It is not exactly quantum mechanics to realize and understand that white, artificially produced sugar is bad for your health. Your mother constantly holds you lectures on it, your doctor always says “…and cut down on sugar” plus, your dentist walks you out of the office with those exact words. Practically, everything you have ever read in the newspapers and on the Internet regarding diets, healthy lifestyle and maintaining your good shape comes down to those two simple words: NO SUGAR.
But the thing is, you also know how hard it is to resist that perfect smell of cake, that delicious ice-cream served in cafes and how bitter coffee tastes without any sugar. So, where is that golden point where you can stay healthy and still keep a dose of sweetness in your life?
- Try honey. One of the healthiest, natural sugar substitutes is of course, honey. Not just that honey is sweet and can easily replace sugar in any drink (milk, juices, even coffee like late macchiato), but honey contains a very high amount of good sugars, the ones that have nutritive values and are not simply stored in your body and turned into fat if not wasted.
- Switch to natural sweeteners. Nowadays, some of the most popular natural sugar substitutes are of course, natural sweeteners. These products are based entirely on natural ingredients. One such sweetener is Stevia, a plant from which natural sugar is made. The thing about Stevia sweeteners is that they don’t add calories, and they’re about 200 times sweeter than sugar. There are even studies that show Stevia products offer some health benefits, like lowering blood pressure and helping people with type 2 diabetes.
- Turn to fruits! Fruits, or “real food” contain a certain amount of sugar, and when consumed, your need for sugar or something sweet automatically decreases. Additionally, if at some point you feel like you need to take sugar, eat some fruits instead. They are natural sugar substitutes due to the high concentration of fructose, which is a form of natural sugar.
- Read and understand labels. Many products you take on daily basis contain refined sugar and this is indicated on the labels. But for foods we do not consume everyday, you are more likely to read some fancy words instead of simply sugar. So, when you see words like glucose, maltose, fructose corn syrup and anything that ends in – ose, know that they all mean refined sugar. And of course, avoid them. Quantity also matters. On average, people should consume maximum 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, but in reality, people consume as much as 19 teaspoons. So, if you are going to consume that much sugar daily, the least you should try is switch to natural sugar substitutes. And good thing is there are many alternatives available to us today such as Stevia.
- Switch the focus on fiber and protein. Fiber and protein together are the best combination for keeping your blood sugar on a healthy level, so you can keep your sweet tooth under control. So, when time for snacks comes, make sure you have something rich in fiber and protein content or, if you really need it, take something that contains cocoa instead of sugar or chocolate.
- Take a nap. When you feel like you simply cannot calm your need for sugar, go to bed and sleep on it.