Reducing your consumption of sugar is not only beneficial for trimming your waistline; it will also reduce your risk of heart disease, hyperactivity, arthritis, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Sugar is found in obvious foods and beverages like cake and soda. It is also hidden in a number of surprising food items, such as ketchup, soup mixes, canned meat and tomato sauce. Learning how to read ingredient labels in order to find hidden sugars will help you to follow a sugar-free, healthier diet plan.
Sugar by Other Names
Read food labels whenever possible. In addition to looking out for sugar in ingredient lists, be aware that sugar may be listed as corn syrup, fructose, lactose, maltose, malt, glucose, mannitol, maltose, sorghum, turbinado, crystalline fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sucrose, or maple syrup. There are many forms of sugar, some healthier than others. For example, agave syrup is a natural sweetener that has a low glycemic impact. If you are currently ?addicted? to sugar, making the switch to less processed sugars such as agave may be an important and effective first step in following a sugar-free diet.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
It may be tempting to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (also known by its brand names Equal, NutraSweet, Equal-Measure, and Spoonful). However, aspartame is one of the most dangerous food additives, and can lead to cancer, depression, headaches and insomnia.
Prepare Your Own Meals
The best way to avoid sugar in your diet as much as possible is to prepare your own food. This way, you can be certain that no sugar is added to your meals. When dining out, don?t hesitate to call ahead of time to ask what options are available that are free of sugar. As more people are requesting sugar-free meals, restaurant managers and chefs are learning to create healthier, delicious options.
Avoid Processed Foods
Grocery stores are chock full of processed foods. Whenever possible, avoid the middle sections of grocery stores and, instead, shop around the perimetre of grocery stores where you will find a wide selection of unprocessed, whole foods including fruits and vegetables. Many grocery stores now have bulk sections where you will find ingredients such as rice, pasta, flour, nuts, seeds, and other essentials that do not include additives. Bulk bins usually contain an ingredient list where you can check for sugar and sugar additives that go by other names.
Soon enough, your body and taste palate will adjust to your sugar-free diet. It will then be easier than ever to maintain a diet that offers many health benefits.