Now’s the Time
Eating less sugar can make a positive difference on overall health. Whether the goal is to have a slimmer body, normal blood sugar levels, or feel better in general, here are some great suggestions to help you get started.
Cut It Down
Try eating food that’s less sweet and see if you notice or mind.
- Reduce the amount of sugar (white or brown), syrup, honey, or molasses normally added to food or drinks like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. You may even enjoy it more!
Try New Flavors
Following a healthy blood sugar diet is a great way to surprise your taste buds.
- Substitute sugar with fruit products like unsweetened applesauce or bananas; extracts from vanilla, almond, orange, or lemon; or spices like ginger, allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon.
Add a Fruit
Ditch the candy bars and grab some fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruit.
- The sugar in fruit is natural, and will satisfy your sweet tooth without all the added sugar that’s in other sweetened products. Be careful though. Some frozen, dried, or canned fruit may have extra sugar added, so check the label first.
- Boost the flavor of foods like unsweetened oatmeal and plain yogurt by tossing in some fresh bananas and strawberries, or dried cranberries and raisins.
Switch the Drink
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a big source of added sugar in Americans’ diets. But there are alternatives.
- Drink sugar free or low-calorie drinks. Trading regular soda for diet soda is a start. Drinking unflavored iced tea is a great alternative as well. Try taking your coffee black, or with less milk and an artificial sweetener.
- Say “no” to sugar bombs like whipped cream on a latte or flavored syrups in smoothies and teas. They add a lot of sugar to already sweet treats.
- Drink water. It’s that simple. Water is sugar free and crucial for your health. So instead of keeping sugary drinks around, always have a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge, and serve water with meals. You can even make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon; or drink sparkling water.
Understand the Labels
“Sugar” is not the only ingredient in food that contains sugar. There are other sweeteners made of—or—with—sugar, including:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Corn syrup
Make sure you read the ingredients on the package—or look them up on the internet—before you eat or drink something. You might be surprised how much sugar or sugar-based ingredients it has.
Try Eating Less
Is the idea of removing sugary foods from your diet too painful to bear? One solution is to cut down on portion sizes.
- For example, order the smallest or child’s size soda (or really anything that gives you that option); share a slice of pizza; split the dessert; and save half your meal for later.
- These last suggestions don’t make a sugar free diet, but they will give your body less sugar at one time.