The road to better health and wellness is made up of many small, manageable changes you can make to your daily routine. Whether that means yoga, workouts, or dietary changes, it doesn’t have to be a big project. A few easy ways to cut down on sugar will provide an accessible starting point if you’re looking to make your diet healthier.
Look Elsewhere for Sweetness!
You can find natural sugars in fruits and vegetables. A fresh apple can satisfy cravings for sweetness just as well as an apple-flavored lollipop. When baking, try substituting stevia extract, honey, or unsweetened applesauce for white table sugar.
Throwing away all your sugar may seem like a draconian measure—but don’t worry. You don’t have to. Go through your cabinets anyway, though. Extra-sugary cereals and snacks may belong more so in the trash rather than in your diet.
Mind Your Beverages!
Sodas are a well-known culprit for excess sugar, and excessive consumption can lead to health concerns like increased heart rate and tooth decay. If you like the carbonation of soda, try sparkling water instead. If you really like your beverages sweet, swap to a diet or sugar-free version (but look at the ingredient list and watch out for artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners).
There’s also a surprising amount of sugar in alcoholic beverages, too! Cutting beer and wine out of your life is good for your health, but not mandatory. You can still enjoy a glass of wine without getting a sugar overload; different types of wine are naturally lower in sugar than others. Try a chardonnay instead of a Moscato!
You’ve probably heard, multiple times and from multiple sources, that fat is bad and should be avoided. This is patently untrue! Fat is a foundational building block of nutrition. The body needs it to function. Many of the low-fat, low-calorie snacking options available are packed with added sugars to provide flavor.
Don’t be afraid of full-fat yogurt. It tastes delicious and contains a fraction of the sugar content you’ll find in the low-fat variety. Pour whole milk into a home-brewed cup of black coffee instead of buying a fancy, low-fat drink from the coffee shop.
Healthy living starts at home, especially in the kitchen. Changing your diet doesn’t have to mean replacing a pantry’s worth of food. Just make a few key replacements, look more closely at ingredient lists, and use these easy ways to cut down on sugar to improve your overall health.