We are bombarded constantly with commercials from McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, etc. Behind these delicious foods, there’s a central addictive element that can get you hooked.
Corporations behind all the fast-food chains and the entire food empire have vested interests to sell to you, which is certainly not for your benefit. The primary go-to ingredient for almost all food additives, especially the one in fast food, is some form of sugar!
That’s right; it’s sugar and not the kind of sugar our body uses for fuel (glucose), although excess amounts can be harmful. Here, the sugar we’re talking about is refined and processed sugar that food manufacturers incorporate into their products.
There are different types of sugars, and corporations have become sneaky and have concealed the generally known term of sugar by using other forms, substitutes, or sweeteners. We need to become proficient label deck readers to understand the kinds of foods we are eating. But a general rule of thumb to keep you safe if anything found at the supermarket that comes in a
cardboard box and has an extended shelf-life should be considered harmful to
Now let’s go over the different forms of sugar and artificial sweeteners that you may not be able to recognize at first easily glance.
Six Types of Sugars to Lookout For
Artificial Sweeteners to Lookout For
- Corn Syrup
Substitute for Sugars to Lookout for
- Brown rice syrup
- Coconut palm sugar
- Date sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Agave Syrup
- Brown rice Syrup
- Coconut Palm Sugar
We need to be aware of the many hidden forms of sugar food manufacturing corporations sneak into our foods. Hence, the importance of becoming a proficient ingredient deck label reader!
A statistic revealed that the average American eats excessive amounts of 200,000 lbs of sugar every year! We only need a tablespoon of sugar (natural) within our bloodstream at any
time. Sugar can be a dangerous substance and has volatile characteristics, and simply put, it can make things explode literally!
Because sugar can be explosive, our bodies have evolved to develop complex mechanisms and procedures to store sugar efficiently. Due to the explosive nature of sugar, the hormones insulin
facilitates the transferring of excess sugar to fat, hence why we see refined sugar being the primary cause of weight gain in North America.
How to curb sugar addiction
Listen to your body
One way to respect our body is to listen to the signs it gives you. Just because you have a sugar craving or looking for something sweet, it does not mean that you need to immediately reach out to eat sugar or even look for sugar replacements such as fruit on impulse. Give your body time to connect with your mind so both these entities can understand what’s going on in your body. Are you bored, or are you stressed? Do you need an energy boost? Understanding this craving is essential as it is one step toward curbing the urge.
Balance your meals
Make your meals delicious and fun. Curbing sugar doesn’t mean that your meals need to be sad and bland. Instead, fill it with protein, veggies, and healthy carbs and fats. Try different cuisines and switch up ingredients now and then to make mealtimes exciting. A well-balanced meal helps keep you fuller for longer and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
Don’t deprive yourself.
When cutting down on a particular food item in your diet, the last thing you want to do is to deprive yourself. One of the best ways to cut sugar is switching to more natural forms of sugar. For instance, if you love chocolate, switch to eating dark chocolate instead, help yourself to a fruit bowl. You need to identify the healthy foods you love to eat because then, your brain will tell your body that you feel satisfied, making you less inclined to crave snacks and sugary stuff.
Keep it spicy
Instead of eating the same meals every day, switch things up by adding variety to your diet. This is where spice is the savior when swapping out sugar. Adding different spices to your meals can undoubtedly bring a new dimension in terms of flavor and taste.
It helps to have basic staples whenever you go grocery shopping. If you have no idea what to cook for lunch or dinner, you can whip up something you know by a heart: lasagna, fried rice, a burrito or chowder. But it’s also a good idea to explore recipes that expand your taste buds and the ingredients and choices of items. Try recipes that feature different vegetables, fruits and nuts. You might find a new delicious dish that gets you excited about mealtimes by switching up your meals. There’s nothing to lose in trying new dishes in the kitchen- you’ll hate it or love it.
Buy yourself some time
Give yourself some time before you reach out for that snack bar. You can drink a glass of water or wash the dishes after a meal. It’s also a good idea to take a walk or even five deep breaths to rewire your brain. If you feel exhausted or need an energy boost, you can even take endurance drinks such as the ones on Nutrition that can help you hydrate, replenish your electrolytes and boost your energy.
Take note of your patterns
Taking note of when you crave sugar can help with curbing your cravings. Most people end up reaching for something sweet after a meal and if this is you, take note of this. It’s a sign that you need to find a way to make sugar-less treats or create healthier snacks such as veggie sticks with natural peanut butter. It’s also a good idea to have healthy versions of your favorite snacks or make them yourself. This way, you can control the amount of sugar that goes into your meals.