Easy Ways to Cut Back Sugar Intake

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Have any of y’all seen John Oliver’s segment on sugar? His commentaries are often politically charged, and this piece is no exception, but one health assertion that he makes is pretty well accepted by all factions of the healthcare industry–too much sugar is bad for you.

Ween and moderate. This is how you begin to decrease the sugar in your diet. Your taste buds will need time to adjust to less sweetness in your foods. This is normal. After two weeks of practicing some of these recommendations, your taste buds will have acclimated, and you’ll actually prefer less sweetness in your foods.

Leave sugar out of your coffee. Use regular cream instead of flavored creamers (or butter or ghee, like these crazy folks). You may need to ween yourself down in order to make coffee palatable. When ordering from a coffee shop, ask for black coffee and get your cream on the side.

Choose plain yogurt and Greek yogurt instead of flavored and sweetened yogurt. Yes this tastes like sour cream on its own. Use a small teaspoon of honey to sweeten the yogurt if you have to, and each time you have yogurt thereafter, decrease the amount of honey you use until you are no longer using any. Add frozen blueberries, sliced kiwi or pineapple, or any other fruit to help sweeten it naturally.

Eat raw nuts, instead of roasted, flavored nuts. It’s really the coating that they put on nuts (like honey roasted nuts) that contains the sugar. If you can find roasted unsweetened nuts you’ll still be cutting back on sugar. Raw nuts, however, have more of their good fats preserved as well.

Dilute your juice. If you’re a juice drinker, start pouring yourself a tad less juice, and add a bit of water to make up the difference. Slowly start pouring less juice and more water to dilute the juice until you eventually are just drinking juice-flavored water.

Restrict your condiments. Sugar is added to almost all pre-packaged prepared foods, and condiments are no exception. When you’re eating a meal that you use condiments or dipping sauces (barbecue, ketchup, dressings), only allow yourself 2 Tbsp (1 oz) of a condiment. This is the equivalent of about a shot glass.

The biggest hurdle in getting over a “sugar addiction” is to re-train your taste buds. This takes time, and things are going to taste less appetizing than you’d like. You’ll get used to this. You’ll find in the future you won’t crave sugar the same way that you used to, and for the sugary treats you do enjoy, you’ll find you need less to enjoy them just as much.

Whaddya think?