5 Easy Swaps To Help You Cut Down Your Sugar Intake5 mins 17 Nov 21
Sweet, sticky and sometimes satisfyingly sickly. Sugar makes our favourite sweet treats taste amazing and when the sugar craving hits, there isn’t anything much more satisfying than a cake, biscuit or chocolate bar. But it’s also bad news if we eat too much and we’re trying to lose or maintain our weight - excess sugar is stored by the body as fat.
The problem is, sugar is also highly addictive, with some researchers suggesting that it’s as addictive as cocaine.
So how do we satisfy that sugar craving, without missing out on hitting that sweet spot? Try these simple sugar swaps to discover how you could significantly cut your sugar intake!
- If nothing but chocolate will do, then have you considered dark chocolate? Dark chocolate contains far less sugar than the ‘normal’ chocolate we buy in the supermarket. It’s also free from dairy and is therefore suitable for vegans too. It might take a bit of getting used to as it can be a little bitter. But you’re likely to consume less and trust us, it really does tick the chocolate box!
- It’s mid-afternoon and the sugary treats are calling. What you gonna do? Save yourself a trip to the shop and dip into your bag for a sugar free mint or chewing gum of course! The mint is refreshing and can take your mind away from the need for something sweet. Plus chewing sugar free gum is excellent for keeping your mouth clean after lunch.
- Dates. No, not another Tinder disaster. But the wrinkly dried fruits that look like huge raisins. Not only are they naturally sweet, they’re full of belly filling fibre and antioxidants that help to look after the immune system. Keep some on you for when the urge kicks in and have one or two. You’ll be amazed by how satisfying they are. Add a teaspoon of peanut butter to them for a protein hit, too.
- It’s not just sugars in food, drinks count too. Swap colas and other fizzy drinks for diet versions. Or better still, add a handful of freshly chopped berries to sparkling water as a delicious, vitamin loaded thirst quencher. Beware smoothies and juices too, as these are made using more fruit than you’d normally consume in one sitting. Fruit is high in sugar, albeit fruit sugar, but it still behaves in the same way in the body – any excess fruit sugar will be stored as fat.
- Finally, be aware of sneaky sugars. These are the sugars hiding in foods where you really wouldn’t expect to find any. This includes certain breakfast cereals including ‘healthy’ ones such as granola, plus low fat yoghurts, condiments, pasta sauces and low fat ready meals. Become a label reading pro by recognising hidden sugars disguised as sucrose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup, pretty much any other kind of syrup including agave and brown rice syrups, sugar beet and molasses. These are all still sugar!