8 Tips for Reducing Your Sugar Intake

March 30, 2016
cutsugar
Americans love desserts, white breads and sweetened drinks. Unfortunately, these foods are high in calories, and those many of those calories come from sugar.
You may not think of white bread as being high in sugar. But our bodies do not recognize the difference between white bread and white sugar. They do, however, distinguish between white bread and wheat bread. Wheat bread has fiber and is absorbed more slowly in our bloodstream, keeping us fuller for longer and regulating sugar highs and lows.

Cut the sugar

• Replace regular soda with sugar free alternatives. Try diet drinks, water with lemon, Crystal Light, unsweetened tea with Splenda or Stevia, seltzer water and herbal tea.
• Use fruit as a sweetener. Substitute some of the sugar and liquids in a recipe with ripe bananas, applesauce, pineapple or other fruit puree. Dried fruits like dates, raisins and figs add wonderful sweetness to foods.
• Try Stevia. This herb is extremely sweet by nature but without any calories or sugar-like effects on the body. You can use as little as a couple of drops to sweeten a mug of tea or a few teaspoons in a dessert.
• Cut back on the sugar in your recipes. Start by cutting the amount by 1/4, 1/3, even 1/2. See at which point you really start to notice a difference. Over time you might find that you enjoy the less sweetened version.
• Use brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Whole grain foods are an excellent source of fiber and are packed with nutrients you need to be healthy. Try stuffing baked green peppers or tomatoes with brown rice and making macaroni and cheese out of whole wheat noodles.
• Use whole grains in mixed dishes. Try adding barley to vegetable soup and stews. You can use bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries.
• Remember to check the food label on packaged foods. Whole grain foods will have a whole grain listed as the first ingredient.
• Experiment with whole wheat flour and oat flour. Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flour-based recipes. Tip: You may need a bit more leavening.

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