Medically reviewed by Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Shera.
Consuming sugars is the worst thing you can do to your body. An excess of sweetened foods and beverages have negative health effects that can range from weight gain to heart conditions. Sugar is not only harmful to our system but our skin as well, which demonstrates itself in the form of ugly zits that we all hate. To have a healthy lifestyle, there are major changes that should be made in our daily rituals.
Daily exercise and healthy eating is something we have all heard of, but do you know the single most important step you can take to improve your health is eating less sugar! Follow these 5 simple hacks to flush these toxins (read: sugars) from your diet.
· Eat your fruit, don’t drink it.
We have all read those health magazines shouting at us to include more fruits in our diet as they are healthy. Honestly, who wants to eat fruits? We instead resort to fresh fruit juices and smoothies, because one; it tastes much better and two; isn’t it more Instagram-able?
But, do you know how much sugar these fresh, fruit juices contain? Fruits are high in naturally occurring sugar, fructose. Eating one apple a day is healthy for us, as it is said, it keeps a doctor away! If you juice it, it’s likely that you’ll consume a lot more serves than if you were to eat it whole, hence increasing the sugar content. Juicing also eliminates the pulp that contains fiber (fiber makes you feel fuller for long), which then rings your hunger bell much sooner.
· Cut back on sugary drinks.
This is no news that soft drinks and energy drinks are full of sugar. If you’re a regular consumer of these, you can quickly drop the amount of sugar in your diet by eliminating them.
If you’re thirsty, stick to water. Not a fan of H2O, then try adding a little flavor to it, be it few drops of lemon, or honey or even mint. It is much healthier.
· Beware of the misleading so-called processed foods
Supermarket hauls are our favorites. But, we often tend to get carried away and jack our trolleys with all kind of junk and processed foods. These are the foods with additional nutritive content, a high amount of saturated fats or added sugars. A lot of sugar we ingest comes from packaged and canned food.
Cut out these processed foods immediately! Cook for yourself whenever you can and keep it simple. Use flavors of natural herbs and spices to treat your taste-buds. However, if you do use any processed products as a part of your home-cooked meals, always check the nutritional labels on the back of the product and calculate its sugar content.
· Avoid sugar-loaded desserts and beverages
If you have a sweet tooth or you take sugar in your tea or coffee, you have one more reason to eliminate sugars from the diet.
So, stop overindulging on those lava cakes and ice-creams, as they contain tremendous amounts of sugars and carbohydrates that may erase your weeks of exercise. Instead, you can swap them with much healthier, less sugar containing items such as dark chocolate and dates. About your overly sweetened tea and coffee, start by reducing the number of teaspoons of sugar gradually, and if you are up for a challenge, why not eliminate these fattening, acne-causing bugs altogether?
· Plan your meal
To keep your hunger pangs at bay, schedule your meals.
Starving yourself or resisting your cravings can be very exhausting. Do not use these unhealthy methods to keep away from sugars. This may result in you to binge-eat. Instead, try to space out your servings, so that you aren’t getting a big sugar rush all at once.
As important as it is to eliminate sugars from our diets, it should also be well understood that not all sugars are bad. While processed foods and free sugar are a big no, there is no harm in eating your favorite dessert once in a while. So, while you are at it, give yourself a break and enjoy just a teensy bit of that sugar rush!
Guest Post Credit: Dr. Tooba Irfan