Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar
Eating too much sugar can damage your teeth, causing bad breath and a whole host of other mouth issues. Here are a few ways you can cut back on sweet stuff without making any drastic lifestyle changes.
Check the label
Staying informed is important. When trying to cut down on sugar, that means reading the labels of everything you eat. Added sugars find their way into packaged foods that wouldn't otherwise read as sweet, such as salad dressings and condiments. Before you put anything into your mouth, take a minute to figure out exactly what's in it. Be on the lookout for synonyms, such as "high-fructose corn syrup" and "molasses."
Eat more lean protein and healthy fats
For many people, eating too much sugar is simply a matter of hunger. You start to feel the pangs, and reach for the closest thing to satiate them. If that dish happens to be loaded with sugar, it can have a bad impact on your teeth and gums. What's worse is that such meals rarely lead to lasting fullness, which means that you'll soon be looking to eat again.
To break this cycle, look for meals that are loaded with lean protein, such as turkey breast, and healthy fats, like avocado. This will keep you full for longer, and help you cut out added sugars. If you need a snack, choose something filling and healthy, such as almonds.
Ease into it
While cold turkey might be a great source of lean protein, it's a poor strategy for dealing with excess sugar intake. If your sucrose intake is higher than normal, cutting it out entirely is likely to lead to failure, as those cravings can quickly become overwhelming.
The key is to make regular progress. If you tend to eat a donut every afternoon, start by cutting it in half and saving the rest for the next day. If you take three spoons of sugar in your coffee, try reducing it to two. Over time, you'll become acclimated to your new sugar intake, and can dial it back even further. Over time, the accumulation of minor changes can be dramatic.
"A 20-ounce bottle of Coca Cola contains 65 grams of sugar."
Drink more water
One of the most insidious ways that sugar can slip into your diet is through sugary drinks. A 20-ounce bottle of Coca Cola contains 65 grams of sugar, more than your recommended daily intake, according to the American Heart Association. Drinking too much soda is an easy habit to fall into, and can have a strongly negative effect on your oral health.
To combat this, start drinking more water. Carry a refillable bottle whenever possible, and keep it filled to stave off those dehydration-induced cravings. Having water instead of soda with meals is a fast and easy way to cut out a lot of the sugar in your diet, without your having to eat differently at all.