10 easy ways to reduce your sugar intake
Ah, sugar. Enemy of the health-conscious and savvy foodies everywhere. If you're trying to cut back on the white stuff, beware: it's not just the sugar in your tea or coffee in the morning you need to avoid. Sugar can be hidden in surprisingly large quantities where you least expect it: in dried fruit, 'healthy' yoghurts and, of course, all starchy carbs.
There's a lot of research to show that sugar can be both addictive and seriously detrimental to your health and waistline. But how can you avoid extra sugar sneaking into your daily diet? In this thread, Mumsnetters shared their tips on the small changes you can make to what you and your family eat, to help you all cut down. We've picked out some of the most useful tips for you here.
- Switch to porridge
Most breakfast cereals - even those, such as granola, which purport to be healthy, are loaded with sugar. Porridge is a great alternative.
- Avoid "low-fat" foods
Keep your eyes peeled for anything marked "low-fat", which can often mean it's padded out with sugary carbs to replace lost flavour.
- Keep an eye on your yoghurt
Yoghurt might seem like a healthy choice, but sweetened fruit flavours should be treated like a pudding and not a virtuous snack. Have sparingly.
- Cook from scratch
Ready-made foods have an alarming amount of sugar (have a look under 'carbohydrate'). Try to reduce how much you buy them, and aim to cook from scratch more often.
- Eat more protein
Sugar cravings hit when your blood sugar levels spike, then plummet. Tackle this by increasing the protein in your diet - it'll leave you feeling satisfied for longer by keeping your blood sugar levels more stable.
- Chocoholic? Go dark
Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk or white, giving you a cocoa hit without disrupting your blood sugar, with some lovely health benefits as well.
- Wholegrain, wholegrain, wholegrain
Eat things in a state as close to natural as possible. Swap white carbs for wholegrain or wholemeal wherever you can.
- Tackle cravings with other flavours
Got a particularly powerful sugar craving? Some Mumsnetters substitute other strong-tasting snacks, like cheese with oatcakes and pickled onion, which help take the edge off.
- Just because it's fruit doesn't mean it's good for you
If you're trying to reduce the amount of sugar you consume, don't overlook your fruit intake. Fruit juice and dried fruit are full of a type of sugar called fructose; even if they count towards one of your five-a-day, they're very sugary.
- Consider making your own bread
If you have the time, or a bread machine, replace shop bought loaves with your own home baking.