Even if you don’t need to lose weight, cutting sugar is a great way to improve your health and help you avoid a number of different diseases that seem so common in today’s sugar-coated culture. Sugar is implicated in a number of modern diseases: high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cancer, alzheimers, weight gain, and more.
Unless you’ve been intentionally vigilant in cutting out sugar, you’re probably consuming a lot of sugar. Estimates on average American adult sugar consumption ranges anywhere from 22 to 55 teaspoons of sugar a day while our children consume even more. That’s pretty scary considering the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day and men no more than 9 teaspoons. (Though, that’s a fairly liberal recommendation in my estimation.)
Sugar is in many places you wouldn’t neccesairly suspect. You have to be a real detective to track it down. Did you know that protein bars, bread, yogurt, salad dressing, soup, and condiments all have added sugar? Sugar and its good buddy high fructose corn syrup can be hiding in many places with a variety of names.
How to Cut Sugar & Still Enjoy Food
- Focus on whole foods. Enjoy meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy natural fats.
- Cut out processed food. Anything you purchase from the store that comes in a box, package, can, or is prepared ahead of time is suspect. Take the extra time to make food yourself, that way you know exactly what is in it.
- Become knowledgeable about alternative sweeteners. You don’t want to swap sugar for artificial chemicals, but you might be surprised to know there are some great natural alternatives. (Be sure to check out our series A Sweet Life: A series on sugar and it’s alternatives to find more out about what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s yummy!)
- Increase your fat intake. Yup, you heard me right. Contrary to popular opinion fat does not make you fat and it doesn’t cause heart disease either. Fat is a fabulous macronutrient that nourishes your body and helps you feel full. Don’t eat low-quality man made fats though. Eat butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard, and tallow.
- Arm yourself with delectable recipes. There are some fantastic sugar-free recipe blogs out in this cyberworld. Find the ones that appeal to you and have fun in the kitchen! Experiment with new ingredients and combinations you’ve never though of before.
- Don’t get discouraged! Cutting out sugar can be tricky, and you’re bound to have cravings. If you give in to a craving, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and jump back on the wagon.
What are your best sugar-cutting tips?
This is great! We bake with raw, local honey and love it! My babies have only had sugar once – their first birthday cakes. :o) Other than that, no processed foods! They’ve only had raw, natural, real! It has been challenging because it is more work (and more expensive!) but soooooo worth it!
Making sure you are consuming adequate proteins and healthy fats are VITAL to cutting out sugar. I also know for me, eliminating added sugar for 30 days re-set my taste buds and has made it MUCH easier to limit how much we are consuming. You don’t realize how much you are eating until you completely remove it, for us, it was a little scary and very eye opening. Frozen fruits also helped us. Just as an after dinner snack. It helped us to enjoy something a little sweet, however, to not make it our main focus. Really enjoying this series this month, lots of great information!
You are so right about how removing the sugar can reset your taste buds. Our oldest son (8 years old) didn’t like fruit. Since we’ve removed sugar – he loves fruit! It’s like his new candy 🙂
I sincerely appreciate you hosting Trisha, thank you ! 🙂
Most store-bought tortillas are laden with hydrogenated oils and some even have high fructose corn syrup. I shared a recipe this week to make your own and it can be customized to white or wheat and there’s even an option to soak the grains beforehand! I also shared an article on the various types of butter and what they mean – grass-fed vs. organic vs. cultured, etc. – and how to find the best butter for your needs.
I couldn’t agree more about cutting out sugar. It’s the root of so many health problems – even for those who don’t overindulge in sugary treats.
it makes me happy to know that there are other people who realize that if “fat” is removed, it is usually replaced with sugar. sometimes, i feel that “lite” foods are the commercial food companies way of keeping americans unhealthy…
I couldn’t agree more!