On average, we consume 57 pounds of added sugar per person every year. Increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and depression are just a few of the negative effects that can occur when eating more sugar than recommended. These facts are of course alarming and show just how important it is for us to reduce how much sugar we’re ingesting. Here are a few ways you can hack your lifestyle to make sure you’re cutting out sugar where it isn’t necessary
1. Order Only Water at Restaurants
When eating out, grabbing a drink with your order is seen as a must. However, your drink doesn't have to be a soda or juice. Instead, ask for a water. Not only is water a cheaper option, but it also cuts out a lot of sugar from your meal. A single 12 fl oz can of coke has 39 grams of sugar, more than the recommended daily limit. So next time you go out to eat, remember to grab that glass of water instead of the sugar filled drink.
2. Avoid Sugary Desserts
Desserts are often loaded with a huge amount of sugar, and usually don’t have that much of a nutritional benefit. Instead of eating a traditional dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, try having a healthier alternative. Dark chocolate, berries, dates, and greek yogurt are great natural options for desert. Other than decreasing the amount of sugar you're having, these healthier options also increase the amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your diet.
3. Try using natural sweeteners
Some food items just don't taste that great unless they are sweetened, and that's completely understandable. However, sugar isn’t the only way you can sweeten your dishes up. Consider using a sweetener such as Stevia. These sweeteners can help eliminate the negative effects from traditional sugar.
4. Get a full night of sleep
Many studies have linked a poor sleep schedule with impaired function of the frontal lobe. Less sleep can also lead to the area of the brain that stimulates cravings/desires to be over stimulated. These adjustments in the brain can make it more likely for one to crave sugar and opt to eat more sugary foods. Make sure to get a good night of rest as often as you can to best avoid sugar cravings
5. Keep healthy snacks handy
When we’re hungry, we tend to grab whatever is most convenient to satiate our appetite, regardless of what that may be. This is when many of us tend to eat more sugar than we think we are. To avoid situations like this, travel with some healthy snacks. Some great portable options include raw veggies, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, healthy shakes, salads, and protein chips.