It is no longer a news that sugar consumption is harmful to our system especially when taken excessively. Medical science has made it clear that sugar consumption affects vital organs of the human body and causes them to degenerate after a while. This could result in severe illnesses (such as diabetes, etc.) that may endanger your life if you do not cut down sugar in your diet.
Now and then, you may discover that your blood sugar levels are above average, but not so excessive that it calls for the use of medication. The chances are that you do not feel too good when your blood sugar level is high, but taking medicines can make your blood sugar to plummet beyond normal.
As luck would have it, you can control the consumption of sugar and blood sugar levels without medication. You can do this by changing your lifestyle such that the level of sugar in your body becomes regulated.
High blood sugar: What is it?
High blood sugar is a condition that occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. The level of blood sugar can be determined by taking a blood sample two hours after your last meal or in a fasted state.
Your blood sugar level is within the normal range if it is less than 140 mg/dL after two hours of eating your last meal or less than 100mg/dL after an eight-hour fast.
If, after sleeping for a minimum of eight hours, you undergo a blood test and discover that your blood sugar reads 126 mg/dL, your blood sugar level is high.
According to statistics, more than thirty million people living in the United States have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which is the consequence of having high blood sugar. Another estimated 86 million individuals have what is known as prediabetes which is a precursor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a condition that can be reversed if you follow some lifestyle changes that can lower your blood sugar levels.
Actionable tips you can follow to cut down sugar consumption without medication
Eat less refined carbohydrates/sugar
This is perhaps the best way to avoid the intake of excess sugar. When you consume less sugar, the metabolic response will help to keep your insulin levels as well as pancreas healthy. You can cut down the amount of sugar in your body by limiting the consumption of fruit juices, processed foods, soda, candy, and taking note of nutrition labels on packaged foods.
Learn about the Mediterranean diet
You should also boost your intake of vegetables and fruits so that you can enjoy the nutritional benefits they offer.
Eat more rubs and sugar-free seasonings and drink more water than beverages to help you regulate sugar consumption.
It has been medically proven that when you fast intermittently, it lowers your blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. This shows that what you eat is not the only thing that matters: when you eat as well as how you eat also plays a significant role in the amount of sugar in your blood.
You can undergo intermittent fasting by eating during a twelve-hour window and fasting for the remaining twelve hours. For instance, you should eat between 9 am to 9 pm only. When you eat this way, your body adjusts to its natural rhythm.
Your digestive system will rest for twelve hours, which is a good thing for your overall health. Additionally, your cells also become more sensitive to insulin during the eating “period.”
Eat more fat and protein
There are lean sources of food that contain no sugar. These are foods rich in protein and fat such as
- Chicken breast
- Extra-lean ground beef
- Egg whites
- Turkey breast, etc.
Eating these foods will fill you up – thus preventing you from snacking on sugary options later – and will never bring about a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Peanuts, a handful of almonds, avocado, cashews, etc. also help in improving insulin response.
Eat smaller meals
Overeating gives your body the laborious task of breaking down as well as absorbing the nutrients accordingly. When you consume large amounts of refined sugar, your body absorbs it almost immediately. This sends your insulin response and pancreas into an unusual burst of activity. When there is too much sugar in your system with nowhere to go, it starts wreaking havoc on your organs and waistline.
But when you eat smaller meals on a regular basis, you regulate sugar consumption, and insulin response becomes normalised.
Learn more about sugar aliases
When you read sugar labels, you should not pay attention to the word “sugar” only. There are lots of sneaky names that sugar goes by and learning them by heart will prevent you from taking too much sugar derivatives to harm your body.
Therefore, when next you pick up that product off the shelf in your favourite grocery store, look for names such as:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Dried cane syrup
- Sucrose (as well as any other word that ends with the suffix “-ose”)
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
At times, these ingredients are listed separately on foods that even appear to be healthy alternatives such as cereal and yoghurt. These usually contain from three to four or more different types of artificial sweeteners. But once you notice that several sugars are listed on the food labels, you should drop the products back on the shelf without giving them a second look.
Also check out the healthier way to lose weight
Now that you know where sugar hides, you will know what to do when it comes to making the changes necessary to cut down your sugar consumption. One of the best strategies you can start employing to help you cut down on sugar is to look for and buy foods labelled “unsweetened” or “no sugar added.” There are several versions of unsweetened foods in most local grocery stores. Examples include:
- Non-dairy milk like soy and almond
- Canned fruit (especially those packed in juice and not syrup)
Finally, you should always cut back on the amount of food you eat when it is late in the day.
At first, it may seem impossible for you to cut down on sugar intake, but little by little, your taste buds will start to adapt to these changes. Foods like candy and ice cream will start tasting too sweet, and that is a good sign that you have succeeded in adjusting to the new lifestyle of cutting down on sugar consumption without medication.