Healthy-ish Recipes

A GUIDE TO SUGAR & HOW TO REDUCE ADDED SUGARS

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10 Tips to Manage Sugars

1. Reduce:for most recipes, you can reduce the amount of sugar by at least 1/4 without noticing a large difference in the taste or texture. 

2. Substitute: try using dried fruit puree, applesauce, dates, or mashed banana to replace some of the sugar in recipes such as muffins or cookies.  

3. Spices & extracts: using spices such as cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and pure extracts such as vanilla, almond or lemon can help give flavour without adding sweeteners. 

4. Hydrate: a sugar craving can also be mistaken for thirst. Try drinking a glass of water first, if you are craving a sweet beverage.

5. Speaking of fluids: limit sodas and energy drinks. Try these ideas instead:

  • Jazz up your water by adding sliced strawberries or cucumbers
  • Dilute 100% fruit juice with water to give it some flavour and cut down sweetness
  • Try flavoured unsweetened carbonated water
  • If buying a flavoured coffee/tea beverage, request 1/2 or 1/4 sweet (fewer pumps of syrup)  

Do-it-yourself: Purchase unsweetened yogurts and plant-based milks when possible. You can add your own fresh fruit or drizzle of desired syrup to the yogurt to give it a touch of sweetness.

7. Incorporate fruits: If you crave something sweet after meals, try to include some type of fruit in the mix.

  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Frozen banana halves dipped in yogurt with a sprinkle of almonds
  • Baked apple pieces with sprinkle of cinnamon 
  • Frozen grapes

8. Sneaky condiments: condiments can have a surprisingly high amount of sugar added to them. When possible, make your own salad dressings, jams, and spreads so that you can control the sugar. Try our 2 ingredient jam recipe or our delicious chocolate spread

9. Read them labels: We can’t emphasize the importance of reading the labels to spot these sugar disguises enough. Know when to spot these sugars, especially when they are among the first few ingredients listed.  

10. Give it time, it’ll change the taste buds: once you’ve decreased the amount of high sugar foods in your diet and substituted home-made versions or whole food options, you might even notice that those intense sugar cravings gradually disappear. We “re-train” our tastebuds to appreciate the natural sweetness of foods and may not even desire highly sweetened foods after a while.

Summary

1. Health linkages: Excessive sugar intake in the form of added sugar, specifically in sugar sweetened beverage can contribute to an increase risk in weight gain, diabetes, cavities and other chronic illnesses.

2. “A rose by any other name…”: Sugar can be disguised as many things, and it’s valuable to be able to spot a source of sugar in an ingredient list to know what you are buying. 

3. When you can, go for homemade: You have more control over what goes into your recipes and meals when you are in control of the ingredients. This allows you to sweeten dishes using food sources such as fruits in place of refined sugars when possible. 

4. Not all sugar is “bad”: natural sugars from food sources, like fruit, are delicious and have added benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Restricting absolutely all sugar from the diet is practically impossible and certainly not recommended. 

Disclaimer : I don’t own this article. It has been taken from here, another blog I follow regularly for healthy recipes.

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39 comments

  1. The old it’s sugar and not me argument.

    What if instead of reducing sugar we focused on increased self worth and separated health from the beauty industry?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Those are two very different things. I agree, the beauty industry does give out a message that makes us dislike ourselves, however that’s not why I posted about sugar.

      At the end of the day, sugar is still the most unhealthy thing we consume, especially if consumed in excessive quantities. This post is just meant to enlighten and educate, no judgements whatsoever 🙂

      Like

              1. I can see that too a point, if you really want to use your reach for the greater good. Post more about daily and weekly energy consumption averages over microscopic views of macronutrient up take. Because our ability to metabolize and handle different nutrients is purely genetic and different from person to person. That being said energy needs by height are pretty consistent for the most part and people don’t get it because there is no profit in selling the solution.

                Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey. I’ve battled Diabetes for 14 years. I’m winning now because i realized it’s me who needed to change. No argument there. I was convinced by documentaries such as That Sugar Film and others. It still remains the most unhealthy thing we consume. That’s why it is hidden under many layers. I am now enlightened and educated. Do you publish your thoughts on a blog? I’d love to read.
      Thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve tried to minimum sugars or eating sweets but it’s hard. Candy, schocolate, cakes, buisquits, buns…all is so yammy…but one thing you can do when you bake (which is better way eating sweets) is using honey instead of sugar (atleast partly). Honey is good and healthy but often there is no time or motivation to bake and then you just buy completed something sweet…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Using honey may not be the best alternative. Yes, I agree it is better than refined sugar but it is also not as sweet as refined sugar and once, one could end up using it more than necessary to get that flavour, which just leads to extra calories.

      So one should keep that in mind before using honey or jaggery!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great guide to sugar. I’m lucky to live in the EU, where producers need to disclose all sugar in a product not just added sugar.

    I wasn’t aware there was a significant difference between added sugars and naturally occurring ones. Will have to ask my dietitian about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That may not always be the best solution. Although honey is better, it is less sweet to taste and hence sometimes gets overused and a person ends up consuming more calories.

      So if using honey, make sure you use it in appropriate quantities and not simply to taste 🙂

      Like

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