In part one of our article How to Kick Your Sugary Diet, we covered the basics about sugar, including what it is, where you can find it, and what problems it can cause (including a dentist’s nightmare: tooth decay and gum disease!). Now, we’re going to address some good habits that you can employ to mitigate your sugar consumption and to curb those cravings you may have. Here are some good habits you can implement:
Good Habits to Try
Now that we know what sugar is, and where you can find “good” and “bad” sugars, it’s time to instill some good habits to replace those urges to reach for the sweet stuff::
Use Healthy Substitutes
Aren’t there substitutes to sugar? Well, yes. There are many substitutes out there, but some substitutes pose their own health issues. Fortunately, there are a few substitutes that are okay as well.
What are bad substitutes?
You might think that artificial sweeteners are the way to go if you want to avoid the health problems that can come along with natural sugars. However, you should be aware that artificial sweeteners are not a healthy alternative, and they come with their own set of health problems. Products like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose taste sweet and can be used to replace sugar — however, each of these ingredients can be linked to a host of diseases, from obesity to memory loss.
What are good substitutes?
Fortunately there are a couple of natural sweeteners out there that you can use to satiate your sweet tooth. Stevia, xylitol, and whole natural fruits are all great options if you’d like to substitute sugar ingredients in a recipe or if you need a sweet treat. Stevia and xylitol are both naturally derived and they both work well in certain baked goods, as well as mixed into beverages that you enjoy.
Check That Nutritional Content
Make it a habit to check the nutritional content of the foods that you purchase at the store. If you are purchasing food products (products that are manufactured and packaged, not actual produce), then you should check the label to see if these products have high sugar content. Again, you’ll have to keep an eye out for all of the “bad” sugars that we mentioned above. Be wary of food products that have a type of sugar listed as one of the top three ingredients (ingredients are listed by percentage), and check to see if there is a high sugar content per serving. You may be surprised how many food products are packed with sugar!
Continue to Part III
Now that you have a few good habits under your belt, you may be beginning your journey to curb your cravings for that sweet stuff. Jump over to part three of our article How to Kick Your Sugary Diet, to learn about some of the best techniques to curb your sugar cravings.