We’ve all been there: the clock hits 4pm and nothing will quite satisfy you like a dose of the sweet stuff. But we know that too much sugar leads to short-term sluggishness and longer-term health issues. With the sugar tax on its way, there’s never been a better time to reduce the amount you consume for good. Here’s why and how to eat less sugar.
Why should I reduce the sugar in my diet?
- Unhealthy weight gain. We’re all for everything in moderation, and that includes sugar. However, refined varieties offer pretty much nothing in the way of nutrition. That can mean excessive weight gain – health experts now believe sugar contributes to obesity levels more than fat does.
- Diabetes. Being overweight can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which in turn can result in complications like glaucoma and diabetic neuropathy.
- Dental health. Too much sugar can lead to cavities, which means more unwanted trips to the dentist.
How can I reduce my sugar intake?
Cutting out sugar completely isn’t realistic, but there are definitely ways to get your consumption to a healthy level.
Start by looking at what you drink. Try switching fruit juices and fizzy drinks for flavoured water. Make the jump easier with a fruit-infused version. If you get your fix from a sugary tea or coffee, wean yourself off by bringing down the number of teaspoons each week until you’re at zero. You could also try out sugar replacements, like a squeeze of agave nectar.
Next, turn your attention to snacks. There’s still room for sweetness in your diet if you go for high-fibre options. Fibre slows the digestion of glucose, softening those slump-inducing insulin spikes. Try pairing dried fruit with nuts, or go for fresh fruit over the juiced version.
Once you’ve taken those small steps, ramp up to a bigger one: regular home cooking. Pre-made meals and sauces often come loaded up with unnecessary sugar. Take things slow by getting one low-sugar recipe into your weekly rotation. Once you’ve mastered that, add in another. You get the idea.
If you’re looking for more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle and feeling your best, browse the GP Nutrition blog today.