White table sugar is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we’re trying to cut back on sugar in our diets. However, there are other varieties of sugar that scientists identify based on their chemical makeup. Sugar may be derived naturally from fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, but it can also be created commercially and added to foods to boost their sweet flavor and contribute to the strengthening of the structure and texture of foods, as well as sweetening them.This type of added sugar must be reduced because its excessive intake can cause many health problems such as increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, tooth decay, and other health problems.
How to reduce sugar in our food
The consumption of added sugars can be reduced in several ways such as :
- Replacing sugary drinks:Reducing the intake of sugary drinks helps reduce sugar consumption significantly. Examples of common sugary drinks that contain high amounts of added sugar are soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, in addition to fruit drinks, and also some Healthy drinks such as fruit juices contain large amounts of added sugar. it is worth noting that consuming sugary drinks does not help to increase the feeling of satiety as foods do; Therefore, consuming large quantities of drinks does not contribute to reducing the intake of high-calorie foods.
We can replace these sugary drinks with some healthy alternatives such as water, carbonated water with fresh lemon or lime juice added, water with mint and cucumber, herbal or fruit tea, tea, and coffee, taking into account that no sugar is added to them.
- Replacing sweets with fruits: It is recommended to replace sweets such as biscuits or pastries with fruits
- Use sugar substitutes in moderation:The Food and Drug Administration allowed the use of five types of artificial sweeteners without calories, namely saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, sucralose, and Neotame. Also using one type of natural low-calorie sweetener known as stevia.The use of artificial sweeteners in moderation helps reduce the amount of added sugars in the diet; Thus reducing the number of calories consumed. On the other hand, some research has indicated that artificial sweeteners may play a role in weight gain, as it may increase the desire to eat more sweets.
- Pay attention to hidden sources of sugar: Many foods contain large amounts of sugar, while most people do not believe that they contain such large amounts of sugar, and these foods include the following
- Some ready-made soups, prepared sauces, ready-made meals.
- Condiments and sauces such as ketchup
- Breakfast cereals, which may contain large amounts of sugar, so it is recommended to replace them with types of cereals that are low or sugar-free.
- White bread, which contains large amounts of added sugar, and lacks dietary fiber, so it is recommended to eat bread made from whole grains rich in fiber instead.
- Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt that can be included as part of a healthy and balanced diet
- Low-fat foods. Sometimes low-fat foods may be higher in sugar and calories than full-fat foods.
Therefore, reading the food label on different products is one of the best ways to know the sugar content in them, even if they claim to be healthy or do not taste sweet.
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