Love sugar? Of course you do! Sadly, the sweet stuff isn't so good for your body—a diet that's high in refined sugar can ruin teeth, make you gain weight, cause skin ageing, overload your liver, cause diabetes...(argh)! Luckily, there are ways to reduce your sugar intake in a healthy way, without troubling your taste buds.
1. Give Natural Sweeteners a Try
Replace those spoons of sugar that go in your cold coffee, shakes, tea, etc, with natural sweeteners such as honey, jaggery or stevia. These are sweeter than sugar in taste but are comparatively low on calorie count. Bonus: all of them are great for digestion and boost immunity.
While we're on the subject, let's talk about artificial sweeteners, Those zero-calorie tags seem tempting, but when not used in moderation, they can lead to weight gain and dangerous side effects, including hypertension, weight gain, cardiovascular diseases.
2. Check the Label
Sugar is not just rampant in obvious foods like cakes, macarons, chocolates, puddings etc; it is also present (and abundantly) in seemingly innocent items like sauces, salad dressings, canned food, syrups, condiments. The solution? Check the sugar content on the label before putting it in your mouth.
3. Opt for Healthier Alternatives
You can drastically slash your sugar intake by simply making healthier and smarter choices in your daily lifestyle. Instead of going for canned juices and aerated drinks, replace them with healthier options like fresh juices, lemonade and coconut water that aren't just lower in calories, but can do wonders for your skin and digestive system.
Similarly, opt for dark chocolates instead of white or milky ones. And if you simply can't do without those cookies, binge on oatmeal or multigrain variants that are low on sugar, but have high protein and fiber content.
4. When In Doubt, Chew Some Gum
Sometimes, you simply HAVE to have some sugar. In those weak moments, turn to your childhood best friend—the humble chewing gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum, says nutrition advisor Dave Grotto, RD, LDN, on webmd.com. "Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings," Grotto says.