This post was inspired by a request from a mom wanting to know how to painlessly cut down sugar in her kid’s diet. The first thing I will say is to tackle this one step at a time. Slowly begin removing sugar sources from the diet, don’t do it all at once!
I’ve written before about some of the reasons to cut back on sugar. You can read them here: Sugar, Sugar Everywhere!
The fact is, we consume way too much sugar. You would probably be surprised at how many foods contain sugar, especially processed foods. Another source is fast food restaurants – which are all processed foods. Check the ingredients list of your favorite fast food restaurant, if you can find it. But you’ll need to know all the names for sugar first because sugar has many names. I’ve created a PDF that lists all the names for sugar.
Here are 5 suggestions for reducing sugar painlessly.
- Go easy on the processed foods. Read labels for hidden sources of sugar.
- Skip the fruit juice and serve whole fruit instead. With juice you get much more sugar because it’s from several pieces of fruit. Plus you lose the benefit the fiber in fruit has in slowing down sugar absorption.
- Serve sweet vegetables: cooked onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Read all your labels. Even ketchup has sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Check the list of sugar names.
- Make sweets an occasional treat, not a daily habit.
One more thing, I don’t recommend using sugar substitutes in place of sugar for a number of reasons:
- They really aren’t good for you.
- You’re still eating sweet, which just feeds the addiction.
- They don’t satisfy like sugar so you still have that sweet craving.