10 easy ways to reduce your sugar consumption

wellbeing

10 easy ways to reduce your sugar consumption

wellbeing

10 easy ways to reduce your sugar consumption

Following on from my Is sugar evil? post and some of the comments, I thought it might be useful to share a few easy ways to reduce the over all amount of sugar you eat. As I said in that post, I don’t believe that naturally sweet foods such as fruit should be eliminated, but for some of us it can be better for our health and wellbeing to keep an eye on how much sugar we are consuming from every source, including natural ones! I’ve been working with a couple of clients on sugar detoxes and these are some of the tips I’ve shared with them to help support their goals…

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1. Mix up your snacks. Rather than snacking on fruit or dried fruit, try hummus or nut butter with veggie sticks, coconut flour muffins, nuts and seeds, rice cakes with cottage cheese, roast chickpeas etc

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2. Choose coconut water instead of a juice or smoothie when you are out and about. Many coffee chains and supermarkets now offer coconut water as well. Just make sure you get a plain variety, not one with added fruit juice or concentrates.

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3. If you enjoy green smoothies, try using avocado and reducing the amount of fruit. Avocado adds a delicious creaminess to smoothies as well as making them more filling, without the need for quite so much fruit.

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4. Make your own sauces and marinades. Jarred pasta and curry sauces always contain unneeded added sugar and other artificial ingredients and preservatives. Use tomato passata and add your own garlic and herbs for pasta and use a good quality curry paste with added tinned full fat coconut milk to make curries.

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5. Don’t buy yoghurt with added fruit flavourings. Buy plain, full fat or 2% fat yoghurt and add your own fruit!

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6. Brew up a strong mug of fruity herbal tea (try using 4 tea bags to 4 mugs worth of boiling water and let them sit overnight) refrigerate the cold tea and use in place of fruit squash or cordial.

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7. Eat more fat! If the idea of reducing the sweet foods you eat is a bit scary, crowd out the sugar by focusing on eating more healthy fats instead of cutting out sugar. Full fat dairy, cheese, nuts, coconut products and avocado have lots of flavour and are super satisfying.

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8. Get to know sugar alternatives, but don’t go overboard. Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, xylitol and stevia are my faves.

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9. Balance out your fruit intake. If you have fruit with breakfast, for a snack, a piece with lunch and then some for dessert, that can be quite a bit! Try making a couple of meals or snacks fruit, dried fruit, sugar alternative and of course refined sugar free. 2-3 pieces of fruit is fine for most people, but listen to your body! Balancing out the kind of fruit you eat can also be helpful. For example you can eat lower sugar fruits like berries, kiwi fruit, pears, grapefruit etc more than higher sugar fruits like bananas, mango, persimmon and grapes.

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10. Experiment with making your own chocolate! It’s so easy – check out my simple super food chocolate cups recipe. Just coconut oil, cocoa powder and an alternative sweetener can create delicious chocolate free from any refined sugar or added ingredients. 

What tips do you have for reducing your sugar consumption?

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26 Comments

  1. Tamzin

    Love it all!! Great ideas I am trying to cut back on sugar it creeps in so easily but it has got to be reduced my skin hates me!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I’ve noticed my skin reacting to it as well :-(

      Reply
  2. KatBee

    My favourite alternative to sugary drinks is to mix about 1-2 (depending how much sweetness you like and/or allow yourself) with a little bit of warm water, then add it to a tall glass (appr 300 ml), top it up with cold plane sparkling water and squeeze in about 1/4-1/2 of a fresh lemon in it. Delish and easy.

    Reply
    • Laura

      That sounds lovely! Sparkling water with stuff is a great replacement for fizzy pop!

      Reply
  3. Karen O'Connor

    All great ideas. I’m (almost) sugar free using these sorts of tips, but it takes time, so be kind to yourself if you get lured in by the giant bar of chocolate, again!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Great tip! It definitely is better to be gentle with yourself!

