10 tips to cut down your sugar consumption
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
To be really honest, unless you have a strict plant-based diet free of any kind of processed and refined foods, I reckon it’s difficult to avoid refined sugar completely. On the other hand, you can definitely start by reducing your consumption.
If you make small, simple changes to your diet, it’ll be easier to keep them up.
Here are a few:
1. Buy whole foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, wholewheat pasta/rice, etc.);
2. Make your own food, whether it’s tomato sauce, salad dressing or birthday cake;
3. Make fresh juices/smoothies rather than buying bottled juices (plus, do you really think there is Vitamin C in juice that comes in a carton?)
4. Cut down sugar in your coffee/tea: go from 3 teaspoons of sugar to two, then one, then none (I’ve done it with tea and it worked; I’ve adapted my taste buds to accept less then no sugar);
5. Add fresh fruit to yogurt, cereal or oatmeal instead of adding sugar;
6. Enhance foods with spices (cinnamon and ginger are my favourite) or with extracts such as almond, vanilla, or lemon;
7. Have more protein and fibre;Don’t keep treats in your house – out of sight, out of mind!
Here a few things to bear in mind when you go grocery shopping:
8. Read the nutritional fact label to track down the amount of sugar. Pay close attention to the quantity per serving. For example, the recommended serving for breakfast cereal is 30 g; that’s tiny tiny, no one eats 30 g of cereal for breakfast! See what I mean? Check this short video out (How much sugar of cereal do children eat?), it’s self-explanatory.
9. Every product labelled low fat is actually full of sugar. When the Food Industry decided to get rid of the fat, it had to replace the calories with something else, and sugar does that perfectly.
10 Sugar comes in different fancy names, hunt them down in the list of ingredients when you buy a product: molasse, corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, lactose (in general if it ends in “ose,” it’s sugar).
That being said, I believe it’s important to indulge yourself and keep on enjoying sweet foods once in a while. Have an ice-cream with your friends on a hot summer day, share your colleague’s birthday cake or eat your grandma’s traditional dessert. Make it the exception rather than the rule so it remains pleasurable and guilt-free!
Think big, start small!