6 Easy Ways To Reduce Sugar In Your Diet
Whether we like it or not, sugar has a major presence in the typical American diet. From packaged foods like pasta to the rice in your restaurant sushi, excess sugar can creep up on you even when you think you’re steering clear. Don’t give up, though. You don’t have to eliminate everything to be conscious of your intake. Here are six quick and easy ways to reduce how much sugar you consume without drastically changing your diet.
1. If you want something sweet, make it yourself.
Yep, even your ice cream, which actually isn’t that hard to do. If you make something from scratch instead of buying it at the store, you’re likely to use fuller fats (no fillers!) and see with your own eyes just how much sugar you’re pouring into your creation. The more you know, the less likely you are to indulge.
2. Keep an eye on the cocktails.
It’s not surprising that even a few cocktails can overload you with sugar. You might not know just how bad your go-to drink is, though. Here’s a list of popular boozy beverages and their typical sugar content you should check out so you know which ones to avoid in the future.
3. Cut down on at least one sugary beverage a week to start.
We’re looking at you, Starbucks lovers and juice fanatics. Unless you drink your coffee black and don’t ever drink juice and don’t drink soda, we bet there’s at least one beverage you can cut out. Start with one a week, and then continue reducing from there. Losing one doesn’t seem nearly as scary as quitting cold turkey.
4. Don’t go crazy on the fruit.
Yes, fruit is great for you and serves as a much better alternative to, say, a brownie. But if you’re consuming multiple servings of sweet fruits like bananas, grapes and mangoes each day, you could get yourself into some serious, sugary trouble. Just for context, one 3-ounce serving of banana packs in more than 10 grams of sugar. Yikes. Snack on fruits like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries instead, which naturally have a much lower sugar content.
5. Read, read, READ nutrition labels on your condiments.
You should always read the nutrition label on every pre-packaged food you buy, but take a particular look at how many grams of sugar are in that salad dressing you just took off the shelf. You’re likely using condiments to amplify the flavor of your dishes, but before you pile on the ketchup, know exactly how much sugar you’re adding to your plate.
6. Rely on spices and extracts to mimic sweetness without adding sugar.
You would be surprised how spices like turmeric and cinnamon and extracts like vanilla can amp up the sweetness of a dish without adding a single ounce of sugar. Play around with flavor profiles you like before dumping in any type of sweetener. If you absolutely need some sweetness, add a small amount of honey or pure maple syrup.