A selection of helpful ways to cut down on sugar

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Awareness around the impact of too much sugar consumption is certainly gathering pace. While much of the food and drink we consume does contain sugar, it’s important to make sure that we aren’t eating too much of it. Too much of the sweet stuff isn’t good for our health. 

Not all sugars are bad, though. For example, healthier natural sugars that are found in fruits and vegetables come with vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients our body needs. When sugar is a concern, though, is when it comes in the form of added sugars, usually in many processed foods that we typically eat. Sometimes sugar-free foods are spruced up with a sprinkling of sugar, too. Ultimately, while indulging in sugary snacks from time to time will probably do you no harm, it’s important to make sure that sugar consumption doesn’t reach unhealthy levels. In order to cut down on sugar, let’s take a look at some helpful things you can do. 

Don’t add sugar to your hot drinks 

One of the most common ways of cutting down on sugar is to avoid adding it to any hot drinks that are typically consumed throughout a day. For instance, tea or coffee drinkers commonly add sugar to their hot beverage. Instead of chucking some sugar into your tea or coffee, consider adding cinnamon to a cappuccino or hot chocolate instead. Not only will it add a sweeter layer to your drink, but cinnamon has a range of health benefits, too. 

Turn to spice 

Another great way of reducing your sugar cravings is by cutting down on sugar in your cooking. For example, some dishes require a sprinkling of sugar to help the flavours sing a bit more. Instead of employing those particular instructions, consider adding spices to boost the flavour and taste of your cooking instead. Sugar isn’t the only way to bring out flavours in food. In fact, it’s not a necessity at all. Some of the most flavoursome dishes come from a strong dose of spices. 

Understand Your Fruit 

Fruit is healthy – we all know this. In fact, it is emblematic of good health. You might look at the symbols – Cherries, Melons, Bananas, Plums – in a slot game like Fruit Shop, and then automatically associate the bright colors with vivacity and health. This has been drilled into us for ages. But fruits can provide a double-edged sword for sugars. In a nutshell, too much fruit can be bad for you, raising your sugar levels and even leading to obesity. Moreover, the sugars can react in different ways when the fruit is blended, like in smoothies. Eat fruit, yes, but have a plan around how much you take each day. 

Learn to say no to sugary snacks 

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One of the many reasons why people consume sugary foods is because they occasionally get a sweet tooth and feel the need to get a sugary kick. Being offered sweet treats from time to time is a common occurrence. Be sure to say no, though, as it can lead to binge-eating sugar which can, in turn, leave you wanting more and more of it in the future. Instead of eating a sugar-based snack, replace it with a healthier option, such as a tub of plain yoghurt or a rice cake with fruit or cashew spread. 

Be wary of 'sugar-free' foods

When a food is described as ‘sugar-free’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for us. Sugar-free foods generally replace sugar with a selection of artificial sweeteners that don’t aid anyone’s mission when it comes to cutting down on sugar. Although artificial sweeteners like sucralose and saccharin replace sugar, they don’t actually help to fight sweet cravings, instead confusing the brain and potentially leading to over-eating. Of course, consuming a sugar-free product is certainly better than tucking into something that is filled with sugar, but it shouldn’t be seen as a suitable replacement. 

Eat less refined options 

Cutting out white bread and white rice is a great way of avoiding added sugar, too. For example, white bread that is typically purchased at a supermarket is packed full of sugar. As an alternative, opt for wholegrain versions, like wholemeal bread, instead. They’re much healthier.