CUTTING BACK ON SUGAR
Consuming too much added sugar can have many negative effects on our body and health. We all know about its contribution to tooth decay, but sugar also contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and skin conditions like acne, just to name a few.
So how do we cut back on consuming too much sugar? Here are 10 simple tips:
- Cut back on sugar-filled drinks – soft drinks, sports, energy and fruit drinks all have astonishing amounts of added sugar. Limit ‘healthy’ fruit juices and smoothies as they contain large amounts of concentrated natural sugars.
Switch to water and fresh milk.
- Avoid sugar-loaded desserts – swap for fresh fruit, yogurt with cinnamon and berries, dark chocolate ( darker = less sugar and more cocoa)
- Limit bottled sauces, such as tomato, bbq, sweet chilli and stir-through – flavour food with fresh or dried herbs and spices, mustard, vinegar, pesto
- Be weary of low-fat foods – these will often have a very high sugar content, which may make them higher in calories. Consider full-fat foods even if you are weight-conscious, as calorie count in these may actually be lower!
- Cut down on processed or refined foods, which are full of additives, artificial flavours and preservatives (sugar often being one of these). Try to cook from scratch and consume more whole unprocessed foods
- Check canned foods for added sugar, such as fruit in syrup. Read labels and consider rinsing canned product in water prior to consuming to reduce sugar intake.
- Avoid processed sports, protein and health bars – replace with raw nuts, fresh fruit, home-made granola bars, hard-boiled egg for protein boost
- Limit sugar-filled breakfast foods, such as cereal (one of the worst culprits!), waffles and jams – replace with oats, greek yogurt, eggs and avocado
- Read labels and be aware of other names for added sugar and where it is in the list of ingredients – corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, molasses etc are all types of sugar. The higher on the list the higher the content.
- Don’t keep high-sugar foods in the house and distract yourself from temptation – especially in the evenings when our natural circadian rhythm increase hunger and sweet cravings.