If you're looking for simple ways to lower your sugar intake, try making just one of these changes every two or three weeks:
- Reduce sodas. Instead of drinking soda pop, choose sparkling water. Better yet, replace carbonated drinks altogether with chilled water; add flavor with a slice of orange, strawberries, fresh mint or a lemon slice.
- Dress it yourself. Just two tablespoons of store-bought dressing adds up to 6 or 7 grams of sugar to that healthy salad! Make your own dressing with extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of balsamic vinegar and seasonings, like red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning. Or, buy dressings such as Ranch (which is often lower in sugar), or read labels to find a dressing low in sugar content.
- Frappuccinos no more! Blended beverages at coffee shops are often higher in sugar than eating several candy bars! Instead, try a small cappuccino, which will have about 45 fewer grams of sugar and will also be less expensive.
- Don’t trust “low fat.” For instance, while yogurt sounds healthy, even low-fat versions have as many as 20 grams of sugar—that’s as much as two sugary donuts. Instead, try eating plain Greek yogurt with some walnuts and natural fruit, such as blueberries or fresh peach slices.
- Replace juice with fruit. Apple and other juices are often loaded with lots of added sugar. You can save about 40 grams of sugar by simply eating fresh fruit instead. Or, read juice labels to find an option with less sugar than perhaps what you’re used to buying.
Finally, beware that added sugar often “hides” in many foods – even those that don’t necessarily taste sweet. Review labels carefully and buy fewer food items that list cane sugar or high fructose syrup as one of their top three ingredients.
If you make small changes to your diet over time, your taste buds will adapt more readily and you’re more likely to maintain healthier eating habits over time.