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5 Quick & Easy Ways to Reduce your Sugar Intake TODAY

August 13, 2015
Reduce sugar intake

Would you know how much sugar you consume each day? 

You may be surprised and shocked at the sugar level contained in processed food which is sitting on our supermarket shelves.

Do you know that in Australia the average daily sugar intake is 40 teaspoons? 

Try sitting down and eating 40 teaspoons of sugar and see how you feel.

There has been a lot written about ‘low fat’, ‘gluten free’ and ‘low cholesterol’ that we think we have our diets under control.

Well, unfortunately, we need to think again.

Research suggests that added sugar is the main source of sugar in our diets. All sugar that is added to our food is classified as ‘free sugars’ and are not necessary for a balanced diet. They are easy to eat in excess, for example, you may drink a can of soft drink but you would not eat four apples in one sitting.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) strongly recommends we reduce our daily intake of free sugars to 5% of our total calorie intake (about 7 teaspoons per day).

Australia has 6 million people suffering from Fatty Liver Disease and Type 2 diabetes is increasing, not to mention the increasing number of people including children who are obese.

That Sugar Film

A couple of years ago, our Personal Trainer lent us a copy of a movie, ‘That Sugar Film’ and I felt shocked as I watched it and determined to make some changes and spread the word.  Basically, the movie is about a guy who normally lives a sugar free diet but replaces ‘healthy’ low fat food with a high sugar content for two months.  His aim was to see the affect it would have on his body and mental abilities.

After three weeks he had put on weight, was feeling lethargic and ‘on edge’.  This was a very risky experiment as he started to develop ‘fatty liver’ disease within 3 weeks.

Watching the movie made me sit back and take a look at my diet and all the ‘hidden’ sugars I was consuming without realizing it, even though I thought we had a well balanced diet.

What can we do to reduce sugar?

We can’t omit sugar from our diet, our cells and especially the brain requires glucose (sugar) to function and provide energy.  It is the type of sugar we consume that we need to look at.   Glucose is usually found in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, potatoes, legumes and vegetables.

I’m a great believer in everything in moderation, and a treat occasionally is okay.  However, if your blood tests are showing high levels of sugar you could be on the path to Type 2 Diabetes.  If you want to lose weight or are serious about getting healthy you need to cut back on sugar.

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

1.  Cut out Fizzy Drinks, Iced Tea and Sports Drinks

Removing all soft drinks/soda pop from our diet is a quick way to reduce sugar.  Can you believe that some people give their children soft drinks like cola, lemonade etc in their bottles?  I was surprised to see that Iced Tea and some Sports Drinks contained high levels of sugar as these are usually promoted as healthier substitutes.

Try drinking water as an alternative and flavor it with lemon juice, or drink a herbal tea

Switch from soda to water to reduce your sugar intake

2.  Eat Fruit rather than drink fruit juice

Choose fresh fruit rather than dried or fruit juices.  Fresh fruit has fibre which makes us feel full sooner.  Fruit juices and dried fruits contain concentrated levels of sugar.  Again a surprise that what we think is healthy may not be so good for us.  400ml of apple juice contains 10 teaspoons of sugar!

Eat Whole Fruit rather than Fruit Juice to reduce sugar intake

3.  Replace cakes and biscuits with healthier choices

This is obvious as most baking contains large amounts of sugar.  Try to be creative with your snacks.  Make some homemade hummus and serve with celery and carrot sticks.

Replace cakes & biscuits with healthier food choices to reduce sugar intake

4.  Replace Highly Processed Foods with Fresh

Fresh is best so try to replace your processed foods with fresh food.  Become creative with your cooking and look at the countless number of recipes on the internet which will help you to cut down on the added sugar which is found in processed foods.

Companies add sugar because they know people like the taste.  They have discovered the ‘Bliss Point’ which is just enough sweetness – not too much – not too less – just right.

Replace highly processed foods with fresh food to reduce sugar intake

5.  Learn some Sugar Swaps

  • A serving of ‘low fat’ yoghurt contains 11 teaspoons of sugar!  Try replacing this with natural yoghurt and adding fresh fruit.
  • Replace breakfast cereals with oats
  • Beat cravings by eating more protein and good ‘fats’
  • Plan you snacks – Prepare you snacks in advance so you won’t be tempted to reach for the cake.

