We hear it all the time—sugar is bad, sugar is toxic, sugar will wreak havoc on your health. While it’s true that sugar isn’t exactly a superfood, you don’t necessarily need to eliminate it entirely. As with most things, moderation is key, and there can absolutely be room for small amounts of sugar in an otherwise balanced diet. That said, ideally, it’s best to eat as little as possible, but reducing sugar consumption tends to be easier said than done. If you’re looking to cut back on sugar but aren’t sure where to start, read on for some tips to help make it easier.
Read Labels Carefully
Learning to properly interpret nutrition labels and recognize all of the different names for added sugar is essential when trying to reduce sugar consumption. As you shop for groceries, thoroughly read the ingredient lists on pre-packaged foods, keeping an eye out for terms such as sucrose, glucose, and high-fructose corn syrup, which are all just fancy names for sugar.
Choose Whole Foods
Whole foods almost always contain less sugar than their processed counterparts, so prioritize fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains as the foundation of your diet. Cooking from scratch not only makes it easier to limit added sugar by giving you more control over the ingredients, but you’re also less likely to default to sugary treats if you need to make them yourself.
Cut Back Slowly
Quitting sugar cold turkey can be difficult and may end up leading to junk food binges, so consider taking a gradual approach by adding less sugar to your tea or coffee and slowly cutting back on treats and desserts. Experiment with healthier alternatives like fruit, yogurt, or dark chocolate to satisfy cravings as your taste buds adjust.