Small Steps to Reduce your Sugar Intake
Reduce sugar in recipes
Lots of extra sugar can be hidden in baked goods and other dishes. Even recipes that are seemingly healthy can end up being full of sweeteners and syrups. A lot of the time, you can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe and won’t be able to tell the difference. Whether it’s brownies or pies, cakes or cookies, don’t be afraid to play around with the quantities. You’re likely to find that it ends up being equally delicious!
Pack smoothies with more veg
It can be easy to add all your favourite fruits into a delicious smoothie, but vegetables can often get left behind. If you make smoothies at home, try adding in spinach, kale, or even frozen courgette! You’ll sneak in an extra portion of veg and will still be able to enjoy the sweetness provided by any fruit. If you prefer buying smoothies when out and about, check the options that contain more veg and not only high amounts of fruit.
Choose water over juice
Fruit juice only counts for one of your 5 a day, so why not sip on water the next time you’re thirsty? Infusing water with fruit like strawberries and oranges creates a slightly sweeter taste. Alternatively, you could add in lemon and cucumber for a refreshing twist. If you find yourself still struggling to stay away from the juices, try diluting them with water, having one part water to one part juice.
Try sugarless teas and coffees
It may sound daunting to do without teaspoons of sugar in your daily cuppa, but doing without can reduce your sugar intake by a dramatic amount. It’s easy to fall into a routine of adding the same spoonfuls of sugar into your hot drink, and other types of sweetener are not usually the best option either. Your taste buds might take bit of time to adjust (I’ve been there!), but avoiding or limiting sugary additions in hot beverages can be a great step for your overall health.
Be a mindful snacker
If you realise your snacks largely consist of sugary and processed items, think about alternatives you could try. Whole food sweet snacks (such as fruit) have the additional benefit of being high in fibre. This allows for the steadier release of sugar into the bloodstream and can be more beneficial than quick fix sugary snacks. Here are some of my ideas for quick healthy vegan snacks
Read the ingredients
Ingredients on food and drink products are listed in order of weight, so be aware if sugar is listed as one of the first ingredients. When possible, spend a few extra moments looking at the nutrients of a product, and maybe even consider searching for a similar item that’s lower in sugar. The traffic light system (displayed on many food and drinks in the UK) can also be helpful.
If you have a sweet tooth like me, trying to consume less sugar can seem like an almost impossible task. However, small steps towards having fewer sugary snacks and fewer sugar-laden drinks, is positive change.