As the New Year starts to roll, people came out of 2011 with full bellies during the holidays and a New Year's resolution in mind. Whether a person is just wary of getting their blood sugar too high, cutting back on sweets, or they made it their resolution to reduce sugary treats, everyone can benefit from cutting back on sugar as the year kicks off.
It may seem like a daunting task to cut back on sugar since it is a common part of the diet among people, but three easy tips on what to do may help those determined to kick sugar to the curb.
Tip #1 Gradually Reduce Sugar Intake
The best way to approach the road of reducing sugar intake is to cut back on it slowly. Going cold turkey is a sure way of failing the task at hand. If a person normally has two candy bars a day, just have one daily instead, then try having the treat every other day the next week, and so on, Reader's Digest suggested.
Another way of going about it is to have a sugar vice or a sugar quota for the day that will satisfy the craving for sweets. This way, a person can reduce the sugar intake and still get to enjoy his or her favorite treat at the end of each day.
Tip #2 Replace Everyday Sweets
Accompanied by the first tip, replacing certain foods and drinks that are sweet can significantly reduce one's intake of sugar. A person can start by changing things like plain yogurt instead of sweetened flavored yogurt, water or natural fruit juice instead of liquid sugars like sodas, FitSugar.com suggests.
And if switching 100% is too fast, mix it up; try mixing regular soda with diet soda, or mixing plain yogurt with its sweetened variant.
Tip #3 Add fruit in One's Diet
Fruits are a great substitute for sweets as they have vitamins and minerals in them, aside from other possible beneficial components like antioxidants. According to MedicineNet.com, a person's sweet tooth can be satisfied by naturally sweet fruits, either fresh or canned.
But don't stop with just the fruit, add a little creativity and turn them into shakes, smoothies, or even homemade popsicles.
Benefits of Lower Sugar Intake
A lower sugar intake will not only prevent blood sugar from going through the roof, different studies found that cutting back on sweets have huge benefits, LiveStrong.com reported.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, study findings show that a low-sugar diet is associated with higher levels of HDL, or what is known as good cholesterol. Inversely, people who consumed higher levels of added sugar in their diet showed lower levels of the good cholesterol.
Cutting back on sugar has also shown to fight against memory problems as evidenced by a study back in 2007, by Dongfeng Cao and colleagues. In their study conducted on mice, they discovered that a lower sugar intake improves memory and that with sugar comes the development of beta-amyloid protein plaques in the brain, which in humans are associated with Alzheimer's disease.