sugarYou probably remember your parents warning you not to eat too many sweets. According to an online article from WebMD, there are natural sugars found in food and refined sugars, which are additives. The source says that people can actually become addicted to their “sugar fix”.

Obesity-info.com warns that a diet that is full of refined sugar is the main cause of obesity. When people become obese, they are prone to several debilitating diseases. Sugar can also affect your smile, states My Healthy Teeth.org. It increases plaque and promotes tooth decay. If you want to modify your diet and save your teeth, try these tips for reducing your daily sugar intake:

  1. Be a diligent label reader

We all know how exhausting weekly grocery shopping can be—especially when the stores are crowded and you have the kids. For the sake of your family’s health, it is important to look at the ingredients in the foods you purchase. You will be absolutely shocked to find some of the foods that have hidden sugars. The more processed the food is, the apter they are to be loaded with sugar.

  1. Sugar’s aliases

Many food manufacturers are manipulative in the way they present their ingredient labels. They know that most consumers are going to frown at high sugar contents. Instead, they use other scientific names for sugar. Any time you see an ingredient with “ose” at the end, it is sugar. Do not be fooled by some of sugar’s other aliases, such as syrup, cane crystals, or concentrated fruit juice.

  1. Mind your carbs

Even when you cut refined sugar out of your diet, you still need to be careful with complex carbohydrates. These are the starchy favorites that many people crave, such as bread, pasta, and starchy vegetables. Your body converts this starch into glucose, which is sugar. Our bodies need a certain amount of complex carbs for energy; however, they must be consumed in moderation.

  1. Beware artificial sweeteners

Over the last few years, sugar-free products have produced a multi-billion dollar industry in this country. People are lured by marketing schemes into believing that artificial sweeteners are better than sugar. According to an online article from The Huffington Post.com, the body treats all sweeteners the same. People can actually gain weight and experience other health problems when consuming artificial sweeteners. Better alternatives are sweet spices and natural sweeteners such as stevia.

  1. Buy whole foods

When you are in the produce section, buy things that are as close to their natural form as possible. If you make homemade meals from whole foods, you can control the ingredients and avoid any added sugar.

  1. Make your own smoothies

Instead of buying fruit drinks that are loaded with sugar, make your own. Making your own smoothies will help you get your fruits and veggies recommended daily amount in very easily. This is also a great alternative to sodas!

  1. Cut the cravings

According to another report from the Huffington Post.com, sugar cravings only last between 20-30 minutes. If you find some other things to occupy your time, the cravings will pass.

  1. Have a glass of water

Sometimes, our brain gets mixed signals and we think we are craving food. Instead, we may actually be thirsty. A refreshing glass of water may quench your thirst and end the sweet craving you thought you had.

  1. Go for a piece of fruit

Fruit has often been called nature’s candy. If your sweet tooth is aching, try noshing on a fresh piece of fruit. It has natural sugars that should make you feel satisfied. Eat fruit in moderation, because you are still consuming a type of sugar.

  1. Allow an occasional cheat

Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you can never touch a sweet treat again. The whole idea is moderation. If you diligently cut out extra sugars in your daily food ingredients, you have a little room for that scoop of ice cream you have been craving.