What are the hidden sources of sugar and calories in your diet?
Many foods that we eat daily are hidden sources of sugar and calories. They can derail our weight loss attempts, cause chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, or harm our overall health. The purpose of this article is to identify these culprits and help eliminate them from your diet. This article will give you practical, scientifically-backed tips on how to identify hidden sugars, calories, and other unhealthy ingredients.
Identifying hidden sugars and calories is important
It is important to maintain a healthy diet by understanding where sugars and hidden calories are coming from. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar per day, and women 25 grams. Most Americans, however, consume more than double the recommended daily amount. This is mainly due to hidden sources. Sugar and calories consumed in excess can cause obesity, diabetes type 2, heart disease and other problems.
How to Get Started: Recognizing sugar aliases and reading labels
Understanding and reading nutritional labels is the first step to determining hidden sugars. Sugar is often referred to by different names, including high fructose-corn syrup, maltose and dextrose. Knowing these names can help you identify hidden sugars. Be careful with the portion sizes on packaging as these can be misleading.
How to Reduce Hidden Calories and Sugars
- Choose whole foods. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains, which are low in sugar, contain less hidden calories.
- Reduce your intake of processed foods. Processed food often contains added sugars, and has a high calorie count. Reduce your consumption of processed foods to reduce your sugar intake and calories.
- Select drinks carefully: Some beverages, such as sodas, juices, teas, and coffees, can contain hidden sugars. Choose water, coffee, tea or unsweetened tea instead.
- Try natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar. These include honey, agave, and stevia.
- Prepare your own meals. You can control the ingredients in your meal, avoiding unnecessary calories and sugar.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity helps burn calories, reduces weight gain and the likelihood of obesity.
- Portion control. Keeping track of your portion size can ensure you don't consume more calories than necessary.
- Slow down when you eat. Eating more slowly will help to make you feel satisfied faster and reduce the chances of overeating.
- Keep hydrated. Drinking water in large quantities can reduce hunger pangs and help you to control your calorie intake.
- Sleep enough: A lack of sleep will disrupt your metabolism, increasing the desire for high-calorie sugary foods.
It's important to remember that your diet does not have to be flawless to be healthy. Moderation is key. It's fine to enjoy your favorite foods occasionally. It's also important to introduce dietary changes slowly. It can be hard to sustain sudden, drastic changes and they may not last long.
It may seem difficult at first to identify and address hidden sources of sugar and calories in your diet, but it gets easier with practice and knowledge. You can control your sugar intake and calories by learning how to read food labels and making healthy choices. Benefits are numerous, not just in terms of weight reduction but for your overall health..