Learn to be a label reader. Watch for sugar content in everything you eat. You may have heard the debates about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I do not know if it is truly the demon the nutritional community makes it out to be, but I do know it is true that you can find this sweetener in nearly everything at the grocery store: bread, jelly, baked beans, cereal, soda, BBQ sauce, and many other processed foods. The problem with HFCS is two-fold. First of all, we get way more sugar in our diet in America than we did 20 years ago. The facts are staggering. The second problem is how our body processes HFCS. Sugars have what is called a glycemic index. Different sugars are processed by our bodies in different ways. Our body does not process HFCS as well as other sugars. I won’t go into specifics. Here is a link to a good article on the topic if you are interested in the details.
Artificial sweeteners apparently have their own drawbacks as well. Some believe they are more dangerous than regular sugar. I haven’t researched this fact, but you should be aware.
Some alternatives for baking, sweetening drinks, etc. are honey, maple syrup, stevia (comes from a plant), and turbinado sugar (also known as sugar in the raw). Honey has many other health benefits, as well.
Reading labels takes a great deal of time in the beginning, but your body will thank you. As you learn what to avoid, this process will get easier.