By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi, July 31 (IANSlife): Sugary snacks and drinks abound on supermarket and retail store shelves. While it’s possible to enjoy these from time to time, regular consumption is an easy way to exceed your required calorie intake, and too much sugar can lead to a variety of health problems.
According to studies, your sugar intake should not exceed 5 percent 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 soft drinks, fruit juices, cookies, cakes, and chocolate.
There is also a ‘sugar-free diet’, which eliminates all sugar, including those found in healthy foods like fruit and dairy. This is not recommended because fruits are rich in fiber and micronutrients. The experts at Myprotein India, a leading sports and nutrition brand, explain the benefits of a low-sugar diet and how to reduce sugar intake to stay healthy.
What are the benefits of reducing sugar intake?
Eating a lot of sugary foods can mean you gain weight. Sugar has a low effect on satiety, meaning you won’t feel full after eating sugary snacks. This means that you are much more likely to exceed your required daily calorie count, which can lead to long-term weight gain. Changing your food choices to those higher in protein and fiber can 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, it’s best to make sure you don’t go 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 can result in better dietary habits overall. Using the tips below will help reduce your daily sugar intake and improve the quality of your diet.
Pay attention to food labels
It can often be surprising how much sugar is in your favorite beverage and snack options, and sugar can often be in foods you wouldn’t expect. Being vigilant and making sure you read food labels can be an informative process that helps you make the right choices when it comes to meals, snacks, and beverages.
Avoid sugary drinks
Your favorite fizzy drinks may well be loaded with sugar and it’s worth seeking out the ‘diet’ counterparts. Not just your typical soda, though, drinks that are often marketed as “healthy” or “low-fat” can also contain a fair amount of sugar.
Things like “healthy” smoothies or fruit juices can also have a substantial amount of sugar, and by trying to choose a healthy option, you could inadvertently add unnecessary sugar to your diet.
Be careful with the condiments
Ketchup and brown sauce contain a substantial amount of sugar. Making sure you don’t go overboard with your ketchup serving size and reducing the number of meals you add sauce to can help lower your overall sugar intake.
Plan your meals in advance
Planning your meals in advance has many benefits. In addition to allowing you to control your calories, planning your meals can be cost-effective and kind to your wallet.
Most importantly for sugar intake, planning ahead can also help you avoid the last-minute, unhealthy processed choice on the shelf. Although they can be convenient when time is limited, these processed foods are often high in sugar, so cooking with fresh, whole ingredients is recommended.
Planning ahead also gives you time to check labels for sugar content and add sweets here and there.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry or tired.
Hitting the shops after a long day at work when you’re tired and hungry can make sugary snacks hard to resist. Especially the ones that are placed next to the box.
Shopping after a healthy meal (containing fiber and protein) can help you fight the urge to fight food choices that can have a long-term negative impact. Once you buy it and have it in your pantry at home, it’s much harder to resist sugary snacks while looking at your favorite box.
To conclude, reducing sugar intake in your diet can lead to better body composition and reduce the likelihood of cavities and long-term disease. Following the tips above can help you sustainably reduce your intake, while still enjoying a tasty meal.