4 simple ways to eat less sugar

Nutrition experts say the increased amount of sugar included in our diets is indirectly leading to health concerns such as osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer weight problems and obesity. Fortunately, here's how to watch your sugar consumption.

4 simple ways to eat less sugar

1. Establish rules about dessert

  • For instance, have dessert only after dinner, never after lunch. Or eat dessert only on odd days of the month, or just at weekends or in restaurants.
  • If you have a long tradition of daily desserts, then make it your rule to have raw fruit at least half of the time.
  • A tub of ice cream in the freezer is temptation defined.
  • A recommended rule: no ice cream kept at home. Ice cream should always be a treat worth travelling for.

2. Go for a walk when you crave sweetness

Studies find that athletes' preference for sweetened foods declines after exercise. Instead, they then prefer salty foods.

3. Get your chocolate in small doses

  • Dip fresh strawberries into low-fat chocolate sauce, scatter chocolate sprinkles over your plain yogurt or eat a mini-piece of dark chocolate – freeze it so that it lasts longer in your mouth.
  • Think rich and decadent but in tiny portions.

4. Seek out substitutes

  • With saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose all commercially available, you can still get the sweetness of sugar without the calories.
  • These sweeteners can be particularly useful as part of a diabetic diet.
  • Similarly, xylitol is a natural sweetener as well as a sugar substitute, which is found in fruits such as strawberries, pears and plums.
  • It's safe for those with diabetes and it actually improves the quality of your teeth, as well as having fibre-like health benefits.
  • Beware, though: eating large quantities of xylitol may have a laxative effect.
  • Substitute apple sauce or puréed prunes for half the sugar in recipes. You can also use them in place of the fat in the recipe.
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