Learn 5 simple tips for eating less sugar. These tips will help you cut down on the amount of sugar you're eating every day and still satisfy your cravings.
Over the past few years, sugar has become the major villain in the health industry. It used to be gluten, then it was dairy and now it's definitely focused on sugar. But you know what? I'm okay with it because there is simply far too much sugar in our modern diets.
But why does it really matter? The truth of the matter is that eating too much sugar isn't healthy. It causes a whole host of health issues including…
- Weight gain
- Hormone imbalances
- Energy level fluctuations
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of diabetes
And so much more! So that's exactly what we're going to talk about today. But we aren't going to make it scary. We're simply going to show you how to eat less sugar with a few easy swaps.
Tips for Eating Less Sugar
So today I've got 5 super simple tips for eating less sugar. These tips don't involve cutting anything out, becoming overly restrictive or removing sugar completely. They're just easy changes you can make that will have an immediate impact.
1. Eat Dark Chocolate
Are you a dessert person? I am! Give me some freshly baked cookies and I'll go to town. And while I might still partake in that sometimes, I know that my daily dessert habit can't sustain something as rich as 2 – 3 cookies each night. I'm totally the type of person that gets sweet cravings after dinner, as I'm sure you probably are too, and my solution is dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate that is 70% or higher is ideal. It will satisfy that craving, but you aren't jacking up your blood sugar too much. Just two squares should do it. My other trick is to break the squares off the bar while I'm in the kitchen, put them away in the cupboard and then go back to our living room. That way I'm really portion controlling myself to just the two squares.
My favorite brand of chocolate is Hu Kitchen as it's sweetened with coconut sugar instead of cane sugar.
2. Use Vanilla and Cinnamon
My second trick is to use warm spices in your recipes which should help cut the added sugar by about half. This will work for things like coffee/tea, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. By using things like vanilla and cinnamon, you get the feeling of something being sweet without the actual sugar. This won't work for baking as much because the proportions will be off, but it will definitely help to “trick” your mind into feeling satisfied with less sugar. Try this: reduce the amount of added sugar by 1 tbsp and replace is 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and/or cinnamon.
3. Use a Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener
We talked about whether artificial sweeteners are healthy a few weeks back and I mentioned two natural alternatives which are great. Both stevia and monk fruit extract are naturally derived sources from plants that don't contain any calories. They're a great way to sweeten up things like coffee, matcha, oatmeal and even pancakes or smoothies. They won't spike your blood sugar, but just remember that a little goes a long way. All you'll need are a few sprinkles.
You also want to make sure that when you're shopping for a natural no-calorie sweetener, that you're getting one that is pure. Look at the ingredient label – all you should see is the name of the sweetener (stevia leaf or lo han/monk fruit extract). There's no needed for fillers or additives. You also want to get one that is non-GMO if possible as well.
4. Drink an Herbal Tea
Next time you're craving something sweet, instead of reaching for dark chocolate or a cookie, brew up some herbal tea. The beauty of herbal tea is that there are hundreds of flavors to choose from. And a lot of them will have a naturally sweet taste! Look for teas that include some fruit (like apple, orange, berries, etc.), as well as lemon, hibiscus, mint, cinnamon, and vanilla. I'm guessing you'll find that your sweet tooth goes away as you're sipping on your “sweet” tea. Plus, you're getting the benefit of hydration which also helps to curve cravings.
5. Add Frozen Veggies to Your Smoothie
Are you a smoothie drinker? You know I am and this is a trick that I've been using for about 2 years that has really helped me cut back on the amount of sugar I'm consuming each day. I want to start by telling you that sugar from fruit isn't bad. But it is still sugar and it's really easy to add a ton of sugar into your smoothie without really knowing it.
A lot of times you'll see smoothies with banana, mango, pineapple, dates, coconut water, juice, and spinach. While each of those things is super duper healthy, together (and in liquid form) they can present a sugar problem. The solution? Swap half the fruit in your smoothies with frozen vegetables.
My two favorite vegetables to have with smoothies are cauliflower and zucchini. Both are high in fiber, have a really creamy texture when blended and don't have any flavor. I promise you won't be able to taste them at all!
If you need a little inspiration, check out my Hidden Veggie Pineapple Green Smoothie recipe!
Any More Tips for Eating Less Sugar?
We'd love to open it up to you. What tips do you have or that you use to help reduce the amount of sugar in your diet? Let us know in the comments below!