Time to reign in that sweet tooth! Added sugar is one of the biggest culprits in our country’s collective expanding waistline. Make positive changes in the way you look and feel with these 6 easy steps to cut down on sugar in your diet. It’s not as hard as you think!
Added sugar is rich in calories and a wasteland when it comes to nutritional value. The average American eats about 20 teaspoons of sugar every day. While men and teenagers consume the highest levels of added sugar overall, women still consume an average of 230 extra calories each day in sugar alone .
No matter which of our tips to cut sugar you use, one of the trickiest parts of reducing added sugar is that it has many, many names, including dextrose, corn sweetener, fructose, malt sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. Get a handle on your healthy eating by bookmarking the 50 Names for Sugar. Check this list as you read food labels while grocery shopping.
1. Reduce sugar in steps.
Going cold turkey can be tough, so start with small steps. Do you like a little coffee or tea with your sugar? Reduce the amount of sugar you add to your favorite drinks. If your habit is two teaspoons in your morning joe, cut back to one teaspoon. Or try alternatives like Skinny Iced Chai Latte.
2. Choose whole fruit over processed.
That pre-packaged applesauce might seem a healthy compromise when you’re on-the-go, but processed fruits often have sugar added to increase sweetness. Swap out store-bought applesauce for a whole apple, grab a raw orange instead of OJ, or enjoy fresh berries with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. Sink your spoon into a Skinny Berry Parfait.
3. Reduce sugar intake from beverages.
We focus on foods, so it’s easy to forget that beverages are a hidden source of sugar. Eliminate drinks like soda or processed teas. Reach for water or lightly naturally-sweetened beverages, such as our Pomegranate Orange Spice Tea.
4. Choose no sugar added clean-eating desserts.
Just because you’re incorporating tips to cut sugar doesn’t mean you can’t have a treat. Swap out processed or restaurant desserts for tasty recipes that use minimally-processed ingredients and no added sugar. Indulge in desserts like some Skinny Strawberry Yogurt.
5. Snack smart.
Snack time is a danger zone when it comes to sugar intake. Clear the pantry of sweetened snack foods—everything from processed cereal bars to candy bags—and stock it with healthy, naturally low-calorie snacks. Prepackage snacks to make it easy to grab-n-go on busy days. Smart snacks can be super tasty, especially with our 50 Clean-Eating Snacks or No-Bake Almond Cranberry Balls.
6. Eat better blood sugar foods.
While no added sugar foods will help you cut sugar, other foods may help you control blood sugar. For example, non-sweetened or lightly naturally-sweetened oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which helps the body maintain even blood sugar levels. Non-starchy veggies, like broccoli and green beans, are smart foods because they’re high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Add Sautéed Broccolini, Zucchini, and Cranberries or Garlic Ginger Green Beans to the menu this week.
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