Sugar and diet: ten ways to cut back
Don't add sugar to foods. This is the easiest and most basic way immediately to reduce the amount of sugar you're eating. Biggest targets: cereal, coffee and tea.Don't fall for healthy sugar' disguises. Brown sugar, raw sugar - it's all the same thing as far as your body is concerned.Make an effort to reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates. Most processed carbohydrates - breads, most pastas and snacks - are loaded with flour and other ingredients that convert to sugar in the body almost as fast as pure glucose. That sugar gets stored as triglycerides, which is a grand way of saying fat.Watch out for 'fat-free' snacks. One of the biggest myths is that if a food is fat-free it doesn't make you fat. Fat-free doesn't mean calorie-free, and most fat-free snacks are loaded with sugar.Shop for colour. The more your shopping basket looks like a cornucopia of colour, the better. It usually means you're getting more fresh vegetables and low-glycaemic fruits such as berries and cherries. Become a food detective. Start reading labels. To reduce sugar, you have to know where to find it.Beware of artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, these can increase cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Some experts believe they also deplete the body's stores of chromium, a nutrient crucial for blood-sugar metabolism.Add it up. Look at the label where it says total sugars and divide the number of grams by four. That's the number of teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting. This exercise alone should scare you off sugar for good.Limit fruit. Fruit contains sugar, but it also has fibre and good nutrients. Just don't overdo it. For weight-loss purposes, have two servings a day maximum. Eliminate fruit juice. It sounds healthy, but its really only a pure sugar hit with none of the fibre and less of the nutrients found in raw fruit.