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How to cut sugar from your diet

June 20, 2024


The average person eats up to 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Here are tips to limit your sugar intake, and improve your health.

We are all eating too much sugar. Up to 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association. When we start working with patients, one of the things we look at in terms of healthy lifestyle, weight and longevity is glucose monitoring. If a patient is eating too much sugar, we want to help with strategies to reduce sugar intake and stabilize blood sugar. There are many health benefits to reducing sugar intake, like preventing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Additionally, limiting sugar can improve overall energy levels and mental clarity, making you feel better overall.


The “ideal” approach to cutting out sugar varies by individual, but there are a number of methods that are helpful. The foundational tenet is…it’s not just about sugar! Yes, sugary sodas, juices, desserts, and candies tend to cause the sharpest and highest increases in blood glucose, but other sources of sugar, including carbohydrates can rapidly break down into glucose in the body and spike blood sugar. 


Here are tips to help you limit your sugar intake.


Take it slow and steady

In general, people are more likely to fail when they go from a high baseline level of sugar and carbs to a drastic reduction in overall carbohydrate intake. So, while it’s perfectly fine to go cold turkey on added sugars, refined grains, and potent sources of natural sugars like juice, you don’t need to go ultra low carb or eliminate starchier whole-food carbs completely—at least not right away.


Gradually titrating down is often a smarter bet. If life is really hectic, you can even tackle one part of your day at a time. For example, give yourself a week to optimize your morning food intake, which is super important (it can impact your blood sugar for the rest of the day), then focus on your afternoon meals, and finally your evenings.


Swap sugar and processed carbs for more nutritious options 

If you’re coming from a highly processed diet, lean on light starches such as low-glycemic berries, squashes, even starchy tubers like sweet potatoes to support your transition to healthy eating. Prioritizing protein (you probably need more than you think—over 100 grams a day depending on your weight), fiber (up to 30-50 grams per day is a good goal), and healthy fats is also a must for promoting satiety and balanced blood sugar.


Maintain healthy habits long-term, but allow for some flexibility

The goal is to get off the blood sugar roller coaster, retrain your palate to require less sweetness to be satisfied, curb cravings, and promote metabolic flexibility—and that requires consistency. That said, the goal isn’t to never eat a cookie again. Once you’ve established a rhythm with this plan, occasionally reintroducing eliminated foods or dishes (one at a time) is okay if done with intention.

Interested in learning more? Book a discovery call with our team to see if Innovative Vitality is right for you. We look forward to getting started!