27 Top Ways to Cut Sugar and Boost Your Health

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6. Avoid stress triggers

Prolonged and intense stress causes physical symptoms you may not realize are related to the stress. One example is disrupted eating behavior, more specifically eating when you’re not feeling hungry. When stressed, many people reach for calorie-dense foods high in sugar and fat. The reason may be, according to one small study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, that sugar reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in women.

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7. Pay attention to the labels

Sugar comes in many forms and has many names — at least 61. Any ingredient that ends in “-ose” — sucrose, glucose, fructose — most likely means sugar. Corn syrup, agave nectar, barley malt syrup, or dehydrated cane juice mean sugar, too. Food labels provide the amount of sugar in grams per a certain serving. If you want to get a better idea of what the grams mean, divide the grams of sugar by 4 to get the approximate amount of sugar in teaspoons. (There are about 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon).

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8. Don’t starve yourself

It will be very difficult to find a doctor or nutritionist who would recommend deprivation as an effective way of maintaining or losing weight. The more you think about how you should not eat certain foods, the more you want them. One study that observed more than 100 female college students found that those who deprived themselves of eating chocolate consumed more chocolate food, once they had it, than did any other group. Researchers concluded that deprivation leads to cravings and overeating.

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9. Sleep more

When a person is sleep deprived, it can affect the way he or she burns energy in part because of the effect sleep has on leptin, an appetite-inhibiting hormone, and ghrelin, an appetite stimulating hormone, according to a study. Less leptin and more ghrelin explain why sleep-deprived participants were hungry more often. Some research has shown that people who extended the amount of time they slept consumed less sugar.

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10. Choose plain yogurt

Yogurt is a good source of protein. But the seemingly endless selection of different kinds of yogurt at the store can be confusing. It’s best to keep it simple and go with plain yogurt. Yes, it has sugar, but the flavored kind has much more. The fruity yogurt contains about 27 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving compared with plain, which has no added sugar. If you want sweet yogurt, get some fresh fruit.