Be careful – if you don’t watch out for added sugar, it will get you in the end.
Why? For one, because the health complications caused by added sugar are – to put it mildly – massive.
Second off, unless you’re paying attention it’s difficult or nearly impossible to tell exactly how much added sugar you’re eating in your diet.
If you want to have a healthy diet that leads to a healthy body that looks the way that you want it to, your first target should be processed foods with lots of added sugar.
Let’s talk a little bit about why.
Why Is Added Sugar Such A Big Problem?
Let’s look at some facts before we dive in.
In America, the average person eats more than 22 teaspoons of sugar per day.
While that might not seem like a lot when you read it in words, imagine how much 22 teaspoons of sugar is in real life.
Imagine opening a box of sugar, taking a heaping teaspoonful, and eating it… twenty-two times.
That’s a ton of sugar. And that’s the AVERAGE!
That’s not even all the calories the average American is eating in a day… it’s just the amount of added sugar that’s being eaten on TOP of everything else.
Now you can see why added sugar is a huge problem.
Sugar is nutritionally void of anything that helps your body besides energy. All it does is provide empty calories – in a nutritional form that actually causes problems for your body later on (like insulin resistance and type two diabetes).
The fact is, your body simply doesn’t need all those refined carbohydrates in order to keep running. It gets more than enough nutrition and energy from the other foods you eat.
All that added sugar is doing is being converted directly into fat, and causing other harmful effects throughout your body.
How Do I Stop Eating Added Sugar?
Recognizing that added sugar is a huge problem is the first step.
The second step is being mindful of the different types of added sugars out there, and avoiding foods that are likely to have them.
You see, food companies got sneaky when it comes to added sugar in their products. They’re required to list the ingredients in their foods by weight, and if they always had “sugar” as the biggest ingredient in each of their products, people would stop buying.
So what did they do? They put all the added sugar in disguise.
Here’s a list of just a few of the “incognito” names for added sugar that food companies use. If you see any of these on an ingredients list, you’ll know what it actually is: pure sugar.
Agave nectar, beet sugar, cane crystals, cane juice crystals, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, molasses, rice syrup, saccharose, sucrose, sorghum, treacle, and xyclose.
And that’s not even a complete list! That’s just a few!
Suffice it to say – you want to avoid anything that sounds like a “syrup” in an ingredients list.
If you want a catch-all for how to avoid added sugar in your diet, here’s the simplest way to do it: eat whole foods instead of processed foods.
When you eat whole, unprocessed foods (think fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats, and other unprocessed products), you know you’re giving your body nutrition and fuel that’s good for it.
But when you eat processed foods, you’re packing your body full of the added sugar and artificial flavorings that come packed chock full into those food products, and harming your overall health.
Definitely try to stay away from sugary drinks like sodas, juices, smoothies, and other sugar-packed drinks that pour empty calories into your body.
Also try to avoid super processed food products like some cereals, pop tarts, oatmeal packets, granola bars, Nutella, and candies as well.
If you can avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, you can go a really long way towards cutting down on the added sugar in your diet.
And when you do that, you’ll look better, feel better, and be able to think more clearly. Your overall health will improve and you’ll feel healthier every day.