If you’re reading this, you probably want to cut sugar out of your diet. There are numerous reasons as to why sugar is bad for you and just like with any addiction, you need to be in the right mindset to be able to make proactive changes. If you consider yourself war-ready, you can try to kill your sugar cravings by going cold turkey or opting for natural alternatives. If not, take baby steps to cut your sugar intake.
8 ways to cut your sugar intake right away
1. Ditch the flavoured yoghurt
Manufacturers have concocted numerous flavoured yoghurts while keeping them ‘fat-free’ and consumers have fallen hook, line and sinker for them. These flavoured yoghurts are chock-full of sugar, giving you a nasty sugar rush. Grab some plain yoghurt and add fresh fruits to it instead, alongside honey or maple syrup to cut sugar from your diet. What’s the best kind of yoghurt? Greek of course. And you can make it yourself too.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
This enigmatic drink has been used for decades to treat numerous ailments such as digestive problems and acid reflux. On top of that, ACV also helps to lower blood sugar levels. If you find yourself losing to a sugar binge, add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water, and drink it. This little concoction is also great when you are coming down with the flu.
3. Dark chocolate
Chocolate connoisseurs fret not — you don’t have to give up chocolate completely. Instead, treat your taste buds to some dark chocolate. They are loaded with antioxidants, magnesium, iron and zinc. Dark chocolate has a sweet beginning and a bitter aftertaste, so chances are you won’t be devouring an entire bar in one seating.
4. Throw out the flavoured sodas
Every time you have the urge to reach for your favourite soda, drink a glass of water. You cut sugar and calories at the same time! If you want flavour, try adding a squirt of fresh citrus or a dash of cayenne pepper to make it tastier. Better yet, use soda water to get the same fizz a soda would give you, sans the calories.
5. Detox your fridge
It is easier to cut sugar from your diet if you raid your fridge and kick out all the bad stuff — including ice-cream, condensed milk and candies. If you really need your favourite ice-cream in your freezer, get mini variations. That way, the damage won’t be severe.
6. Say no to cocktails
We all know how a drink or two can help in any situation but cocktails are filled with sugar — imagine waking up with a terrible hangover and a bloated stomach. If you need to have a drink, pick wine or mix your go-to spirit with soda water and a spritz of fresh lime.
7. DIY to cut your sugar intake
Store-bought pasta sauce and salad dressings have made home-cooking easier, but at what cost? You are feeding yourself (and your loved ones) chemicals, preservatives and tonnes of sugar. Make your own salad dressing or pasta sauce and if you have to use sugar for the latter, we are certain it will still be less than what’s put into those bottles at the supermarket.
8. Choose healthy desserts
This is doable if you know what you want. Firstly, you shouldn’t be buying desserts from a bakery. You should be making your own, so you know what really goes into the batter. There are numerous natural sweeteners you can use such as stevia, maple syrup and xylitol to cut sugar content in a recipe.
Oh, and Google is your friend too! Look up low-sugar or no-sugar alternatives to your favourite desserts and keep trying until you find a recipe you like.