With food additives and sweeteners saturating the modern diet, it can be difficult to limit the amount of sugar we consume. Eating sugary foods can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems, and even heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways to make small tweaks to your diet that can help you keep sugar intake under control. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from that won’t overexert your body with sugar.
Replacing High-Sugar Foods with Lower-Sugar Alternatives
The first step to reducing sugar intake is to become aware of which foods are high in sugar. Foods like candy, baked goods, soft drinks and fruit juices are notorious for their sugar content. To avoid these types of foods, focus on replacing them with lower sugar alternatives that offer the same level of satisfaction.
Fruit can be a great low-sugar snack, as it is naturally sweet and contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Another option is to look for sugar-free versions of favorite treats such as cakes and candies.
Controlling Portion Size
The best way to control your sugar intake is to practice portion control. Many processed foods contain large amounts of sugar, so it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes. Eating small portions of treats is a great way to make sure you enjoy your favorite foods without consuming too much sugar.
Additionally, it’s important to look at nutrition labels on packaged foods to check the sugar content per serving. This will also help you keep track of exactly how much sugar you’re consuming.
Making Healthy Swaps
Swapping out less healthy foods for healthier options is another way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Trade out sugary soft drinks for calorie-free water, or opt for oatmeal topped with nuts and fruit rather than cold cereal smothered in syrup.
Look for snacks that are sweetened with an alternative sweetener such as stevia, or simply create homemade snacks with fruits, nuts, and seeds. Most of these recipes can be easily prepared in minutes and enjoyed on the go.
Eliminating Hidden Sugars
It can be easy to overlook the sugars that are sneaking into our diets, but it’s important to be aware of these hidden sources of sugar. Many condiments, dressings, and sauces contain sugar, so be sure to read the labels on these items when shopping.
Another source of hidden sugar is alcohol. Many alcoholic beverages are high in sugar, so opt for a dryer option if possible.
Incorporating More Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber helps to neutralize the effects of sugar in the body, and aids in digestion. Incorporating more high-fiber foods into your diet can help to slow the digestion of sugar and keep blood sugar levels even. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
Reducing sugar intake can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be drastic. Making smart food swaps, controlling portion sizes, and incorporating more fiber-rich foods can go a long way in keeping your diet low in sugar. With a few simple changes, you can create a healthier and more balanced diet.