Tools to reduce your sugar intake
Who doesn't love sugar? It's tempting, and addictive. That's the problem. So, how do we reduce our intake?
We all know that too much sugar is bad for you. It contributes to weight gain, being high in calories and low in nutrients. It absorbs quickly, causing sugar spikes and eventually playing havock on insulin responses.
Cutting sugar is simpler if you understand sugar, and can use your knowledge to avoid consuming too much. It's so more than just being advised to 'avoid sugary foods'...
There's two types of sugar
Free sugars, which are added to foods, can be found in lots of processed items. Doughnuts, cakes, biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks, the list goes on. All of these foods have little nutrition and as they are high in sugar, will cause a huge sugar spike in your blood levels. The inevitable sugar crash is not pretty.
Naturally occuring sugars can be found in milk, fruit and veg, are not as concerning for our health. The reason for this is because the concentration of sugar in these foods is low, and they arrive alongside other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fibre is of interest here, as it will slow down the absorption of sugar, therefore halting any threatening sugar spike.
Reading the nutritional information is key
Check the labels of food before they hit your basket at the supermarket. Traffic light labelling is really useful in this environment; if the sugar content is red, you know it's high in sugar. Aim for green, and if you're having a treat, sneak in an amber. Use the labelling as an easy way to keep you on track.
Prepare meals and snacks at home if you can.
It's much easier to have control at this point, rather than having to inspect lots of food labels before making a decision. Meal prepping gives you control over your sugar intake, plus it's cheaper!
Plan your foods on the go
Grab and go snacks are for when we're busy bees. Unfortunately, most of the options are packed with added sugar. Plan ahead and make sure you've got some savoury options to reach for to help avoid extra sugar in your day. Roasted spiced chickpeas, carrot batons, biltong, oatcakes or rice cakes are all easy options.
Don't remove treats from your life completely! Be sensible, educated, and understand the impact of your food choices.