Ah, sugar. The tastiest and most toxic ingredient filling up our diets. Whether it's the obvious sugars in a brownie or chocolate bar or those sneaky sugars in your coffee and salad dressings, studies show that as a population Americans are overconsuming sugar on an alarming basis. And that overconsumption is linked to many troubling diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, and liver disease.
So where can you start cutting? Should you cut out all sugar, or just certain types of sugars? While the answer will depend largely on each individual, we’re here with a few recommendations that can help you sort your sugars out!
Start by cutting out recognizable sugars. If you’re a soda drinker, switch out your daily Coke for sparkling water. If you always have a cookie after dinner, replace it with a bowl of fruit. Find a replacement for anything that you know is sugar-loaded and that you indulge in more than once a week. This alone will have a drastic impact on your health!
Next, start paying attention to labels. Even if you think your salad is healthy, look for any added sugars in your dressing. Anything that comes in a package (think protein bars) should also be checked for added sugars. A few grams of added sugars might not sound like a lot, but they add up once you realize how regularly they pop up!
Ease up on artificial sweeteners. While artificial sweeteners often boast themselves as a zero-calorie alternative to sugar, what they don’t mention is that they are often filled with chemicals that do your body more harm than good. Plus, continuously adding more sweeteners to your foods won’t help your sweet tooth cravings, and it may make it harder to cut out real sugars.
Now comes the big question: is it the healthiest option to cut out natural sugars like fruit?
Our answer? Definitely not. Fruits have so many nutrients that your body needs to thrive that cutting it out could actually be harmful to your health. We just recommend following USDA guidelines when it comes to portion size. And if you need a perfectly portioned serving of fruit, Ready to Thrive! Smoothie cups are a great option to turn to!