As you've heard me say for some time, sugar is bad news when it comes to a heart healthy diet. Too much sugar will age you faster, and put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than cholesterol.
So, as we head into the hotter days of summer I want you to read the packages carefully on sodas and sweet teas—both of which can be teaming with sugar. Plus, watch other foods that can sabotage your sugar-free diet.
6 Tips for Eating a Sugar-Free Diet
1. Read labels. Most of the sugar you eat is “hidden,” usually under the guise of high fructose corn syrup in processed foods. Do everything you can to avoid these sneaky sugar products in your heart health diet.
2. Steer clear of doughnuts, cookies, and pastries. These foods are filled with sugar and damaging hydrogenated oils, as well as processed, fiber-less flour. Who needs this jackpot of junk?
3. Beware of sodas. They are literally liquid candy. While I’m on the subject, watch out for sweet teas, energy drinks, and sports drinks.
4. Use natural sweeteners. If you need to sweeten any foods, add a little juice from oranges, grapes, pears, peaches, or other fruits. You can also use some shredded raw or dried apples, coconuts, raisins, or dates.
5. Eat several small meals. Start with breakfast, and include some protein at each sitting to keep you feeling satisfied. By eating little portions throughout the day, you will be less inclined to overload on sugary foods.
6. Limit your alcohol intake. This includes wine, beer, and liquor. Many people don’t realize that alcohol contains a large store of hidden sugar, so you don't want to drink too much alcohol in your heart health diet.
Now it's your turn: How do you stick to a sugar-free diet for better heart health?