According to statistics, on average we consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. Despite the fact that the norm is no more than 14. But sugar, especially in such a large amount, negatively affects our health (for example, causes diabetes) and the figure, of course. But it’s so difficult without sweets, you might say. Then let's learn how to eat it properly.

Eat sweets the right way: 6 principles to help you pamper yourself and stay healthy

Giving up sugar can be really hard. Moreover, it is difficult to avoid it, because it is hidden in many foods (even sausage is), and it is also addictive due to the release of the hormone dopamine after sugar enters the body.

And yet, learning to eat sugar and sweets so that they do not affect either health or weight is quite realistic.

How sugar affects the body

When you eat sugary foods that are high in carbohydrates, your body releases the hormone insulin. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Sugar causes a surge of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin that make us feel good. But the effect does not last long. And when blood sugar levels drop, it causes the opposite—a sugar collapse, leaving us feeling tired, low concentration, and irritable.

Eating too much sugar can lead to serious health problems. So, one teaspoon of sugar contains about 19 calories. It seems to be a little, but we never eat one at a time. Excess calories increase the risk of obesity, which in turn leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.

There are also studies linking sugar to heart disease. According to scientists, the more sugar a person consumes, the higher the risk of developing heart disease.

This doesn't mean you should never touch sugar again, but you'll definitely benefit from cutting down on sugar and replacing unhealthy sugars with the right sweets.

Here are 6 ways to help break bad habits.

1. Read labels

Sugar has many different names that can be found on the ingredients list on labels: maltose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, raw sugar, honey, corn sweetener, and fruit juice concentrates.

On the label, it is important to read not only the total amount of sugar, but also the line “added sugars”.

One gram of sugar contains 4 calories, so if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that's 60 calories from sugar alone, not counting the other ingredients.

2. Eliminate white sugar

Experts recommend avoiding refined white sugar. It dissolves very quickly in the blood, causing spikes in glucose and insulin levels that can harm the body.

Refined sugar is added to a huge variety of foods during processing, from ketchup to bread, salad dressings, and preserves, under one of the names listed above.

3. Avoid treats with simple carbohydrates

Pastries, biscuits, white bread and other treats made with refined flour contain little to no nutrients but are high in sugar, which affects blood levels. And the received energy is not enough for a short time.

Replace fast carbohydrates with healthy, slow ones. During digestion, they turn into sugar, but since they are of a complex type, not a simple one, they are absorbed more slowly and provide a constant supply of energy.

4. Eat more protein and healthy fats

Consuming healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, avocados, dairy) and lean protein (eggs, turkey, and legumes) are a good strategy when you're trying to cut sugar. Both keep you feeling full and energized, preventing your blood sugar levels from rising and falling, the risk of being overweight and disease.

5. Choose the right snacks

Often we are drawn to sweets not even in the main meals, but in snacks - when we want to eat something quickly, but at the same time we are drawn to goodies. There should be something useful at hand at this time. But that doesn't mean it's fresh.

No sugar, clear composition (no ingredients pretending to be healthy, a small amount of carbohydrates, and most importantly, low calorie content - this is the formula for the perfect healthy snack.

6. Replace sugar with spices

To satisfy your sweet tooth, just check out the spice section of the grocery store. For example, cinnamon or vanilla extract added to coffee or baked goods provides a sweet taste without the side effects of sugar and zero calories.

Other sweet spices and herbs that can be added to drinks and meals include chicory, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom.

You can live without sugar, but you don't have to live without sweets.