Sugar is an almost ubiquitous substance. We find it in a wide variety of foods.
What does sugar addiction mean?
We very often come across the concept of sugar addiction. What does it mean exactly and what does it consist of? Well, the human body and brain are constructed in such a way that it aims to satisfy needs and a sense of satisfaction. By consuming products that are appetizing for us, we stimulate the reward center in the brain. This means that treats cause us a subjective feeling of satisfaction, satisfaction, or happiness. Treats usually mean high-calorie foods that contain large amounts of sugar. Usually, the sweet taste is perceived by people as desired and most liked. Due to the above-mentioned feelings that occur after eating sweet dishes, it is very difficult for us to give them up. Since it is already known why it is hard for us not to eat products with high sugar content, it is worth considering what these products will be?
Products with a high sugar content
The first thing that comes to mind is sweets. The fact is that these are products that contain a large amount of sugar. In addition, they also contain a large amount of fat.
Another group of products provides us with huge amounts of sugar drinks. Apart from infusions, teas, and coffees, in which we usually know how much sugar is in (because we added it ourselves), there are also other drinks containing very large amounts of simple carbohydrates. These will be fruit juices, carbonated drinks, energy, and sports drinks. These are products for which we would not fully expect such large doses of sugar. Sugar can also be found in yogurts or ready meals.
How to reduce sugar intake?
The first step should be to limit it and minimize its intake. Due to human susceptibility to addiction, it can be difficult for us to give up sugar right away. This may be associated with a great deal of discomfort, a sense of lack, and nervousness. The body will crave a sweet taste. Therefore, it is a good idea to gradually reduce sugar. Thanks to this, step by step, with a milder effect, we will start to consume less of it. For example, let’s start with 1 teaspoon less sugar for coffee or tea. We can also dilute fruit juices with water so that they are less sweet. If sweets appear every day, you should, for example, reduce their consumption in the first step to every other day, and ultimately, e.g. once a week.
Another option is to find sugar substitutes. We currently have a very wide range of sugar substitutes. We have many sweeteners at our disposal. Their properties have already been mentioned in another article, so they will be briefly mentioned here:
Xylitol – its appearance is very similar to sugar (sucrose), but it is a bit finer than it. Its sweetness corresponds to that of sucrose, while its calorific value is 240 kcal / 100g.
Erythritol – It resembles sugar while its sweetness corresponds to 60% of that of sucrose. The calorific value of erythritol is 200 kcal / 100 g of the product.
Stevia – obtained in the form of dried leaves of the plant. The sweetness of stevia is 250 to 450 times that of sucrose. Stevia, in addition to its sweet taste, leaves a bitter-sweet aftertaste that does not affect the popularity of its consumption.
Another way to consume less sugar is to read food labels and compare them to each other. When shopping, it is worth paying attention to what is written on the back of articles. To start limiting sugar in your diet, it is worth choosing products that contain little or no sugar. Items that say “reduced sugar” or “sugar-free” are a good choice. However, if we are tempted to, for example, traditional yogurt with sugar, choose the one that will contain fewer carbonates per 100g, including simple sugars.
Let us choose only fresh fruit. Despite the fact that they also contain sugar in the form of fructose, they also provide us with vitamins and minerals. If we have a choice of juice or fruit, always choose fruit. The concentration of sugar in a portion will be smaller and we will also provide fiber. It is also important to remember to limit the consumption of dried fruits, as they are often sweetened or the sugar content in a serving is much more concentrated.
Choice of products
If we want to sin and eat something sweet, let’s give up substitutes and choose traditional dark chocolate. It is worth paying attention to the fact that its composition is as short as possible and does not contain unnecessary substances that you could do without. In a good quality product, we can find much more cocoa, which provides us with magnesium, and less sugar, which has a negative effect on our health.
To reduce your sugar intake, change your approach. First of all, understand that this is not just another sugar detox or a 7 or 14-day challenge after which you revert to old habits. You must adopt a new diet as your current routine and habit. In order for the changes to last long, you must accept that this is what your diet will now be like. Don’t take sugar restriction as a sacrifice, but as a permanent change.
If you have trouble eating a lot of sugar and can’t exclude it from your diet, consider completely changing your eating habits. It is not easy, so seek support from a proven dietitian who will help you create a new diet.