We all know that cutting back on sugar is one of the best things we can do for our health. But most people find in practice that actually reducing their consumption of sugar is easier said than done.
So here are 5 easy ways to help you loosen your grip on sugar (without feeling deprived):
1) Plan healthy meals and snacks for the week - so that you know what you’re having in advance. Many people I meet don’t do this. But when you eat meals that give your body a good balance of healthy protein, carbs, fat and plenty of fibre you’ll automatically be helping to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Because when your blood sugar drops the body will scream out for sugar to drive it back up. So planning ahead with the right meals can help to avoid blood sugar problems. There’s also a tendency for us to experience and give into more sweet cravings when we feel hungry, disorganised or stressed.
2) Use fruit to sweeten your day - Small amounts of whole fruit are a healthier sweet option. Fruit does contain fructose but it has nutrients and fibre unlike sugar. All kinds of berries are very low in natural sugar, but they also taste deliciously sweet. Tropical fruits like bananas, mango and pineapple are great. But just be mindful that if you’re struggling to lose weight or suspect you have a candida / yeast overgrowth in your gut, you might want to temporarily remove or cut back on these higher sugar content fruits too.
3) Replace refined sugar with other healthy sweet substitutes – you’ll want to take care not to overdo it here, but foods like honey, maple syrup, dates and coconut sugar are good replacements for refined sugar in baking. If you find a dessert or cake recipe that you want to try think about the best substitute to use in place of the “sugar” ingredient.
4) Read ingredient labels on food products – and avoid anything that doesn’t say “no added sugars” or “contains naturally occurring sugars” on the label.
5) Choose less sugary alcoholic drinks - If you like to drink alcohol remember that it contains hidden sugars that aren’t listed on the label. Drink drier varieties of wine and avoid pouring any sugar-containing mixers into your drinks to help limit unnecessary sugar intake from alcohol.
If you’re looking for refined-sugar free dessert ideas, check out the delicious healthier recipes on my website.