Sugar is a sweet, soluble carbohydrate that digests quickly into the bloodstream. You’ll find it in natural and processed foods. Unfortunately, too much sugar can lead to health concerns such as obesity and high cholesterol. If your goal is to limit your sugar intake, consider these simple ways to consume less sugar.
Cut Back on Sugary Drinks
Drinks are among the most common vehicles for sugar consumption. After all, soda, juice, sweetened teas, and sports drinks are readily available at most stores. The drinks are high in calories and have limited nutritional value. When consuming less sugar, start by letting processed beverages go. Select healthier alternatives, including water, unsweetened sparkling water, herbal tea, and black coffee.
Reduce Added Sugar Intake
Whether you add sugar packets to coffee, stir honey in tea, or pour syrup on pancakes, the added sugars in your diet present themselves in different forms. Fortunately, you can reduce sweets intake by cutting back on the amount of sugar you add to food and drinks. Start by aiming to decrease the usual amount of added sugar you consume by half, then slowly wean yourself down further.
You can also use a sugar alternative to satisfy cravings while decreasing sugar intake. One pro of choosing a sugar alternative is that there are various sweeteners to choose from, which come in many forms.
Select Natural Flavor Enhancers
Simply put, sugar makes food and drinks taste better. However, you can select natural flavor enhancers for better-tasting meals or drinks without adding sugar. You can incorporate spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to give food a warm, mildly sweet taste. You can also add fresh fruit to recipes for natural sweetness.
Eat Whole Foods
Eating whole foods is a simple way to consume less sugar because they aren’t processed or refined, meaning they remain close to their natural state and are free of additives. Whole foods include fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, whole grains, bone-in meat, plain yogurt, and tofu. Of course, some whole foods are naturally sweet, and you can enjoy their pleasant flavors without processed fats and sugars.
Be Mindful of Processed Snacks
Some processed snacks may seem “healthy” initially, but they could contain just as much sugar as candy bars. Companies market snacks as “natural” and “wholesome” to entice buyers, so reading food labels is always important. There are various names for added sugar, including cane juice, dextrose, and rice syrup. As you work to remove sugar from your diet, remain mindful of ingredients. You can also opt for healthier, non-processed snack foods such as nuts and hard-boiled eggs to avoid this issue.