Cutting Out Sugar? The Myths You Need Debunked

By Victoria Robertson on May 6, 2017

Eating healthy is extremely difficult — ask literally anybody that has ever been on a diet. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of at least one friend going on a sugar-free diet, where they completely cut sugar out of their life. If you’re like me, you’re convinced this is impossible.

Still, the health benefits of kicking sugar are truly amazing, for your skin, your weight, your physical health, and countless more reasons. But, this isn’t to say that dropping sugar is at all easy — because it isn’t.

In fact, many people actually aren’t aware of how prevalent sugar is not just in candies and other sweet snacks, but in places that you might never have known it existed.

For this reason, cutting sugar is a huge lifestyle choice, and one that takes extreme dedication.

So, to help you out in your anti-sugar adventures and to eliminate any potential surprises down the road, here are some myths regarding sugar per NBC and the truth that you need to keep in mind.

Myth: “You Don’t Have a Sugar Problem”

Obviously, this isn’t true.

Even if you don’t necessarily have a sweet tooth, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t enjoying loads of sugar on a daily basis.

Sure, you’re avoiding the vending machine candy bar, but that’s not to say you aren’t getting the equivalent level of sugar somewhere else.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans tells us that our calories intake on a daily basis should include less than 10 percent of sugar.

According to blogger Rima Kleiner, we should be limiting ourselves to about 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. Yes, this may seem like a lot, but she claims that “Americans consume nearly twice that much every day.”

Anyone eat yogurt in the morning? The amount of added sugars in yogurt is about 6 teaspoons, which means you’re already at half of your daily allotment just by eating a quick breakfast.

And you aren’t alone.

Apparently, about 75 percent of Americans are overeating when it comes to sugar.

Myth: “Sugar is Easy to Spot”

I wish.

Apparently, sugar is actually hidden in just about everything that you eat on a daily basis.

Sugar is often hidden in long lists of ingredients on a lot of the food that you eat. So you aren’t safe if you avoid drinking a sugary drink, because that granola bar in your bag is filled with sugar.

According to Kleiner, “there are so many products where added sugars lurk! When people decide to limit added sugars, they know to avoid the obvious offenders, like candy, cookies and baked goods.”

However, this is not going to do the trick.

According to Kleiner, “Some of the biggest offenders are those that have been given a ‘healthy halo’ like flavored yogurts, granola, energy bars, cereals, flavored applesauce, bread and spreads.”

Unfortunately, many products don’t come right out and say there’s added sugars. They’ll instead mention “high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, corn sweetener, molasses, syrup, fruit juice concentrates and honey,” which are all just as bad.

So, as a general rule of thumb, if sugar appears within the top few ingredients, don’t eat it.

According to Kleiner, “the higher up these sugars are, the more sugar the product contains.”

Myth: “You Should Focus on Avoiding Certain Foods”

Nope. (I know, I thought this was true, too).

The truth of the matter is taking away from your diet is never going to work. Think about it, if you pack a sandwich, a granola bar and a bag of chips for lunch, and now you have to take away at least one item, you’re going to be hungry faster.

The secret is to enhance your diet.

According to Kleiner, “the easiest way to keep added sugar intake low is to choose minimally processed whole foods, like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds.”

So rather than telling yourself to cut out sugar, tell yourself to add more of these foods to your diet. These foods have less sugars, and eventually, you’ll be accidently removing sugar from your diet.

Myth: “You Need to Cut Back on Fruit”

Have you ever had a friend tell you they don’t eat fruit because of all the sugar?

Yeah, not so much.

Fruit is actually something you need in your life.

According to Kleiner, “yes, it’s true that fruit contains sugar, but that sugar is naturally-occurring fructose.” In other words, this is good sugar.

Of course, there are other benefits to fruit, such as Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, antioxidants and other good things you aren’t really getting anywhere else.

So this is yet another reason cutting sugar out completely isn’t a great mindset, as fruit may contain sugar, but the healthy nutrients it provides make its consumption a necessity.

Myth: “You Have to Say Goodbye to Desserts”

Again, quitting sugar cold turkey and never looking back isn’t the answer.

Still, rather than binging on a chocolate when you have a sweet tooth, consider healthier alternatives that will give you that same satisfaction.

And the best way to do this is to make some homemade treats for your sweet tooth and other cravings.

According to Kleiner, “whether you’re looking for bread, canned soup, or yogurt, the best option is to make your own. Make your own break to control how much sugar is added, or flavor your own yogurt by adding” jam or fruit.

So to recap, sugar is the enemy, but that doesn’t mean you should cut it out of your life entirely. Just know what you’re looking for, pack your diet with healthier alternatives, and you’re already on the right path!

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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