Top 10 Ways to Cut Back on Sugar

d-1 (1)Ever tried to cut back- or even eliminate- sugar? It’s not so easy.

Nature gave us a sweet tooth for a reason- and it wasn’t just to frustrate our diet efforts!

We humans – unlike other animals- don’t make our own vitamin C. Vitamin C is most abundant in fruits. So nature gave us taste buds that would make these relatively sweet tasting foods desirable.

Unfortunately the whole system has become deregulated since just about everything you buy now has sugar in it, and there’s a huge disconnect between the purpose of our original wiring- to make sure we got enough vitamin C- and the way that wiring is used today (to make sure we get enough Krispy Kreme donuts!)

Giving up- or cutting back- on sugar is no picnic. But the rewards are tremendous. Eliminating (or even reducing) sugar can benefit your health in more ways than you can imagine.

Here’s a list of my Top Ten Ways to Start Reducing Sugar, taken directly from page 126 of the workbook:

  1. Don’t add it to foods. This is the easiest and most basic way to immediately reduce the amount of sugar you’re eating. Biggest targets: cereal, coffee and tea.
  2. Don’t be fooled by “healthy sugar” disguises. Brown sugar, turbinado sugar, raw sugar … it’s all pretty much the same thing as far as your body is concerned.
  3. Make a real effort to reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates. Most processed carbs — breads, bagels, most pastas and snacks — are loaded with flour and other ingredients that convert to sugar in the body almost as fast as pure glucose. That sugar gets stored as triglycerides, which is a fancy way of saying fat.
  4. Watch out for “fat-free” snacks. One of the biggest myths is that if a food is fat-free it doesn’t make you fat. Fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free, and most fat-free snacks are loaded with sugar.
  5. Shop for color. The more your grocery basket looks like a cornucopia of color, the better. It usually means you’re getting more fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as berries and cherries.
  6. Become a food detective. This tip is from the wonderful author and nutritionist Anne Louise Gittleman, who adds, “To reduce sugar, you have to know where it is first.” Start reading labels.
  7. Beware of artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, they can increase cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. They can also deplete the body’s stores of chromium, a nutrient crucial for blood-sugar metabolism.
  8. Do the math. Look at the label where it says “total sugars” and divide the number of grams by four. That’s the number of teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting. This exercise alone should scare the pants off you.
  9. Limit fruit. (Notice I didn’t say “eliminate.”) Fruit has sugar, but it also has fiber and good nutrients. Just don’t overdo it. For weight-loss purposes, keep it to two servings a day and try to make most of them low-glycemic (grapefruit, apples, berries)
  10. Eliminate fruit juice. It’s a pure sugar hit with none of the fiber and less of the nutrients that are found in the fruit itself.
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About Dr. Jonny Bowden 12 Articles

Dr. Jonny Bowden, also known as The Nutrition Myth Buster, is a nationally known expert on weight loss and health, and has been seen on Dr. Oz, the Doctors, and every major television network. He is the best-selling author of 15 books, including Living Low Carb, The Great Cholesterol Myth, and his latest, Smart Fat: Eat More Fat Lose More Weight Get Healthy Now!

Dr. Jonny—a former professional pianist and conductor—earned six certifications in personal training and fitness, has a Masters degree in psychology, a PhD in holistic nutrition, and is board certified by the American College of Nutrition. He has written, contributed to or consulted on hundreds of articles in publications as diverse as the

New York Times, People, Us, O the Oprah Magazine, In Style, Vanity Fair Online, People, GQ, Forbes Online, Clean Eating, the Huffington Post and countless others.

His personal story of overcoming addiction and ill health to become one of the top nutritional gurus in the country inspires audiences whenever he speaks. He’s much loved for his humor, his style, his delivery, and his never-ending desire to call out the health establishment whenever he believes they’re misleading us.


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