5 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE…AND STILL EAT CHOCOLATE
It feels like everyday a new food is introduced into our realm and all too frequently they’re laden with one of the most addictive players in our society – sugar. Sugar it seems is everywhere, in food sweet and savoury, available to people in all walks of life, at every corner we turn. From drinks, snacks, and entire meals they can all fall victim to the sneaky refined sweet stuff. So without depriving ourselves of the a little sweet sensation every now and then, let’s embrace the present to be creative about the way we approach our health, reduce sugar intake and amp up the nutrition in our lives – ready?
ELIMINATE REFINED SUGARS
This is step number one on the journey. Unfortunately refined sugars are everywhere and their labelling can be confusing. We might pick up some food with all good intention to avoid refined sugars, only to find in fact that sugar is one of the main ingredients. So to make things clearer, the foods where you’ll find big chunks of our main offender include:
- biscuits and crackers (even savoury)
- cakes and cookies
- coffee and tea
- soft drinks, flavoured milks and bottled juices
- take away, fast food and convenience meals
- pickles, sauces, marinades
There’s more, but let’s jut start there…
If these are frequently present in your life then take it day by day to make the change and minimize their appearance. You can go cold turkey of course, but the reality is this won’t last as long as when you use a slow and steady approach to making change. For now, try to eliminate obvious refined sugars from the pantry and fridge and avoid them when out. Keeping in mind that sugar is stealth be sure to start flipping the pack when purchasing packaged goods, which leads us to step 2…
CHECK NUTRIENT LABELS
Whilst it’s all very well to flip the pack and look for ‘sugar’ in the ingredient list, these days sugar can take the guise of many other names, so it’s worth being across as many as possible. Over time this will feel less convoluted and we’ll start to tune in very quickly to which foods are laden with sugar without having to use a dictionary or translator to get through a supermarket shop. The following list is exhaustive so with that in mind, take a breath and don’t let it overwhelm you. Good health comes from small taking steps in the right direction and using your knowledge to empower your health. Sugar can be identified as…
Cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, blackstrap molasses, galactose, golden syrup, icing sugar, maltodextrin, refiner’s syrup, barbados sugar, brown sugar, caramel, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose, glucose, corn syrup solids, fruit juice, castor sugar, dextrose, evaporated cane juice and fruit juice concentrate.
Exhale. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? It is, but that doesn’t mean we’re left without anything sweet in our lives. In fact the good thing about this list is we’re given the opportunity to eat a bit of sweet with the right approach to health and nutrition. We do this by making the swap…
MAKE THE SWAP
Make the initial swap from refined sugars to more natural and sugar free alternatives with good health in mind, but as with all things in health, do so with a balanced and moderate approach. If an afternoon coffee with one plus a bar of sugary chocolate and a sweet treat after dinner to reward yourself at the end of the day sounds like you then tune in for the swap and it’s not chocolate for carrots either, because what would life be without chocolate?
Well Naturally No Sugar Added Chocolate is an insanely delicious alternative to the sugar treats we may once have consumed, but Well Naturally is sweetened with one of nature’s little miracles – stevia. Stevia is a plant, we can grow in our own backyard, with sweetness up to three hundred times that of sugar but, (and most wonderfully) without the calorie density and blood glucose spikes of sugar. There are no numbers or confusing jargon chasing the title of stevia either, unlike many other sweeteners of artificial derivatives or sugar alternatives on the market. Stevia simply is a sweet little plant.
So with sugar in the opposition and stevia by our side, we can welcome some of the other natural players to our team to make treats in life without the guilt. Try these alternatives for making the swap…
- Natural yoghurt sweetened with berries
- Well Naturally No Sugar Added Valencia Orange, Mint Crisp, Acai, Almond Chip, Cherry Delight or Rich Dark
- Sliced apples or pears with a spread of almond butter
- Hot milk with molten pieces of Well Naturally Rich Dark
- Frozen banana whizzed in a blender to make ‘nice’ cream
- Cake with a hit of exotic delicious flavours… Cherry Choc Cheesecake or Beetroot Choc Almond Cake infused with Well Naturally goodness
All treats with good nutrition in mind so we can thrive and to complement these we include in our diet healthy fats, vegetables a plenty and high quality proteins to stabilise energy and satiate appetite whilst steering life away from sugar.
FOCUS ON HEALTHY FATS
The human body was made to burn fat and not only can it do this more efficiently by eating good fats, eating fat will help reduce the craving for sugar. That’s a two for one deal right in front of you. For too long people have lived in fear of fat, in the belief that fat would make you fat, which is somewhat incorrect. Unhealthy fats (saturated, commercially manufactured, trans fats) can increase body weight and lead to inflammatory conditions, however healthy fats when eaten as part of a balanced diet can actually promote weight loss and improve overall health and wellbeing. Healthy fats we find in delicious whole foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, whole dairy milk and full fat yoghurt. Try integrating these into the diet, whilst reducing sugar intake and watch energy levels rise.
BECOME A CONSCIOUS EATER
Finally, remember we can’t change unless we create awareness around what needs to change. With the knowledge of where sugar lies, and how to approach the alternatives, we become more conscious with our eating. With awareness of our own habits which lead us to the sugary snacks we have the ability to break away and create new patterns within our diet and health. Too often we eat on the go, grab at quick fix energy (sugar) snacks and don’t fuel our bodies with the right nutrition. Taking the time to sit and be present with food is a wonderful step in the right direction, in doing so we gives our bodies the opportunity to absorb nutrition and utilise it well, so we can live each day at our absolute best.
+ This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are the writer’s own.