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5 Easy ways to kick the sugar habit

Is sugar really toxic? We know it isn't good for you. Nutritionist and certified weight management specialist JJ Smith shares five easy ways to kick that sugar habit.

With the recent media surge about sugar being toxic, you may be thinking twice about satisfying your daily sweet tooth. Nutritionist and certified weight-management specialist JJ Smith, author of Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out!, feels your pain, but she says you can kick the sugar habit. Here are five easy ways to shun sugar.
With the recent media surge about sugar being toxic, you may be thinking twice about satisfying your daily sweet tooth. Nutritionist and certified weight-management specialist JJ Smith, author of Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out!, feels your pain, but she says you can kick the sugar habit. Here are five easy ways to shun sugar.

Is sugar toxic?

Though there may be some naysayers who don't see sugar as toxic, you aren't going to find many health experts pushing the consumption of sugar. JJ Smith says, "[Sugar] is one of the most dangerous substances on the face of the earth. Sugar is toxic, fattening, and addictive." And just because you aren't hoarking down candy, cakes, and other desserts doesn't mean you aren't overdosing on the sweet stuff. "The problem is that sugar is hidden in many foods, including breads, muffins, and even dried fruit," adds the healthy living pro.

>>How sugar hurts your health

5 Steps to giving up sugar

Are you having a panic attack right now just thinking about giving up sugar? Instead of seeing it as a necessary part of your life, JJ Smith suggests looking at kicking the sugar habit as though you are ending an addiction. Sugar has no nutritional value, so your health will not suffer. Follow these five steps from JJ Smith to reduce your sugar intake.

1. Just say NO!

Quit eating sugar! Go cold turkey. Expect cravings, headaches, and irritability for three to five days. "This is a good sign that you’re making progress," says JJ Smith. "Just keep sugar out of your diet and the cravings will disappear over time."

2. Use stevia instead of sugar

To sweeten foods, it is always better to use stevia rather than sugar. Stevia is a natural, herbal sweetener that is calorie-free and does not affect blood glucose, which makes it a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

3. Read food labels

Because there is so much hidden sugar in your everyday foods, JJ Smith recommends reading labels and avoid foods that have the following ingredients: high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose (corn sugar), maltose (malt sugar), lactose (milk sugar), corn sweetener, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and maple sugar.

4. Choose foods that have less sugar

If you're going to eat sugary foods, eat foods that have 5 grams of sugar or less per serving. "When the drink or food item has 5 grams or less of sugar per serving size, the body doesn’t overreact to the sugar," explains JJ Smith. "This means your pancreas will not have to release too much insulin, which can result in fat storage in the body...and have only one serving!"

5. Fill up on fruit

Instead of cave in to sugar junk food temptation, try fruit as a better alternative. Fruit is naturally sweet and offers vitamins, minerals, fiber, and health-promoting nutrients. Fruit can help you curb your sugar cravings.

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