Sugary snacks and drinks are abundant on supermarket and retail shelves. While it is possible to enjoy these on occasion, regular consumption is an easy way to go over your required calorie intake, and too much sugar can lead to a variety of health problems.
According to the studies, your sugar intake should not exceed 5 per cent of your total daily calories. This means that a typical adult's sugar intake should not exceed 30g per day. The most harmful type of sugar is free sugar, which is found in fizzy drinks, fruit juices, biscuits, cakes, and chocolate.
There is also a 'no sugar diet,' which eliminates all sugar, including those found in otherwise healthy foods like fruit and dairy. This is not recommended because fruits are high in fibre and micronutrients. Myprotein India, a leading sports and nutrition brand, experts explain the benefits of a low sugar diet and how to reduce sugar intake to stay healthy.
What are the Benefits of Reducing your Sugar Intake?
Eating a large number of sugary foods may mean you gain weight. Sugar has a low effect on satiety meaning you will not feel full after eating sugary snacks. This means it's much more likely you will exceed your required daily calorie amount which may lead to weight gain in the long run. Switching your food choices for those with a higher protein and fibre content may result in weight loss.
Large amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. If you want to stay fit and healthy and avoid a toothless smile, its best to make sure you are not going overboard with your sugar intake. Specifically, free sugars are the ones that do the most damage and put your dentist in a bad mood.
How to Follow a Low Sugar Diet
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your daily sugar intake and many of them may result in improved dietary habits in general. Using the tips below will help to reduce your daily sugar intake and improve the quality of your diet.
Take Notice of Food Labels
It can often be surprising just how much sugar is in your preferred drinks and snacking options and sugar can often be in foods you wouldn't expect. Being attentive and making sure to read the food labels can be an informative process helping you make the right choices when it comes to meals, snacks, and drinks.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Your favourite fizzy drinks may well be loaded with sugar well worth looking for the 'diet' counterparts. Not just the typical soda drink though, drinks often marketed as 'healthy' or 'low fat' may also contain a fair amount of sugar.
Things like 'healthy' smoothies or fruit juices can also have a substantial amount of sugar and whilst trying to pick a healthy option you could inadvertently add unnecessary sugar to your diet.
Go Easy on Condiments
Ketchup and brown sauce contain a substantial amount of sugar. Making sure you don't go overboard with the ketchup serving size and reducing the number of meals that you add sauce to can help reduce your overall sugar intake.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
Planning your meals in advance has many benefits. As well as allowing you to monitor your calories, planning your meals can be cost-effective and kind to your wallet.
Importantly for sugar intake, planning ahead can also help to avoid the last-minute unhealthy processed choice on the shelf. Although they can be convenient when time is limited, these processed foods often have a high sugar content, which is why it's recommended to cook your own with fresh and wholegrain ingredients.
Planning ahead also allows you time to check your labels for sugar content and fit in sweet treats here and there.
Don't Shop When Hungry or Tired
Traipsing the shops after a long day at work when you're tired and hungry can make the sugary snacks hard to resist. Especially those placed next to the checkout.
Shopping after a healthy meal (containing fibre and protein) can help you fight off the temptation of fighting the food choices that can have a negative impact in the long run. Once it's bought and in your cupboards, at home, it's much harder to resist the sugary snacks whilst watching your favourite box set.
To conclude, reducing the sugar intake in your diet can lead to improved body composition and reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and long-term diseases. Following the tips above can help reduce your intake in a sustainable way, while still enjoying tasty food. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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