If we want to get healthy we need to be aware and informed

Read food labels

Labels on food such as ‘low fat’ or ‘99% fat free’ may not be all that healthy.  Learn to read the labels to see exactly what the food contains. A food product label might be claim to be low in fat, but it may also be high in sugar or salt.

Food manufacturers don’t have to say how much sugar is added but give a figure for the total sugars.

Read more about food labels and sugar HERE

Are you ready to make some healthier changes in your diet? You only have one body – look after it.

I would highly recommend you watching ‘That Sugar Film’ as it provides a startling and sobering view of the eating habits of many people and what we can do to make changes for better health.

That Sugar Film

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply Michelle August 13, 2015 at 10:00

    Great facts here Sue, I consider myself a pretty healthy eater, my downfall, baking! Even though I enjoy passing it around to others, I experimented this summer and cut way down on it. I just didn’t bake. Made a huge difference. With fall coming, that will be the real test because it is my favorite time to bake…again, moderation is the key. Added you on google.

    • Reply sue August 13, 2015 at 14:14

      I know what you mean Michelle. I enjoy baking especially birthday cakes for the grandchildren. It is much harder in autumn and winter as our bodies crave comfort foods. I’m moving into Spring here so hopefully I’m coming out of the comfort food stage. Thanks for adding me to google and have a lovely day.

  • Reply Kathleen August 14, 2015 at 20:43

    We have tried to cut sugar out of our diet and my recipes usually have no refined sugar. I had guests a couple of days ago and I had to have a search party to find a little jar of sugar in the pantry for them. We feel so much better when we cut the sugar. Saying that and I have had a big sugar fix today at ProBlogger Event, the pavlova was too good to resist.
    Thanks Sue this is really good information for Fridays Blog Booster Party #19
    Kathleen

    • Reply sue August 15, 2015 at 08:45

      Hi Kathleen, I hope you enjoy ProBlogger and would be interested to hear about it. Yes we are the same as we don’t have sugar in our coffee or tea so when visitors come it is usually a scramble to find some sugar. After watching the movie I still have some tweaking to do. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply Kimberly Hilbert August 14, 2015 at 22:51

    I’ve been looking to cut out the high fructose corn syrup more than anything. Did you know it isn’t digested like regular sugar but is shunted straight to the liver? I’m glad there is a movement to get away from that.

    • Reply sue August 15, 2015 at 08:47

      Yes it is frightening Kimberly. I thought my diet was pretty good but it still needs tweaking after watching the movie. I just wanted to share the message. With people like yourself and also what I can share hopefully we can spread the word about a healthier lifestyle.

  • Reply Jebbica August 17, 2015 at 01:19

    Sugar feels like the most addictive drug there is! I have done a lot of this already trying to eliminate sugar or most sugar from my diet, but gosh if it doesn’t always try to pull me right back in! I don’t know if I will ever lose that craving for something sweet after dinner. Thanks for stopping by #FoodandFitnessFriday!

    • Reply sue August 17, 2015 at 14:52

      It certainly is addictive Jessica. I do love my chocolate but as I wrote it is all about moderation. Thanks for the opportunity to linkup!

  • Reply Sandy Sandmeyer August 17, 2015 at 10:21

    What great suggestions, Sue! Thanks so much for sharing your post at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

  • Reply Joanne T Ferguson August 17, 2015 at 17:26

    A little change can make a big difference with sugar! Pinned and shared! #ibabloggers

    • Reply sue August 19, 2015 at 10:16

      Yes it certainly can and sometimes they are only small changes.

  • Reply Rachel August 19, 2015 at 17:58

    Really great suggestions for healthier swaps. Agree many of us do eat too much sugar and cutting down may have health benefits… But also follow your everything in moderation motto. No need to avoid entire food groups or all refined sugar but aiming for a better balence is so important.

    • Reply sue August 20, 2015 at 07:21

      Thanks Rachel. I think we can get caught up in all the hype and go to extremes rather than finding the right balance. Life should be lived but if we aren’t healthy it may not be a long life! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Leslie August 23, 2015 at 00:44

    Great tips! I went low carb about a year ago and as a result no longer eat sugar regularly. Getting it out of my coffee was the hardest part! I still have treats from time to time but not on a daily basis. I’ve had maybe three soft drinks this year, sweet tea at holidays, etc. I lost weight and have more energy.

