes from bees or sugar cane, it can cause your blood sugar to rise. Honey and unrefined sugars are slightly higher in nutrients, but their calories still count.

How Much Sugar is too Much?

Most people in the U.S. eat 19 teaspoons or more of added sugar a day. That adds up to 285 calories!  How much sugar should you be eating? Women should eat no more than 6 teaspoons daily (100 calories) and men should eat a max of 9 teaspoons (150 calories)

Sugar Has Many Other Names

You do not always see the word “sugar” on a food label. Sometimes it goes by other names, such as: Agave Nectar, Brown Rice Syrup, High-fructose Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Evaporated Can Juice, Glucose, Lactose, Malt Condiment picSyrup, Molasses, and Sucrose

Scout Out Hidden Sugar

Sugar are known to hide in condiments. Although they do not all seem sweet, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and pasta sauce can have loads of sugar. So can reduced-fat salad dressings, bread, baked beans, and some flavored coffees. Get in the habit of reading labels. Filter out those high-sugar food items!



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