Sugar (cane sugar) is not only a big industry, but has been a part of many of our traditional foods. Somehow, today sugar has been given a tag of being an 'unhealthy' food. What we don't realize before we demonize a food is the reason behind it being called as 'unhealthy'. Sugar in small required amounts does not cause any health issue. What we don't realize is the amount of sugar that we are unknowingly consuming through foods like packaged cereals, juices, health drinks, pastries, burgers and even the so called 'low fat' packaged foods marketed as healthy foods. Excessive sugar in these forms can definitely become harmful. So, rather than banning sugar from your diet, try to make better food choices.
The steps you can take to reduce sugar intake in a week are
- Stay hydrated and avoid health drinks and packaged juices: Replace so-called health drinks and packaged juices with fresh drinks like lime water, coconut water, herbal teas and home-made fruit drinks like raw mango juice / aam panah and Water. The natural electrolytes will stop any craving for excessive sugar laden foods.
- Limit caffeine intake: Drinking coffee in the morning causes caffeine kick which spikes the energy levels in the body. As soon as this spike wears off, there is an intense sugar craving in the body.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates: Increasing consumption of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and yams helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body. This happens as they are digested slowly and help in controlling sugar cravings.
- Restrict salt intake: Excessive salt consumption can increase cravings for sugary foods. Eating too much salt can cause the body to balance out the flavors thus leading to increased sugar cravings.
- Exercise: Exercise causes perspiration in the body which helps in flushing out the salt and making the body alkaline thus reducing sugar cravings.
- Limit processed food intake: Eating naturally occurring foods such as grains and fruits are healthier than eating packaged foods. Packaged foods generally contain both added sugar and salt which tend to increase sugar cravings and promotes weight gain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.