According to American Heart Association, the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar in a day. That’s 302 grams, or 2/3 of a lb (!) and more than twice the amount we should be getting. And unfortunately, veganism doesn’t automatically equal a healthy diet. It’s upsetting, I know, but vegan cake, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, pies, and shakes can be loaded with sugar and fat, just like non-vegan desserts. All that sugar floods your body with insulin, which in turn prompts your fat cells to store more glucose. This constant influx of sugar also makes your body insensitive to insulin, and that can eventually lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
Here are some tips to keep your sugar level in check:
1. Stevia–artificial sweetners might not have calories, but studies show that they increase sugar cravings, stimulate your appetite, and increase weight gain and fat storage–even more than eating the same amount of regular sugar. Stevia is all natural and plant-based, so it is a safer option.
2. Have less sugar–having sugar makes you crave it more, and that includes artificial sweeteners in soda and gum. Start by cutting back one by one–if you don’t like the taste of plain water, you could experiment with flavoring it using orange or cucumber slices.
3. Make low-sugar options of your favorite foods–can’t live without PB & J? Instead of jam, contains 50 calories and 12 g of sugar in just one tablespoon, slice up 4 fresh strawberries–and save 34 calories and whopping 10 g of sugar! I also like to keep some peeled bananas in the freezer for easy vegan ice cream. Just blend a frozen banana with 1/2 cup of almond milk, a 1/2 tsp of natural vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon for a delicious guilt-free dessert–with just 120 calories and 14 g sugar, instead of 200 calories and 20 g sugar for most brands of vegan vanilla ice cream.