7 days 7 ways
TO… LOWER YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
Limit packaged foods; they contain a lot of refined sugars. Check labels for hidden sugars, listed as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose and HFCS (high-fructose corn syrups). One teaspoon of sugar is four grams, so a brownie with 20 grams of sugar contains five teaspoons of sugar.
Cut down on sweet spreads such as jam, marmalade and honey. Instead, try small amounts of prune or date spread, nut butter or tahini with banana, avocado or cottage cheese. Avoid sauces and dressings with added sugar. Make your own sugar-free dressings and sauces with fresh ingredients.
Avoid soft drinks and sweetened fruit juices. Soft drinks are packed with sugar (some up to 10 teaspoons per can) and additives. Instead, go for freshly squeezed juices or 100 per cent fruit juice with no added sugars. Make your own healthy soft drink by mixing a quarter fruit juice with mineral water.
Swap your sugar in tea and coffee for a natural sweetener such as stevia or xylitol. Stevia (a South American herb) and xylitol (found in certain fruits and vegetables) are low in calories and won’t cause sharp spikes in bloodsugar levels, so are ideal for diabetics.
Get rid of sugary treats in the house and stock up on healthy treats instead. Swap chocolate for sugar-free carob or protein bars and make wholemeal cakes and muffins sweetened with fruit and stevia or xylitol. Snack on tubs of yoghurt and hummus with vegie sticks or rice crackers.
By making a few simple changes
every day you can cut back on
the sweet stuff
Shun sugary breakfast cereals and choose ones free of added sugars and high in fibre and nutrients. Good choices include whole oat porridge, natural muesli, puffed or flaked quinoa, millet, amaranth and buckwheat. Sweeten your cereal with fresh or dried fruit, vanilla or fruit yoghurt, or cinnamon.
Watch out for added sugars in yoghurt. Some commercial yoghurts contain up to five teaspoons of sugar per tub. Products labelled “low-fat” could still contain a lot of sugar. Buy yoghurt naturally sweetened with fruit or buy plain yoghurt and add fresh or pureed fruit, nuts, seeds or natural muesli.