With self-isolation in full swing, eating is one of the few things keeping us sane – particularly considering one of the few things we’re able to do is visit the supermarket. It can be tempting to turn to sugary foods while in self-iso, as sugar gives us a short burst of energy and can release feel-good endorphins. Even if you’re not chugging cans of soft drink or munching on lollies, there’s a lot of sneaky sugar where you’d least expect it. It can be hard to stop eating the sweet stuff, so we’ve put together our favourite tips to help you cut down on your sugar intake.
Here are our five short and sweet (haha) MACROS-approved ways to cut back on sugar.
Swap Sugar for Stevia
If you can’t take your coffee or tea without sweetness, swap out your white or raw sugar for stevia; its active components are steviol glycosides, which have 30-150 times the sweetness of sugar, with just a fraction of the calorie and carb content.
Pass on Processed
Processed foods are teaming with added refined sugar. Known culprits like cookies, cakes, and pastries are obvious examples, but seemingly ‘healthy’ items like tomato-based pasta sauce, granola and other breakfast cereals, and flavoured yoghurt are also loaded with added sugar.
Instead, choose snacks like real fruit or raw nuts, make your own pasta sauce and granola (we definitely have the time now!), and flavour plain yoghurt with a little stevia and enjoy with fresh berries.
Many popular drink options like soft drinks, tonic waters, bottled iced teas, vitamin waters, energy drinks, and sports drinks are loaded with added sugar. Alternative low or no sugar drink options include:
- Water: obviously. If you’re not a fan of water on its own, add some lemon slices and mint leaves
- Sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime
- Green tea
- Herbal tea: try lemon and ginger, chamomile, peppermint, and rooibos
- Homemade iced tea made with green or herbal tea and sweetened with a little stevia
Many conventional store-bought sauces like barbeque sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and ketchup are packed with added sugar. Try flavouring your food with:
- Fresh or dried herbs: try basil, mint, oregano, or an Italian herb mix
- Fresh chilli or cayenne pepper: for a hit of spice
- Dijon mustard: flavourful without the sugar or caloric content of ketchup
- Pesto: great as a replacement for pasta sauce, and also works well as a spread in sandwiches, as a dip, or spooned over eggs.
Desert Your Dessert
Many people like to finish the day with dessert, however, conventional desserts like ice-cream, cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes are high in sugar (and calories) and low in nutrients.
If you can’t end the day without something sweet (we don’t blame you!), try these instead:
- Fresh berries: deliciously sweet and naturally low in sugar
- Plain yoghurt with stevia, cinnamon, and fruit
- A medjool date spread with a little peanut or almond butter or stuffed with pecans or walnuts
- Dark chocolate: aim for something with a 70% cocoa content or higher
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