8 Practical Ways to Reduce Sugar Consumption (Sugar Blog Part 2)
In my first blog post on sugar, I discussed the impact sugar has on our blood sugar and why consuming sugar puts us on the “blood sugar roller coaster” and is bad for our weight-loss goals. Sugar turns OFF our fat burning mechanisms and turns ON our fat storage mechanism – not what we want!
How can you utilize this information? You can be cognizant of how much sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis. Reduce consumption of desserts and sweet snacks, sodas, sweetened teas and flavored coffee beverages. Be especially wary of sweetened drinks delivering a sugar overload: A seemingly innocent 12-oz vanilla latte from Starbucks has 14g (3.5 teaspoons!) of added sugar in the flavored syrup, while the 12-oz white chocolate mocha packs a whopping 33g (8 teaspoons!) of added sugar. (For the record: that’s more sugar than the World Health Organization and American Heart Association recommend consuming in an entire day, neatly packaged into a single beverage that you can consume in under 15 minutes.)
If you eat a lot of processed, packaged foods – even those that are not “dessert-like” or that you would suspect to contain sugar (granola bars, store-bought salad dressings, soups, marinades, sauces, flavored yogurt, cereal… to name a few), you are probably consuming more sugar than you realize. Read labels and look for sugar or its many aliases (high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, agave, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, corn syrup). You’ll be shocked when you realize all the places where sugar lurks!
Here are a few ways to reduce the sugar in your diet:
- Mix fresh fruit into plain yogurt instead of buying fruit-at-the-bottom or flavored yogurt (which carries added sugars!)
- Eat plain nuts and sunflower/pumpkin seeds with fresh fruit instead of store-bought granola bars
- Make your own salad dressing by combining olive oil with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar instead of using store-bought dressings
- Snack on veggie sticks with peanut/almond butter, hummus or salsa instead of cookies or crackers when you’re craving something crunchy
- Replace soda and sweetened bottled teas with water (still or sparkling) with lemon, lime, or cucumber wedges
- Replace flavored coffee creamers with half & half, milk, or heavy cream. Gradually cut back on the sugar you’re adding to your coffee. Consider trying “bulletproof coffee”: blend coconut oil and unsalted organic butter into your coffee with a hand immersion blender for a frothy treat that will keep you feeling full ‘til lunch!
- Have fresh fruit and cheese for dessert instead of sweets
- Replace candy or milk chocolate with dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa)
Interested in learning more about cutting back on sugar or reviewing what you’re eating to see where you can do some dietary “post-holiday cleaning”? Contact me to see how I can help you!