1. Read Food Labels
A majority of the sugar in our diet is hidden everyday food items we consume especially in the unlikeliest of places. This is why it's important to read food labels.
Breakfast cereals, tomato sauce, frozen entrees, canned soups and dressings, granola bars, fruit juice, and dried fruit all have added sugar in them and we don’t always know it.
Also, you should watch out for other names for sugar like:
- Agave nectar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Invert sugar
- Brown rice syrup
- Maple syrup
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup; and more
2. Consider Other Forms of Sweeteners
You don’t always need sugar to sweeten your food. You can use fresh fruit like berries or bananas to your cold cereals. You can also use dried fruit like dates and raisins for oatmeal.
Alternatively, you can use natural sweeteners to add a touch of sweetness to your food. Stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener that can help reduce blood pressure and blood sugar among people with diabetes.
You can also use erythritol, a substance naturally found in fruit that doesn't cause a blood sugar spike. Another naturally occurring sweetener is xylitol which has similar benefits as erythritol.
3. Make Smarter Food Choices
Sometimes the smallest decisions can have a great impact on our overall health and wellness. When shopping for food, be mindful of the things you put in your cart. Steer clear of processed food and opt for whole foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, and lean meats.
Instead of getting sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks opt for low-sugar beverages. This includes water, sparkling water, herbal teas, and unsweetened coffee.
If you love dessert, don’t fret. You can simply swap your cakes, pies, doughnuts and ice cream for healthier options like Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, dark chocolate, baked fruit, and dates. This way, you also get the added benefit of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from these healthier alternatives.
Most importantly, cook more. Making your food from scratch instead of ordering takeout means you know exactly what goes into your every meal. And yes, even the amount of sugar you put into it.