Got a sweet tooth but can’t give up the white stuff?
This isn’t surprising given that our bodies are pretty programmed to want more and more sugar for energy and our brains are bombarded with images and adverts 24/7.
Whilst we expect to find refined white sugar in sweet foods, it is really easy to unknowingly consume extra sugar every day from ready meals, processed foods, white bread, soup and even so called ‘healthy’ snacks.
We have found some easy ways to swap sugar for better choices so that you not only save your teeth from decay and your waistline from extra inches but also amazingly, give yourself more energy. Yes, really.
The breakfast swap is one the easiest to make and it’s one that can make a huge different to your entire day and health. Forget sugary cereal and pastries and instead go for porridge with sliced banana or a handful of blueberries and skimmed milk. You can also opt for a green smoothie packed with kale, avocado, almond milk and a scoop of peanut butter and you will be ready to go.
Forget those big fat fluffy white bagels stuffed with cream cheese and jam and instead make the wiser choice of a wholemeal English muffin topped with a tablespoon of almond butter and fresh strawberry slices.
Skip that large glass of orange juice and instead actually eat an orange. Being doing this you’ll reduce your sugar intake, increase your fibre intake and get a good dose of immune boosting vitamin C. Win, win.
Mega sandwiches made from thick white slice bread are a big no, no. A good swap is dark rye bread which tends to be less processed, contains considerably less refined sugars than it’s white cousin and is also higher in fibre, making you feel fuller for longer. Forget processed ham and pre-made spreads and instead pack a healthy punch with sliced avocado and smoked salmon, egg and tomato or tuna and black olives which all taste so good you won’t even know you are being healthy.
The fruit flavourings in yoghurts tend to come from artificial means or concentrate so they don’t contain any real fruit with nutritional benefits – just sugar! Go for a protein-rich plain yoghurt and top with fresh fruit for an antioxidant hit. Do remember not to over do fruit, yes it is good for you and counts as one of your five a day, but too much can overload your systems with fructose.
We all love pizzas but by swapping the traditional white base for a cauliflower one will make some serious nutritional improvements to your meal and your figure will love you too. Ready-made pizza bases tend to be high in sugar, so get creative and top a cauliflower base with fresh tomato sauce, goats cheese and olives.
Remember sugar is hidden everywhere. It is really scary to think there can be up to a staggering 22g of sugar per 100g of ketchup, that is a lot. Go back to basics and get some ripe tomatoes, lime juice, chili and spring onions and you can create a yummy salsa that won’t make your blood sugar spike but will get your taste buds tingling.
Rather than swapping fizzy drinks for diet options instead jazz up water with ice, mint leaves, cucumber or lemon slices and you will seriously reduce the sugar you consume and it will work wonders for your skin too.
None of this is rocket science, but we are pretty sure that using some of these simple, practical ideas will have a positive impact on your life and you never know, you might even like the changes.