Between the 11th and 29th of January Bridge2aid will be holding their no sugar challenge- why not get involved! Excessive sugar consumption can lead to lots of health issues such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, not to mention tooth decay! Reducing your sugar intake can reduce your risk of a whole host of other problems too!
Here are some tips to help cut out sugar
Take it slow- eliminate obvious sources of sugar first- its easy to avoid that biscuit with your brew or having a spoon full of sugar less in each tea/coffee. By taking it slowly you will be more likely to stick to it. Also bear in mind if you are also doing dry January you might find doing both too much?
Read your labels- Ok so the obvious sugars were pretty easy to stamp out but it’s those pesky hidden sugars which can trip us all up! No that most packaging have the sugar content printed clearly on top it is easier but if you have to look closer to find our what is in your food be mindful that sugar has lots of different names. Anything ending in ‘ose for example is a type of sugar. You will be surprised as to what foods have sugar in which you never realised!
Avoid simple carbs- these are white flour, white pasta and white rice. The body breaks these carbs down quickly into sugar- replacing these with wholegrain options will help.
Avoid artificial sugars- these are much sweeter than sugar but contain few or no calories. However they trick the body into thinking it has had sugar and can make your cravings shift up a gear (or 5!)
Don’t drink sugar- Replace your current drinks with unsweetened herbal tea or plain water (and notice a big difference in your skin after a while too!.
Focus on whole foods- Aim to eat these instead of processed foods to avoid hidden sugars. Things like fresh vegetables, lean meats, poultry or tofu, fish and nuts and seeds.
Plan meals- This is a great idea anyway to save time and money but, if you plan and meal prep you will be less likely to reach for a sugary snack like you might do if you are having to think/ make your meals ad hoc.
Get spicy!!- Your taste buds often miss sugar because they have no other flavours to replace it, however there are plenty of sweet tasting herbs and spices which can replace sugar. Try cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and vanilla added to coffee, oatmeal or yoghurts.