In a sugar-filled world, making the move to cut down on our intake isn’t easy. Here’s how to make it work:
1. Take a look at what you’re consuming daily
You may be keeping cakes and biscuits as just treats, and cutting out granulated sugar in your tea and coffee, but honey, stevia and maple syrup all still fall under the added sugar umbrella.
2. Capitalise on foods with natural sugars
Like dairy products or fruits and vegetables. If you look purely at the sugar content alone, it can look quite high, but these foods also contain vital vitamins and minerals, not to mention fibre – all of which fill us up, making it hard for us to overindulge in them.
3. Watch out for breakfast time
Even cereals and bread can be culprits for added sugar. Instead, take a leaf out of other cultures, like the Japanese, who have savoury breakfast. Try eggs with a small piece of wholegrain toast and nuts, or even a small portion of veggies. If you find it hard to say goodbye to a sweet breakfast, make your own granola as you can control how much sugar you’re putting in, or whip-up some plain oats and flavour it with fresh fruit.
4. Drinks are a major source of free sugars in our diet
With soft drinks and fruit juice being the top culprits. When it comes to fruit juice, the issue is you’re getting plenty of natural sugars, but none of the filling fibre you’d get it you ate the equivalent whole fruit. Try to keep your portions small and few. A fizzy drink fan? If you want the caffeine kick, swap out a glass for a cup of tea or coffee instead. If it’s the carbonation that appeals to you, sparkling water can become your new go-to. If you do want a little sweetness, you can add a dash of fruit juice – but you may find you’ve lost your taste for sugar after cutting down.
5. Feel like you already have the above in hand?
Try eliminating added sugars for a month, then only add back in the ones you miss – you may be surprised at what you’re able to live without.