You wake up craving your favorite icing-covered toaster pastry for breakfast. And you can’t wait to snag a few doughnut holes with lunch and maybe even some Rocky Road ice cream with dinner. All the while, your tongue is saying yes to all things sweet, but deep down, you know that your body is saying noooooo. You’re not alone. Research shows that fewer Americans in 2020 versus in 2019 reported attempting to curb or eliminate their sugar intake. In addition, Americans did not show a change in their preferences for sugar versus no-calorie or low-calorie sweeteners. And this is true despite the fact that consuming large amounts of sugar can devastate your health.
The sugar found in processed foods, sweets, and sodas has been linked to health issues such as tooth decay, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your sugar consumption on a daily basis.
Here’s a rundown on the top six tips for eating less sugar this year.
1. Reach for Applesauce
One of the best ways to stop eating too much sugar is to replace sugar with applesauce when baking your must-have desserts. Applesauce is great for adding sweetness and dimension to any lower-sugar treat. For instance, let’s say that certain recipes call for honey (¼ cup). Instead, combine just a little bit of honey (1 tablespoon) with some applesauce (3 tablespoons) to create a healthier yet tasty dessert. With the right quantity of applesauce, you could even forego the honey altogether when making bread or muffins, for example.
2. Watch What You Drink
Do you find yourself craving sweetened tea, energy drinks, sport drinks, or sodas on a regular basis? It’s time to satisfy your thirst and sweet tooth with some healthier alternatives. And no, we’re not necessarily talking about fruit juices, either, as these beverages can still feature
astounding quantities of excess sugar.
Naturally sugarless beverages that are worth incorporating into your diet include the following:
● Green tea
● Black tea
● Herbal tea
● Sparkling water (unsweetened)
These drinks won’t spike the level of sugar in your blood when you consume them, making them excellent options for pre-diabetics and diabetics. Because they are zero-calorie, they can also come in handy for losing weight or improving your overall health.
3. Choose Healthier Sweet Treats After Dinner
Yet another way to eat less sugar is to bid adieu to dairy and grain-based desserts, like ice cream, doughnuts, pies, and cakes. The high amounts of sugar in these treats cause the blood sugar to spike, and this may make you feel hungry, feel tired, and crave even more sugar.
Break the sugar-dessert cycle by adding a few more nutritious alternatives to the menu each evening. These include dark chocolate (chocolate that is 70%-plus cocoa), baked fruit, fresh fruit, and even Greek yogurt featuring fruit or cinnamon. What’s great about eating fruit in particular is that they also increase your antioxidant, mineral, vitamin, and fiber intake, which makes for a healthier body overall.
4. Turn the Sour into Sweet
Perhaps you’d like to replace pastries with fruit on a daily basis, but you can’t stand the sour taste of fruits, like grapefruit and lemon. Try consuming the Miracle Berry, a taste-modifying fruit that tricks the mind to perceive sour or tart fruits, foods, and drinks as sweet without any added sugar or sweeteners. This berry, which is native to Ghana, is available in tablet form: Simply place the tablet on your tongue, allow it to fully dissolve, and then enjoy your new favorite “sweet” treats. A wide variety of tart or sour foods, fruits, and drinks pair well with the Miracle Berry, including apple cider vinegar, low-sugar yogurt parfait, green/berry smoothies, and fruit salad. The berry can even make lemon water taste like fresh lemonade without the added sugar—perfect for a summer’s day beverage poolside.
5. Skip Cake-Like Foods at Breakfast Time
So, you’ve decided to replace those tempting desserts with fruit in the evenings—good for you. Now, let’s start replacing your dessert-like breakfast items, such as pancakes and waffles, with lower-sugar options. These options include the following:
● Whole grain toasted bread with avocado
● Egg scramble featuring veggies and cheese
● Greek yogurt containing nuts and fruit
● Oatmeal sweetened using fresh fruit
These alternatives to syrup-covered breakfast entrees are filled with the fiber and protein you need to stay feeling full till lunchtime. This will help you to prevent unnecessary snacking, which eventually puts on those unwanted pounds.
6. Sleep It Up
Finally, decrease your sugar intake simply by getting enough Zzz’s at night. Not getting adequate sleep increases your craving for foods that are high in calories, salt, fat, and sugar—like fast food. Meanwhile, those who get a good night’s rest are more likely to seek out healthier options, like vegetables and fruits.
Enjoy the Sweet Life without All of the Sweets Today
If you’re like most Americans, you admittedly eat nearly six tablespoons of sugar (more than 70 grams) each day. And sadly, that’s three times the amount recommended for women in particular. The good news? You no longer have to be like most Americans when it comes to
your addiction to sugar.
Follow the above-listed seven tips for eating less sugar as you seek to consume a healthier diet. With these tips, you can be well on your way to enjoying a healthier (but still sweet!) life in the months and years ahead.