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Easing Into a Sugar Free Life

8:02 AM - January 21, 2015 by Lorelei

Regardless of whether you’re quitting sugar all together or easing into it, one of the first steps is to take a look at what you currently eat. What foods contain sugar? Start by writing down everything you eat during the day. As you do, look at the label and the ingredients.

For example, if you have french fries then there is sugar in ketchup and there may very well be added sugar to the fries themselves. (You’d be surprised what manufacturers and restaurants put in food.) Lunchmeat has added sugar if it's cured and your breakfast cereal undoubtedly has added sugar too.

Here are a few foods that contain added sugar:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Soup
  • Low fat milk
  • Yogurt
  • Salad dressing
  • Anything that says “Fat free”
  • Smoothies and coffee drinks
  • Unflavored milk alternatives like rice milk, almond milk and soy. You have to look for unsweetened options.
  • Sauces and condiments like BBQ sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise
  • Crackers
  • Canned or packaged fruit
  • Cereal, protein, and sports bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Fruit juice (it often has added sugar in addition to the natural fruit sugars)
  • Teas and energy drinks
  • Prepackaged frozen meals
  • Bread
When reading labels, if you see any of the following then you know there’s sugar in the food.
  • Agave nectar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose

Sugar is added to just about every processed food you can imagine. To avoid it takes discipline, awareness, and planning. Of course, avoiding it can also save your life and dramatically improve your health. Once you change your habits, keeping sugar out of your diet easily becomes a way of life.

Once you’ve discovered the hidden, and not so hidden, sources of sugar in your diet it’s time to start eliminating them. Tackle the biggies first. For example, if you indulge in a coffee drink each day, that’s an easy one to quit. If you eat a meal replacement bar for breakfast, it’s time for eggs or steel cut oats. Start making significant changes to your diet and spend a month gradually easing out your sugar sources and replacing them with whole foods. 

Because sugar is so prevalent in food, and because food is to be enjoyed in moderation, consider giving up sugar for 21, 30, 60, or 90 days. Then you might consider taking part in the occasional treat. Rest assured that once you’ve changed your body, sugar won’t have the same call or appeal.

You might enjoy one small treat each week or once a month. You decide how you best want to manage your health and well-being. Once you’re aware of how excellent you’ll look and feel without sugar, the temptation is greatly reduced. Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

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