      Reply
  4. Emma

    All good advice Laura. I’ve definitely found eating more fat leaves me satisfied without needing a sweet fix and coconut is slightly sweet as well so it’s the perfect choice!
    I’ve been making my own chocolate too so I can control the sweetness myself.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Absolutely love coconut, and so with you on the home made chocolate, I need to buy more coconut oil so I can keep on making batches of it!

      Reply
  5. Zoe

    I really like the idea of making up herbal teas and putting them in the fridge. I keep meaning to do this every summer! It’s nice to have something healthy and refreshing in the house.

    Reply
  6. Caroline

    Thanks that was such a helpful post. I see you mention maple syrup I was beginning to be unsure if maple syrup was a good or bad sugar as everything in the press you read is so confusing. Same goes for honey I have read that should also be avoided. Where do you buy your coconut sugar and is how much does it cost roughly? Can you weigh it and use it for baking like normal sugar? Sorry for the all the questions but it seems like you have the answers!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I tend to think that maple syrup and honey are ok in moderation, the issue people have with them is that they contain fructose, but so does fruit! I get my coconut sugar from iHerb.com and it costs about £6 with postage. You can also get it from Amazon and Holland and Barrett although it might be more expensive! I tend to use it in exact replacement for sugar, although it is less sweet and does have a more malty taste so tends to be better swapping brown sugar than white x

      Reply
  7. catherine

    I like to add spices like cinnamon to things to give the illusion of sweetness! Instead of coke I am addicted to fizzy water (like a serious addiction, what is it?!). I am not a huge smoothie fan, I’d rather just eat the fruit tbh! Love the herbal tea tip for the summer :)

    Reply
    • Laura

      Ooh the herbal tea with sparkling water would be nice! I love cinnamon but for some reason I feel weird using it in the spring and summer!

      Reply
  8. Lucy

    Good tips! I love coconut water :-)
    Tip 5 is a good one for me, as I eat a lot of Chobani/Danio yoghurts which come with the fruit already at the bottom of the pot- I should try substituting for Total Greek and having that with my fruit.

    Reply
  9. LilyLipstick

    Great tips, I do have quite a sweet tooth but am definitely going to try to swap fruit snacks for veggie ones. I stopped buying flavoured yogurts a while ago and now find them so sickly! x

    Reply
  10. Mary

    I am reasonably good at not having large amounts of sugar. But every now and then I get a craving for something really sugary – usually not long after breakfast if I haven’t had fruit with my meal. I prefer fresh fruit to dried, drink water over anything else and prefer having veggies for snacks in the day. It’s just curbing that early morning craving I need to work on!

    Reply
    • Laura

      That’s interesting that you get that craving in the morning, most people get it in the afternoon! Do you drink coffee? Just wondering if that might be lifting your blood sugar levels and then lowering them leading to the craving? Good idea to have fruit with breakfast though, I know I need something a little sweet ;-)

      Reply
  11. Maria @ runningcupcake

    I love mint iced tea in the summer- I use two tea bags brewed in a cup, then add it to a jug with lots of cold water and leave that in the fridge- so delicious.
    I love coconut water too. I agree that just making your own things instead of pre bought things are better- eg soups. And also cereals- I only tend to have porridge or muesli but so many cereals (even cornflakes) have sugar in them.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Mmm that sounds lovely, roll on summer!

      Reply
  12. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Squash is still my downfall sadly. I love adding the sugar free variety to water. And I know that even though there’s no sugar, there’s still lots of chemicals. But it’s a weakness I can’t give up.
    My tip would be to have dark chocolate instead of milk. You don’t need much to satisfy the craving.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Absolutely agree on the chocolate, one of the best things I did was going from milk to dark!

      Reply
  13. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Great post Laura, I think it’s the hidden sugars that people don’t even realise they are eating that catch people out, like yoghurts, tinned/jarred foods, bread etc . I think snacks like nuts/seeds, chia pudding, nut butter/hummus with veggie sticks are great alternatives if you are trying to cut back on sugar.

    Reply
  14. Nics Notebook

    I have gone almost 4 weeks without sugar (except fruit) and feel so much better. Don’t miss chocolate at all! My skin hasn’t really improved tho, but going to stick with it as I’ve dropped a few pounds and feel better. x

    Reply

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