Coffee Break

Sugar-Free… Well, Maybe Sugar-Less!

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If the experts are to be believed, sugar is one of the most harmful substances to humankind. It may not have caused the wars that oil has, but sugar is a major player in bad health. For humans to be healthy, people like you and me need to cut down on the sweet, white grains and even cut them out completely.

The thing is that life is too short. Yes, we could develop a sugar-free diet, yet what is the point? Like everything in life, sugar is fine in the right amounts. So, the key isn’t to focus on cutting it out altogether but consume less on a daily basis.

Okay, that’s a better prospect. Still, it isn’t as simple as clicking your fingers and watching the magic happen. Let’s face it – most of us aren’t mentally strong enough! Here is a selection of tips that can help. The following are six fantastic ways to eat and drink less sugar while still getting your fix of the good stuff.

Read The Label

Recently, there has been a drive towards food packaging, especially informative labels. Manufacturers have to include the calorie contents by law, and you should take time to read the data. One simple glance at the sugar section will tell you how many grams and the percentage of your daily intake. You don’t even need a comprehensive knowledge of simple and complex sugars; all the info is on the package. All you have to do is next is put down anything which has a medium or high content. Remember that orange and red are bad and green is good. People that read the label can keep track of their sugar levels for the day avoid going over the recommended daily amount. Just use your memory or write down the total on a piece of paper and refer back to it when you are unsure.

Avoid Processed

Everyone has been there on a weekday or weekend night. There isn’t anything in the cupboards and you can’t be bothered chopping onions and making a sauce. So, you stop by the supermarket and pick up a ready meal, whack it in the microwave and Bob’s your uncle. Every now and again, there is nothing wrong with a microwave meal, especially when the time is not your friend. However, eating too many processed dishes is bad for the sugar count as it contains a big percentage of your daily amount. Even worse, it includes different types which are just as harmful in large quantities. As a rule, try and stay away from packaged and processed meals to avoid gorging on sugar. Again, read the label and check beforehand so as not to be unhealthy. Alternatively, opt for an ‘organic’ or ‘fat-free’ version which is likely to be less damaging.

Choose Fresh Fruit

To save time, you may like to eat dehydrated fruit or drink smoothies. There’s no doubt they are tasty, and there is a good reason: they’re full of sugar. Usually, manufacturers add preservatives to stop them from going off, which results in a higher amount of fructose. People hate learning out about the dangers of dehydrated fruits because they think it’s healthy. In many ways, it’s like a dagger to the heart. The good news is that you can still eat fruit as long as it’s fresh. Apples and bananas that have just been picked aren’t chemically enhanced and contain natural juices that are easier to break down. However, you may want to stay away from the traditional suspects such as apples and bananas as they are high in fructose and low in glucose. Berries and grapefruit are the opposite and tend to have a lower content as a result.

Find An Alternative

What could be better than swapping sugar for a healthier option? Of course, it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds on paper. For one thing, the different choices are never as good, and, secondly, they are not fully understood. Before 2010, there was a drive towards using sweeteners as they were thought to be healthier. After 2010, scientists found that they were just as harmful in many circumstances. So, people that tried to help their body didn’t do it any favours. Thankfully, technology is more advanced and the alternatives are better understood, such as date paste. As the name suggests, it’s a mixture the fruit and its natural juices which is why date paste is a great alternative for sugar. For example, it’s fantastic in sauces or any cooking-related activity because it blends into the dish. For tea and coffee, it is a little too heavy so you may need another option such as stevia. But, let’s take one step at a time!

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Switch To Dark

Many foods have light or brown options. Rice and pasta are two that spring to mind, and the white kind is worse than the brown one. Chocolate is the same even though most people believe it’s all bad. It isn’t as dark choc has lots of health benefits. That’s why professional footballers eat it as part of a balanced diet. To begin with, cocoa is a naturally occurring substance that helps to strengthen the heart. Secondly, because it’s organic, there are fewer harmful chemicals and less chance of being unhealthy. Thirdly, it’s sickly in large amounts. Therefore, it’s difficult to eat a full bar of dark chocolate like it is white or milk. Just don’t overdo it because there are still pros and cons.

Drink Beer

Lager isn’t healthy and most people want to avoid it at all costs. However, mixers are full of soda, and that hikes up the sugar content. A gin and tonic or a rum and coke are very rich and unhealthy in large quantities. So, if sugar is your thing, then you need to switch from mixers to beer. Another option is to ask for diet soda or to drink wine because they are less sugary. Of course, the healthiest thing to do is to stop drinking alcohol altogether, but that may be asking too much!

Do you eat and drink too much sugar? How do you plan on making a change?

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