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July 07, 2017 4 min read

Research finds that the average American eats about 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day and that’s onlyadded sugar! It’s sneaky because most sugars disguise themselves as ingredients you’ve never heard of or wouldn’t think would be the culprit, however this is exactly how staple pantry brands keep you wanting more, by providing calories with no real nutrients and craving more sugar! This can lead to scary addictive habits.  Consuming too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain, bloating, headaches/migraines, lack of energy, acne, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

If you are ready to nix the addictive system, below are some of my winning tips on how to cut back on sneaky sugar and feel your best!

1. Don’t buy processed foods.

Not only are they filled with preservatives and chemicals to remain shelf-stable, but they are often filled with sugar and sodium a ton of other junk. Don’t be fooled by “health” brands either, they tend to be just as bad. Take a look at the ingredients on everything packaged that you buy, so many things on the shelves are loaded with sneaky added sugars so always check your labels. And keep it simple, the less ingredients, the better!

2. Eat Whole Foods.

Try as much as possible to grab the real deal fruit or vegetable and prepare it to your liking. A lot of those grab and go options, such as dried fruit, juices, or fruit that is prepared in sauces or individual cups usually have sugars added to boost flavor (and preservation). Also, if you are grabbing a baggie of dried fruit, chances are you are really eating 4 or 5 pieces of what was a whole piece of fruit and without all the awesome fiber :( We just don’t need that much in one sitting.

3. Avoid non-fat/fat-free or low-fat dairy items.

This may be hard to hear but it’s the truth: If all the fat is taken out of a dairy product, companies have to add in sugars and other unnatural chemicals, additives and binders to help with consistency and flavor. By getting the full-fat version, you will skip out on unnecessary hidden sugars and additives. If you are worried about switching to full-fat products because it sounds like taboo, try minimally processed non-milk alternatives or simply enjoy less of the full-fat version, adding fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, or homemade (low-sugar) granola!

4. Make your own sauces and dressing.

This one might sound like the most difficult one on the list -- that’s why we sandwiched it in the middle. Sauces, like tomato-based marinara, have added sugars to increase flavor, and usually more than you would think. And salad dressing...don’t get me started! They are usually filled with terrible hydrogenated vegetable oils that wreak havoc on your body, and filled with sugars and other emulsifiers and stabilizers to stay “good” for months… or years. Even those refrigerated ones often contain these things, so check the ingredients. This is the reason why we make our own salads and sauces in house, to ensure delicious flavor and maximum health. Making dressings at home is so easy, and you can tweak the proportions depending on how acidic you may like it. A blender or immersion blender are both great tools to make larger batches, but a simple mason jar with a lid will do just fine.

If making this things from scratch just isn’t your idea of fun or worth your time, then be sure to order your favoriteFood Made Fresh salads andsalad bowls each week, knowing that our dressings are made with love with all good ingredients!

Here’s a few simple dressing recipes:

Simple Vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp sea salt

⅛ tsp black pepper

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Or dress it up with a little maple with this next one!

Maple Vinaigrette:

½ Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Or add some citrus!

Zesty Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced, or grated

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Add contents to mason jar and secure with lid. Shake and serve or keep for later.

5. If needed, try a natural sweetener.

My first go-to unrefined, natural sweeteners are raw (local) honey and pure maple syrup. Coconut sugar is lower glycemix index and therefore doens’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugars do. Xilitol or stevia are also good plant-based options- I prefer organic liquid stevia. 1 or 2 drops goes a long way.

The key is to start with less and check in with yourself if you really need to add more, or if you can allow your tastebuds to get used to less or none.

6. Have some dark chocolate on hand for those moments of weakness.

You heard me right, dark chocolate (preferably 70% and above) contain magnesium, and other minerals that are beneficial to your body. If you are going to need a sweet treat while trying to cut sugar, then this is a great alternative to diving into a cupcake or carton of ice cream

7. Ditch the soda, and never look back!

Made up of chemicals, weird syrups, mountains of sugars and toxic dyes, you don’t need this in your life. Diet “sugar free” soda is just as bad, so don’t switch to that either. Many artificial “non calorie” sweeteners loaded in diet drinks actually trigger diabetic responses and outcomes.

Instead, try sparkling water with a splash of pure 100% juice. Or my favorite it to zest up my sparkling water with drop of Young Living Essential Oils - you canbuy them here. My favorites are: Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Grapefruit, and Citrus Fresh - which has a touch of spearmint!

                                                                           Eat well & Be well,

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