How to Eat Less Sugar
It might be difficult to control the amount of sugar in the food you eat, especially when there is added sugar in lots of products. However, there are still some ways to eat less of it.
5-Minute Crafts prepared this guide to give you some useful tips on how to cut down on sugar.
1. Cut down on sugary drinks.
Many drinks, even those considered to be “healthy” (smoothies, fruit juices), can contain a great amount of sugar. For example, 1 cup (8 oz) of orange juice contains about 6 tsp of sugar (24 g). Iced tea also contains 24 g (6 tsp) of sugar per 1 cup, and sports drinks have 14 g (3.5 tsp) of sugar per cup.
A body absorbs calories from drinks quickly, so sugar levels grow very fast in the blood. In addition, after drinking something, you don’t feel as full as after eating solid food. So, most likely, you will not eat less, even if you have already consumed many calories from drinks.
In that way, cutting back on sugary drinks can help you to lose weight and improve overall health.
Here are some low-sugar beverage alternatives:
- Unsweetened sparkling water
- Herbal tea
2. Avoid some sauces.
You might be surprised at how much sugar everyday sauces contain, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, and chili. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains about 1 teaspoon of sugar (making it 29% sugar by weight). Try to check for sugars on food labels and choose sauces with a “no added sugar” mark.
Here are some healthier options that are naturally low in added sugars to season your food with:
- Lemon or lime juice
3. Double-check “healthy” processed snack foods for sugar.
Granola, protein bars, and dried fruit — all these snacks can contain more sugar than you expect. In fact, they can be marked as “natural” for marketing purposes but have the same amount of sugar in them as chocolate does.
Dried fruit is full of fiber and nutrients but also contains concentrated amounts of natural sugar (and some kinds may be “candied” with added sugar).
Go for healthy snacks:
- Nuts and seeds
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh fruit
- No-sugar-added jerky
4. Be careful with canned foods.
As you might know, fruits and vegetables contain natural sugar. However, it doesn’t affect your blood sugar the same way added sugar does. Try not to buy canned foods that have sugar in them (check the ingredient list). Choose ones labeled “packed in water” or “no added sugar” instead.
A little life hack: If you’ve already purchased canned fruit with added sugar, rinse it in water before eating. It will help to remove some of the sugar.
5. Avoid sugary breakfast foods.
Consider checking what you eat for breakfast, as some cereals can be full of sugar. According to experts, cereal can contain more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per serving (which is 88% by weight). Pancakes, waffles, muffins, and jams also contain a lot of sugar.
Try the following low-sugar breakfast alternatives instead:
- Oatmeal with fresh fruit
- Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts
- Scrambled eggs with cheese and veggies
- Avocado on whole-grain toast
6. Cut the serving or replace it.
If you aren’t ready to replace your favorite desserts or love baking, there’s a solution.
Just cut the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half in a recipe while preparing it. The difference isn’t really noticeable. And if you want to go a step further, if a recipe calls for some sugar, you can replace it with applesauce to add sweetness to your meals without using sugar.