Considering Less Sugar in Your Diet?

Chew on this:

  1. Watch the added sugar: If you add sugar to items you eat and drink regularly, such as cereal, coffee, and tea, reduce the sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
  2. Drink Sugar-Free: Instead of sodas or sugary drinks like iced tea or lemonade, try sparkling water with a lemon or lime, water with mint and cucumber or add sliced fruit to a pitcher of water and enjoy during the day. Even drinks with artificial sweeteners can be a better choice than sugary drinks.
  3. When Baking: try cutting back on the sugar in your recipe by 1/3 to 1/2. Unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of sugar in muffins, banana breads and cakes.
    • Try a 1:1 swap of sugar to applesauce and cut back on liquids in the recipe by about 1/4 cup. 
    • This may be a trial-and-error process so be sure to make notes about the finished product. 
  4. Grill Fruits to enhance sweetness: Try grilled fruit in a salad, incorporate grilled fruit into a meal or enjoy as a healthy dessert.
  5. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fresh fruit. Enjoy as is or get a bit creative.
    • This easy Baked Pear recipe is a low sugar, heart-healthy, delicious dessert that the entire family will love.
  6. Make Banana Ice Cream: Peel and slice 1-2 ripe bananas, place in a freezer safe container or bag and place in the freezer. Once frozen, place banana pieces in a food processor and pulse. The frozen banana pieces will eventually transform to a smooth creamy dessert. Enjoy immediately as a soft-serve treat or return to the freezer to harden into banana “ice cream.”
  7. Try New Condiments: Some condiments like ketchup can be very high in sugar.
    • Harissa paste (see Dietitian’s Picks) can be a good replacement for sweet chili sauce or can be incorporated into a marinade for a boost of flavor without the sugar.
    • Yellow mustard and many vinegars contain virtually no sugar or calories.
    • Pesto and mayonnaise are typically low in sugar but are higher in fat and calories.
  8. Spice things up: Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Or, incorporate extracts, such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon, for flavor in recipes without the added sugar.
  9. Don’t forget about nature’s candy: Fresh and dried dates and figs, and other dried fruits like raisins are naturally sweet and extremely nutritious. But remember, a little bit can go a long way. Be sure to keep an eye on portion sizes.
  10. Swap out sugar for non-nutritive sweeteners: to satisfy a sweet tooth, non-nutritive sweeteners may be a quick fix in some dishes. But watch out! Swapping sugary options for non-nutritive sweeteners can lead to eating more later. Try to train your taste buds to appreciate natural flavors of food rather than overly sweet treats.

*Remember, compare food labels and try to choose products with the least amount of added sugars!

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