Many people blame fat for wreaking havoc on our bodies, but in reality, sugar is a much worse culprit. High sugar intake can cause things like heart disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, just to name a few. No one wants health issues like that, so that’s why I’ve brought together these tips for reducing sugar in your diet.
We all know that we consume more sugar than we should. It’s hard not to, it’s in almost EVERYTHING, and you may be surprised to hear that large amounts of sugar can be found in many of these everyday products:
- Low-fat products like low-fat yogurt
- Dressings, dips, and sauces like spaghetti sauce and salad dressing
- Breakfast granola
- Sports drinks
- Fruit juice
- Pre-made soup
- Canned beans
These are just a few of your everyday items that are surprisingly loaded with sugar #yikes!
You may be asking, with sugar everywhere how are you supposed to avoid it and reduce sugar in your diet? I recommend starting with small changes, and slowly implementing more as you get more comfortable with your previous changes. It’s a slow process, but in the big scheme of things, it will make a BIG impact on your health in the long term #winning.
Related Post: 10 Tips to Help You Drink More Water
Drink Primarily Water
I’ve talked on and on about the benefits of drinking water, but even without all those benefits, drinking primarily water throughout the day will cut major sugar out of your diet compared to drinking juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc, and it’s one of the easiest things to make a switch to when wanting to cut sugar out of your diet.
If you’re just not that into water, or can’t seem to drink enough throughout the day you may want to check out my 10 tips for incorporating more water into your day. Even if you incorporate just a few tips you’ll be much better off for ditching the sugar, and doing things like adding fruit to your water may help you make the switch when you’re a major juice lover.
Slowly Reduce Sugar/Honey In Your Coffee or Tea
Many of us can’t start the day without our morning coffee or tea, and fair enough, it’s all about balance right, but it’s important to be aware of what we are putting into our morning cup of joe or tea. Many creamers, flavoured and plain, have high amounts of sugar, not to mention all of the plain old sugar we can put into our mugs.
If you’re wanting to reduce sugar try making a switch to milk. If that seems terrible to you, start by mixing 1/4 milk with 3/4 creamer and slowly working your way from there. After you’ve made the switch you’ll be surprised at how you react when someone gives you a coffee filled with creamer. Same thing goes for
Same thing goes for sugar or honey. I personally prefer honey because it has some health benefits compared to completely empty calories, but it’s still loaded with sugar. Try slowly reducing your spoonfuls until you’re at a happy medium, and no one said you can’t treat yourself with a big spoonful of flavoured honey with a tasty herbal tea every once and a while, or if you prefer, some flavoured creamer with your coffee, or better yet flavoured baileys for the holidays!
Reading your labels helps you become so much more aware of what you’re putting into your body. I like to read labels to see what the ingredients are and opt for food that has ingredients I can picture as whole food, but it’s also good for watching your sugar intake.
Next time you’re shopping try comparing the grams of sugar between different spaghetti sauces or bbq sauce and opt for the lower one. It’s the small changes over a long period of time that will start to make a big difference.
Don’t Eat Packaged Snacks
Packaged foods are where healthy foods go to die. They take basic healthy ingredients, or sometimes replicas, and mix and mash and fry and do whatever else to them while adding a bunch of yucky ingredients including lots sugar #NoThanks.
Spend the majority of your shopping on the outer edge of the store shopping for baked goods, produce, and if you choose to, dairy and meats. When you do shop the middle aisles be aware of what you’re buying. Read labels. Make some changes, while still treating yourself to the things you really love.
I opt for plain yogurt with fruit and low sugar granola, but I’ll treat myself to my beloved cheese and crackers. I keep searching for healthier, more whole food orientated crackers that I love as much as Triscuits and Ritz, but I keep coming back to my favourite treat. Do what works for you. The more you deprive yourself, the more you’ll hate the changes you’re making and they’ll never stick.
Related Post: 10 Healthy Snack Recipes
Make Your Own Dressings, Condiments, and Sauces
When I first thought about doing this I felt like there just wasn’t enough time in the day to start making all my own sauces. As I tried it more and more I’ve become completely hooked. Not only am I cutting out sugar and knowing exactly what’s in what I’m making, but it’s surprisingly quick, and way way WAY tastier than store bought items.
I’m super addicted to making my own delicious ranch dip from the Country Cook (I use milk instead of buttermilk) and have been making more and more things myself. Once you feel like you’ve become pretty good at cutting out sugar in different “easier” ways I challenge you to find one item from my Dressings and Dips Pinterest Board and try it out. Let me know what you think, I’m sure you’ll love it!
Use Fruit to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
This last tip could help you hugely. Matt and I are those people that come an hour or so after dinner we’re scrounging the house looking for something sweet. If we have ice cream or cookies, or anything delicious like that in the house we will devour it all as soon as possible #NoSelfControl.
Knowing our terrible habits we’ve stopped keeping items like that in the house, and when I still have that sweet tooth and can’t ignore it I’ll opt for a bowl of fruit. Not only does doing this actually give you nutrients and vitamins, but it helps you cut down your sugar and it still tastes really good.
FYI banana nice cream is also uh-mazing and cuts out sugar! I’m hinking of doing a recipe post for it sometime soon, let me know if you’d like to see that!
There ya have it, 6 tips to help you reduce sugar in your diet. I feel like it was a little lengthy, but filled with tips that have really helped me and I hope they help you too. If you have any other tips for reducing sugar in your diet please let me know in the comments below!