In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned finding over 2 teaspoons of added sugar in a serving of beef vegetable soup. One of the main ways that sugar has become so prevalent in our daily diets is that we eat a lot of prepared foods.

Convenience may be killing you

It’s so easy to grab something ready-made from the grocery store on the way home from work, or when your life is harried and over-busy. Convenience foods are, well, convenient and that’s pretty valuable sometimes.

However, there are quick ways to get a meal on the table without prepared foods.

If you shop the perimeter of the grocery market you’ll find the most basic foods. By choosing a meat, or main, dish then adding a couple of vegetables, voilà, you have dinner—without added sugar. Butter, oils, lemon, spices, and seasonings add more flavour if you think you need it.

Dessert is our undoing

The sweetness habit of including a sugar-laden dessert with meals adds pounds of sugar to our diets (and fat on our bodies) every year. So how do you switch out your dessert habit for something less harmful?

Get to know the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measurement of how individual foods affect your blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index, or glycemic load, the worse it is for your blood sugar. By choosing foods with a lower glycemic index, you automatically reduce your sugar intake. Just make sure to pay attention to portion sizes.

There are apps you can download to your phone, and guidebooks you can buy, so you can have a glycemic index resource with you when you go shopping.

Fruit is your friend—sometimes

Do you know which fruits are high-sugar, and which are low? A ripe banana, for example, has a much higher glycemic load than cherries or grapefruit. Get to know your fruits and choose low glycemic ones to lessen your sugar consumption.

Replace your wedge of frosted chocolate cake for dessert with a bowl of strawberries with cream and you dump a whole lot of sugar from your diet with one choice.

Do it over and over and your sugar load will go way down.

There’s coffee, then there’s coffee

If you stop at the local coffee shop and get a grande caramel macchiato with whipped cream and caramel sauce drizzled on top, your sugar intake is about 33 grams. That’s nearly 7 teaspoons of sugar! If you don’t want to give up your coffee treat, ask for half sweet, or sugar free. Or just get black coffee with room for cream and carry a tiny bottle of stevia drops in your bag.

In Part 3, we’ll see more ways to painlessly cut sugar from your diet.

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