Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cutting Back on Sugar

The reality is sugar is the enemy; it is the ingredient responsible for the spare tire many of us carry around our waists.  Sugar takes us down the road to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more. The unfortunate part of all of this is that sugar is found in so many different foods that you don’t even expect, for instance ketchup has loads of sugar and All Bran cereal is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup. There are so many landmines of sugar in our daily food supply that it takes some diligence to avoid sugar just to decrease your consumption.  Below is a ten-step plan for decreasing the sugar in your daily diet and ultimately the goal is to eat as much nutrient dense whole food that does not have extra sugar added to it.

10 Step to Cutting Back Your Sugar Intake

     1.     Identify the areas where you have the most sugar
-       Do you have sugary drinks?
-       Do you eat sugary treats?
-       Do you add sugar to your coffee or tea?
-       Do you eat a lot of fast food or processed food?

     2.     Make the decision that you are ready to cut back on sugar.
-       Have you seen the problem with ingesting a lot of sugar?
o   Weight gain, mood swings, diabetes, poor health

     3.     Learn the sugar alias’
            For example
-       Corn sweetener
-       High Fructose Corn Syrup
-       Dextrose
-       Sucrose
-       Maltose
-       Honey
-       Agave

     4.     Pay attention to your foods, read labels and learn what foods you eat regularly have excess sugar in them.

     5.     Look at the foods you are willing to eliminate all together and then choose which foods you are willing to make substitutions ie. Plain yogurt with fruit instead of sugared yogurt.

     6.     Go through your kitchen and throw away any foods (processed foods) with sugar. Cleaning out your pantry will allow you to make shifts to healthier eating.

     7.     Plan your meals and snacks so you are not ravenous with no food planned, this often leads to a sugary snack that you want to avoid.

     8.     Make a conscious plan to have a special treat of something with sugar like ice cream, candy or baked goods. Enjoy every bite of it, as it is a food you are now eating with purpose and not mindlessly to fill a hole.

     9.     Remember this is a choice to have a healthier life with whole foods in abundance this is not about deprivation.  Fruit is an excellent alternative to sugary foods and the benefits are numerous.

     10.   Instead of rewarding yourself with sugary foods or drinks find something you enjoy but often don’t take the time for, such as a walk in the woods,  a quiet night with a loved one or a special place to enjoy a spectacular sun set. Rewards do not have to be food or things but moments in time.

     Do you need some more guidance or want to talk about your food. Please email me at

     - Helen