Special Report

27 Top Ways to Cut Sugar and Boost Your Health

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16. Eat before you go grocery shopping

The idiom “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” was probably thought of for people who go grocery shopping while being very hungry. They tend to buy ready-to-eat foods because they feel too hungry to take the time to cook. And the pre-packaged item — including salads, sandwiches, and even frozen pizza — that we get on an impulse are usually high in sugar as well as salt.

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17. Lay off the condiments

Few people would argue that ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauce don’t make almost any type of sandwich better. Condiments add great flavor, but they should come with a warning — they are loaded with sugar. A single tablespoon of ketchup or barbecue sauce has 3 grams of sugar, as does a tablespoon of tartar and teriyaki sauce. A tablespoon of pickle relish has 4 grams of sugar.

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18. Brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth is a great way to avoid snacking. Once your mouth feels clean and fresh after brushing, you’ll probably be less likely to ruin that nice feeling by eating a snack, especially since sometimes the food simply doesn’t taste good (orange juice, anyone?) An ingredient in toothpaste — called sodium lauryl sulfate — changes the way taste buds process certain flavors. Using a mouthwash may do the trick as well. Lowering the risk of cavities comes as a bonus.

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19. Clean out your cabinets

Out of sight, out of mind. It’s simple — if you don’t have a chocolate bar in your home, even if you’re thinking about it — you can’t eat one. So clean out the kitchen cabinets and any other places you might be hiding a stash of sweets for emergency situations. Make it easier for yourself to choose healthier and more nutritional foods by having them as your only immediate option.

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20. Forget about diet soda

Diet sodas usually mean fewer, if any, calories. But the sweet taste in diet sodas comes from artificial sweeteners. Such sweeteners may not be natural but they are sweet, and as such they encourage sugar cravings and sugar dependence because our flavor preferences are shaped by repeated exposure. Artificial sweeteners can also increase appetite, encouraging a sweet tooth, according to Swedish researchers, the Karolinska Institute.

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