Simple ways to eat less sugar that don’t have you feeling deprived!
1.) Go fresh on fruit
Instead of cranberries in salads, try grapes or chopped apples. Or, upgrade from trail mix to a serving of nuts plus a piece of fruit.
In making dried fruit, all the water is removed, condensing the fruit’s natural sugar into a teeny- tiny package. The removal of h20 leaves you with less volume (or food) per serving. For example, 10 dried apple rings is 110 calories with 20 grams of (natural) sugar. One medium apple is about 90 calories with 18 grams of sugar. I don’t know about you, but I rather eat more than less!
2.) Pass on the jelly
Think peanut butter and strawberries, instead of peanut butter and jelly. More fiber, more nutrients, more nutritional bang for your buck and less sugar. Plus, it tastes just as good!
3.) Make one-ingredient “ice cream”
Blend frozen fruit in a food processor to make a delicious natural sweet treat. Frozen blueberries blended with frozen banana tastes a.w.e.s.o.m.e.
4.) Add your own sweet to yogurt
Flavored yogurts are usually loaded with sugar. Instead, opt for plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with added fresh fruit. For extra protein and creaminess, opt for plain Greek yogurt, instead of regular yogurt.
5.) Ditch the juice
Juice is like soda. Imagine a sock as your stomach. If you poured orange juice into the sock (aka your stomach), the juice would go right through it. If you put an orange into the sock (your stomach), the sock would have to churn and squeeze to digest and metabolize the orange, easing the amount at which sugar and nutrients enter your system, also allowing you to feel fuller longer.
Eight ounces of coke has 27 grams of sugar; eight ounces of orange juice has 21 grams of sugar.
Bottomline: skip the juice and opt for water or hint water and hint fizz.
6.) Get your sweet on with fruit
Instead of sugary candy, try frozen berries or grapes. I love frozen raspberries as mini-sweet fixes.
7.) Say “yes” to unsweetened almond, coconut or hemp milk
Buying unsweetened versions of plant-based milks couldn’t be easier. Bonus – they still taste great.
8.) Create a smoothie balance
Make sure you have a source of healthy fat (think avocado or natural nut butter) and/or protein (like Greek yogurt or protein powder) in your smoothies for balance. And instead of juice, try unsweetened vanilla almond, hemp milk, or hint water for added flavor without sugar.
You want an equal balance of protein, fat, and healthy carbs (from the fresh fruit) – not just all sugar and carb (which would be in a smoothie made mostly of juice, fruit, and ice).
An easy tasty smoothie?
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt + 1 cup berries + 1/2 cup blackberry hint water + 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter + 1 cup spinach + ice
9.) Go natural on your popcorn
Instead of sugary kettle corn, get plain, natural, air-popped popcorn! It’s just as yummy. And if you didn’t know, popcorn is a whole grain – a favorite healthy snack for many.
10.) Don’t be afraid of fat
Lots of times, companies remove fat and add salt and sugar to products. In reality, you’re better off with the whole, natural, real version of the product. Check the label and enjoy food as it’s meant to be enjoyed in the natural form.
How do you avoid sugar?
Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach with a Masters in Nutrition. Specializing in coaching, weight loss, and behavior change, Corinne has helped hundreds of women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. She helps women do this by showing them how to create a healthy lifestyle (they love) using a holistic approach. She believes lasting change starts from the inside out. Visit her at CorinneDobbas.com