It's not only diabetics who should watch their sugar intake. Diets high in sugar can actually cause diabetes or obesity. Eliminate excess sugar in your diet by following these steps.
Step 1: Eat whole foods Eat natural whole foods such as meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains without added sugar.
Step 2: Go half and half Mix a half serving of regular variety foods or beverages with a half serving of low-sugar options. For instance, add a half cup sweetened yogurt to a half cup plain yogurt. Enjoy a half cup regular juice with a half cup seltzer water. Next, switch to a one-quarter sweetened, three-quarters unsweetened concoction until you've phased out the sugar.
Step 3: Avoid sugar traps Avoid regular sodas and most breakfast cereals, both of which are chock-full of sugar. Read labels on salad dressings and condiments, and avoid those whose main ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.
TIP: Be wary of sugar substitutes -- while they replace sugar in baked goods and sodas, there is evidence that they can cause other health problems.
Step 4: Enjoy desserts sparingly Make up your own rules about when you can indulge in sweet desserts. Perhaps you do so only on the weekends, or only when dining out.
TIP: Serve up fresh fruit or cheese as a dessert substitute. While fruit is high in sugar, it beats chocolate cake and ice cream as a healthful option.
Step 5: Add more protein Fill up on snacks high in protein, like nuts or beef jerky to head off a sugar craving. Remember, the less you fill up on sugar, the less sugar you will crave.
FACT: As of 2007, in adults aged 20 to 74, diabetes was the #1 cause of new cases of blindness.