Top 10 Ways to minimize Sugar From Your Eating
With right fruit, vegetable, and protein combination, shakes can taste like a treat. A smoothie often includes the fruit skins, so it provides an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Includes yogurt or milk to get some calcium too, and the fruit adds fiber, helping to slow digestion, lower cholesterol and control blood sugar. As a breakfast, one with protein powder, healthy fats and low glycemic index fruit can push off any unhealthy midmorning snacking (like grazing on doughnuts) and get you through to lunch.
Sugar cravings can also often be a sign that your blood sugar levels are out of balance, which is why it’s important to eat low glycemic index (GI) foods that prevent energy crashes and sugar cravings. Most breakfast cereals contain simple carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body and cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels. Instead of a muffin, sugary cereal or handful of cookies, quinoa will keep your blood sugar level more stable. Mix with some cocoa powder in your quinoa and pair with a coconuts and strawberries for added flavor
Even spices can help you overcome the sugar addiction. Cinnamon, which was imported from Egypt about 2,000 years ago, has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and can also help reduce sugar cravings. Cinnamon minimizes insulin spikes after you’ve eaten, thereby keeping you from craving more sugar. When you’re craving ice cream, try sprinkling cinnamon over plain yogurt, or instead of reaching for a candy bar, halve a banana lengthwise and sprinkle some cinnamon on the cut sides.
Eating protein is an excellent way to reduce sugar cravings because it stabilizes your blood sugar levels. Nuts and nut butters (or sunflower butter if you have nut allergies) provide protein along with healthy fats, but if you’re trying to lose weight, only eat two tablespoons a day. And be sure you get ones that have no sugar added! Nut butters also provide sulfur, which is the third most abundant mineral in your body and found throughout your muscles, skin and bones. As we age, a lack of sulfur can lead to sagging and wrinkling of the skin or stiff muscles and joints. For snacks that combine protein and fiber, try a piece of toast with almond butter topped with berries or dig into a spoonful of peanuts.
If you’ve never been a beet fan, now is the time for you to become one. A sweet vegetable, it can help curb those sugar cravings. Known for fighting off inflammation -- a root cause of conditions ranging from arthritis and heart disease to migraines, dental issues and cancers -- beets are also high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B and iron. They’re helpful for purifying the blood and cleansing the liver, but, most importantly for your cravings, they’re a good source of glutamine, which is ideal for some extra get-up-and-go when what you’re really hankering for is the spike of energy that sugar can give. For a quick, healthy snack, try roasted beets sliced and served with goat cheese and raw walnuts on some peppery greens.
Studies have shown that vanilla-scented products reduced a person’s need for sugary foods and drinks. You become desensitized by its smell, so you can trick your sweet tooth with a vanilla-scented product like body lotion or a candle instead of something sweet to eat. But if you won’t be satisfied without something in your mouth, try adding natural vanilla extract to tea, coffee or even sparkling water to curb that craving.
Make Your Own Spaghetti/Tomato Sauce
Cut out store-bought tomato sauce. These often have really high amount of sugar and you just don’t need it. It’s easy to make your own: simmer some canned or fresh tomatoes in a pot with some fresh herbs.
Make Your Own Salad Dressing
One of the most common places sugar will hide is in your store-bought salad dressing. Control the amount of sugar (as well as the salt and soybean/canola oil), by making your own! Remember: for most vinaigrettes, the ratio is three parts oil to one part vinegar. Great oils to use are extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, and avocado oil. You can use Balsamic vinegar or other flavored vinegars. Plain white vinegar or cider vinegar works as well in a pinch. You can also add a bit of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, maybe some dried herbs, and a dab of honey if you want a bit more sweetness. Start with all ingredients at room temperature for the best emulsion.
Cut Out Soda
Trade soda for water with lime or lemon in it and you’ll cut your sugar intake in a huge way. If you still need something bubbly, drink soda water, either plain or with lime or lemon.
Give Yourself A Dessert Quota
If you are weaning yourself back off of sugar, one of the easiest ways to do it is to give yourself a “quota” when it comes to sugar, and use it on dessert. If you normally eat dessert every day, then cut out all sweets besides dessert. Over the next few weeks, cut back the amount of desserts you have per week. Another way to help is to replace half of your desserts with fresh fruit.
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