Americans take in about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. Unfortunately, sugar is hidden in just about every food we eat, such as cereal, salad dressing, pasta sauces, etc. The result of eating so much sugar leaves you feeling tired, moody, and can be linked to heart disease and diabetes. If you find yourself struggling to control your sugar cravings, take a 5-day sugar detox to retrain your brain. Stop eating added sugar for five days (naturally sweet foods like fruit are ok to eat). After the five days, slowly bring back added sugar to your diet. You will find that you will be very selective in your added sugar choices.
Here are some suggestions to stay on track after a sugar detox:
• Sip Smarter. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and iced tea are the leading sources of added sugar in diets. Water is your best bet for hydration. Needing a little flavor, feel free to add fresh fruit, cucumber slices, or mint leaves to your glass of water.
• Get Roasting. Try roasting your veggies like carrots and tomatoes. Simply cut veggies into bite-size pieces, coat them in oil, toss with salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees until they’re tender and slightly browned on the edges.
• Be Snack Savvy. Instead of granola bars, choose air-popped popcorn, rice cakes, celery sticks, or no-sweetener smoothies using only fruit, veggies, milk/plain yogurt.
• Flavor It Up. Use your favorite spices in place of sugar to add a sweet flavor to your food. For example, sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top of plain yogurt or put cinnamon on apple slices.
• Boost Food with Fruit. Let fruit bring sweetness to a variety of meals. For example, add blueberries to your morning oatmeal, spring chopped strawberries on a salad at lunch, or throw pineapple chunks into a stir-fry dinner.
Let’s challenge ourselves to remove added sugar from our diets. Oh, how sweet life will be without all the added sugar.