From our hearts to our brain to our bones, sugar affects every system and organ in the body. These are things that become increasingly important as we enter the second half of life.
Because we know that knowing is different than doing, we came up with 12 practical tips for HOW to reduce sugar in your diet in a way that is sustainable and does not leave you feeling deprived.
Watch the video or read below for all the details.
Ready for the 12 tips? We go into detail in the video but here’s the basic scoop:
- Avoid black and white thinking: Anytime you say never or completely avoid a food, you set yourself up for a deprivation mindset which always backfires!
- Wean down: Science has proven that our taste buds change; you need to give them the opportunity to do that.
- Avoid relying on artificial sweeteners: They don’t help you wean off the taste of sugar and they can interfere with your microbiome, among other things.
- Be careful with healthy sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, and molasses, which still affect blood sugar. Keep to only 1 tsp per serving. Monk fruit, stevia and yacon won’t affect blood sugar but will keep sweet taste alive so still keep portions small.
- Learn where sugar lurks: It can be in surprising places, even healthy sounding foods such as yogurt, granola bars, cereals (even organic), organic oatmeal packets or drinks, such as Kefir and kombucha. Keep in mind that 4 grams of added sugar equals 1 teaspoon. Aim for no more than (and preferably less than) 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
- Practice environmental control: Remove temptations! Put unhealthy foods in hard to reach, out of site places.
- Crowd out: Eat more natural, whole foods and invite Mother Nature into your kitchen. By adding in healthful choices, you will naturally crowd out processed and packaged foods, which most often are our main sources of added sugar. Pay attention to beverages substituting sugary beverages with water and herbal tea.
- Include naturally sweet foods in your diet: Foods like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, delicata squash, coconut flakes, almond butter and peanut butter provide natural sweetness along with providing tons of nutrients. Also, using pureed squash, pumpkin or applesauce in recipes can really help cut down on the added sugars.
- Use sweet spices: We love cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and cardamom.
- Have go-to healthy lower sugar snacks around: Try our tahini balls, an apple and almond butter, or a fruit smoothie with protein powder.
- Work on your cravings: They might be emotional or physiological but you CAN do it!
- Savor don’t splurge! When you do eat something sweet, eat slow and savor every bite as less is more. Get used to having small amounts that become just as satisfying.
Be sure to check out our other videos on blood sugar in our Blood Sugar YouTube series!