Ah sugar…how can one tiny white grain taste so good yet do so much damage? Many of us are aware of the impact that it can have on our waistlines, but the effects aren’t always visible. From diabetes to Candida and hyperglycaemia, too much sugar can have a massive impact on our health.
For that reason we could all benefit from reducing our intake. Even if you skip the chocolates and sweets, chances are you are probably still eating more sugar than you realise as it is often hidden in many unlikely foods.
However with a few simple swaps and substitutions you can cut down your sugar intake dramatically, and hopefully feel all the better for it!
Don’t drink it:
So many people add sugar to their tea and coffee! It may not taste as good to start, but cutting out the sugar can save you 16 calories per teaspoon. If you drank three cups a day with two teaspoons of sugar at a time that would be 672 calories a week,or 34,944 calories a year! If you cut this out you could lose nearly 10lbs in a year!
If you really need a sweet fix swap the sugar for a natural sweetener like xylitol or stevia.
NB: Xylitol is naturally sweeter than sugar so you may find that you need less in your drink.
Got a sweet craving? Try not to reach for the chocolates but instead try nature’s candy – fruit! As opposed to high calorie, high fat chocolate, fruit has the added bonus of fibre, natural sugars, vitamins and minerals in a low calorie package. Berries and apples are your best bet as they are slightly lower in sugar than other fruits like bananas.
Following on from the last tip, eating fresh foods as opposed to processed will help you to reduce your sugar intake. Many processed foods including savoury soups, tinned vegetables and beans contain added sugars, so buy them fresh to avoid any additives.
Happy Hour hints:
Alcohol is often high in sugar as it is, but has the added effect of stimulating insulin and raising blood sugar levels. This is why you often get extra hungry after a few drinks. If you do like a drink try to stay under the government recommended limits (2 units a day for women, 3 for men) and watch what you’re drinking. Wines, beer and cider are all high in sugar, as are many mixers. Your best bet is to stick to distilled vodka with soda and lime – the slimmers top tipple.
All it takes is a few easy changes and you could dramatically reduce your sugar intake and improve your health as a result. Try it out!
Do you consume much sugar? What are your tips for reducing your intake?