#HealthBytes: Want to cut down sugar consumption? Follow these tips
Reducing sugar consumption can be beneficial in many ways. For a better digestive, heart and brain health, you have to ensure that you don't consume unhealthy amounts of it. Less sugar intake can also ensure healthier teeth and clearer skin. Further, it can help tremendously in improving mental health and mood. There are many effective ways to cut down sugar consumption. Take a look.
Gradually reduce the amount, try healthy alternatives like natural honey
Cutting off or reducing sugar quantity in certain food items can be extremely difficult. For example, if you take sugar in hot drinks, or add sugar to your breakfast cereal, it would be tough to reduce the quantity in one go. However, you can gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether, or try healthy alternatives like natural honey.
Avoid sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks
Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks have an outstanding amount of sugar in them. These drinks don't make you feel full, and you unknowingly end up consuming a lot of calories. Cutting back on sugary drinks doesn't just reduce your calorie intake, but it can also help you lose weight. Choose low sugar options like herbal teas or lime water.
Avoid condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce; go for salsa, vinegar
Condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce have fairly high sugar content. A single tablespoon, approximately 15 grams of ketchup, may contain 4 grams of sugar. Do note that some varieties have no added sugar, but you can always opt for low sugar options. Fresh or dried herbs and spices, mustard, salsa and vinegar have less sugar content and can flavor your food beautifully.
Cut down the amount of sugar while making desserts
Sugar is obviously an essential part of desserts. However, there are some recipes that contain an unnecessary amount of it. From now on when you bake cookies, brownies or cakes, before adding sugar, cut the asked amount in your recipe by one third. If you don't notice any difference in the taste, gradually start cutting more amount every time you bake.
Choose to eat fresh fruit over its juice
Squeezing fruit breaks down the cells to release sugar into the juice. This is the reason why a glass of juice is often equal to three whole fruits in terms of calories. So, eat a piece of fresh fruit instead of juice. And if you need to drink juice, make it without any sweetener and keep a tab on your intake.