Again, I am no health/diet expert, but I do know my strong affinity to sugar. (I’m sure some of you can relate!) After just a few minutes of research, it’s no secret sugar is bad for you, especially in excess.
Recently I’ve made a commitment to myself to supervise how much sugar I am consuming and to at least be conscientious of it. I don’t have any problems with sugar, but I’d love to prevent a few cavities down the road. And it’s never too late to break a bad habit!
I’ve jotted down a few benefits of reducing sugar intake, just in case you were looking for some extra motivation:
- Improved quality of sleep
- Clearer complexion & younger looking skin
- Improved dental health
- Reduced risk for diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased energy
- Reduced risk of depression
Are you sold yet? I certainly hope so! I’m banking on the fact that at least one of those items sounds appealing to you. So how exactly can you cut back on sugar intake?
Below I’ve listed a few ideas for cutting down on sugar consumption.
Switching to Vodka Soda Limes
No, I don’t think this is the most delicious drink ever, BUT it is guilt-free! Vodka is considered one of the lowest calories alcohols and can even help lower cholesterol.
Some of our favorite sauces, such as ketchup and BBQ sauce, have a surprisingly high amount of sugar. Even if you’re paying attention to the nutrition facts, who actually follows the serving size? Anyways, sugar can add up really quickly here.
If you’re looking for healthier alternatives, I’ve found that mustard, balsamic vinegar, hummus, pesto, salsa, sesame oil, and lemon juice are solid options.
“Skinny” Coffee Orders
You’d be shocked at how much sugar and fat are in your typical Starbucks order. SHOCKED.
You probably guessed it, but black coffee. As simple (and boring) as it gets! If you’re in the mood for some more flavor, the following coffee drinks work too: Caffe Americano, Iced/Non-Iced Late Macchiato, Iced Latte, and tea. When ordering a coffee drink that includes milk, you can ask for a “skinny” version – essentially the same drink, but swapping out the milk for non-fat milk.
Still craving something sweet like a chai latte? You can ask for a “skinny chai latte”.
Dark chocolate is rich in many nutrients and antioxidants. Who would have thought! There are also theories that it improves brain function, reduces risk for heart disease, and improves blood pressure.
Using Honey as a Sweetener
Honey is a great alternative to using sweeteners in drinks. Additionally, it can be used for cooking and baking.
At the end of the day, it’s really hard to moderate sugar! It’s everywhere, and even concealed in places we’d never think of. The first step is paying attention to your habits and becoming aware of where your daily sugar intake is coming from. Some things you can substitute out, and some you just can’t.
Am I saying you should never indulge on ice cream, brownies, or cake? Absolutely not! We use treats and desserts to celebrate occasions and our loved ones. Besides, who really wants to be the person that says no to cake? Not me!
Please reach out if you have other ideas about substituting out sugar. I’d love to hear more!