    • Reply sue August 24, 2015 at 07:38

      You have the right balance Leslie. Not totally denying yourself but having treats occasionally. We can have everything in moderation I believe. Have a great day.

  • Reply jennifer Abel August 24, 2015 at 21:53

    Great post , on a good or rather I should say bad subject. Sugar really has got out of control nowadays. I try to use as little as possible. One tip is to add soda water instead of coke to your drinks, as some adults can easily drink a couple of litres of coke in a night . Thanks for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom

    • Reply sue August 25, 2015 at 12:32

      Yes Jennifer it is really out of hand. My mother-in-law has Type 2 diabetes and just can’t comprehend that some of what she thinks are the ‘good’ foods need to be eaten in moderation. It is all about education. Thanks for being a great co-host for #wednesdayswisdom

  • Reply Wednesday's Wisdom #31 - Sizzling Towards Sixty August 26, 2015 at 12:26

    […] pick goes to Sue , 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Sugar . It is something we really do not need to have in the quantities we […]

  • Reply Mary Gilbert August 29, 2015 at 09:10

    Made me stop and think….ugh! I have some work to do!

    • Reply sue August 29, 2015 at 16:34

      Yes I think I’m eating well until I saw this! Have a lovely weekend, Mary.

  • Reply Debbie September 3, 2015 at 18:01

    I’ll look for this film. I love watching such documentaries.
    Thanks for sharing it, Sue!

  • Reply Jennifer October 19, 2015 at 12:43

    This post was very informative. Sadly, it seems to be harder to eat healthy with all of the “false advertisement” that goes on. 0 tans fat, gluten free, low fat, fat free does not =healthy. Thank you for your suggestions on how to make healthier choices. I loved seeing your pin on the Pinterest Game. I am excited to see if it wins. ~Jennifer

    • Reply sue October 19, 2015 at 15:56

      Yes there is so much information and misinformation to process! Thanks for stopping by and fingers crossed for the Pinterest Game. Have a lovely day

  • Reply Gilly Maddison October 30, 2015 at 22:17

    Sugar is one of the biggest killers in the supermarket alongside salt, dairy and alcohol. Giving up all three changed my health and and life forever. My pancreas is so shot from too much sugar consumption as child who was totally addicted to sweets, that I can’t even have a huge amount of fruit. The best thing that makes me thrive is freshly made vegetable juice cocktails every day.

    • Reply sue October 31, 2015 at 16:04

      Oh Gilly you and I are on the same page. I was just reading a free magazine which I picked up at the supermarket and none of the recipes show the sugar content in the nutritional information. I love the sound of your vegetable juice cocktails and I’m sorry that you have experienced problems with your pancreas but you certainly have a great view of lifestyle which I love!

  • Reply Nancy W Dobbins June 4, 2019 at 08:40

    I love this post, Sue. You know that I agree with each part of it. If you cook from scratch you are in control of the sugar, as well as salt and oil.
    Sweetened yogurts have the same amount of sugar as a coke. Yet folks think of them as a health food.
    You must be careful and read the package labels CAREFULLY.
    Thanks for this informative post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 5, 2019 at 06:16

      I agree Nancy, we cook everything from scratch and I only bake birthday cakes for the grandchildren as a treat. The labels are really something people don’t take the time to read and think they are being healthy because a product is promoted as 99% Fat Free.

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 4, 2019 at 12:54

    Sugar is everywhere isn’t it Sue? I have been really good in cutting out nearly all sugar and have noticed the benefits. I agree with Nancy, if you cook from scratch you know exactly what is going on and reading labels is so important. Great information thanks!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 5, 2019 at 06:13

      Hi Deb, I can remember in my younger years drinking white tea with 3 sugars!!!! I now drink it black with a splash of cold water. We cook everything from scratch so I can get on top of the sugar that way. Reading labels is certainly underestimated and many of us don’t really take the time to understand what they mean. Well done is cutting out the sugar and I’m sure you are starting the feel the benefits. x

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