Simple Sugar-Slashing Swaps
We’re not sure if it’s because of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed the soda ban, but lately a lot of our clients have expressed interest in cutting their sugar consumption from unnaturally occurring sugar sources. Most of them want to start by cutting the sugar that they add to their foods themselves in coffee, tea, oatmeal, et cetera. For those clients, we suggest using natural flavor-boosters instead of adding refined sugar (including honey and agave, which are still processed sweeteners—sorry!) or sugar substitutes. For example, a dash of cinnamon adds a surprisingly sweet taste, and a small serving of fruit sweetens food naturally while adding vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber.
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However, aside from ditching the sugar you add to food yourself, there are easy swaps you can make that will save loads of sugar without sacrificing flavor. Check these out:
Breakfast Swap 1: Instead of breakfast cereals packed with added sugars, opt for healthier alternatives with little added sugar.
Sugary Snack: Frosted Flakes (12 g sugar per cup)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: Post’s Shredded Wheat Original (1 g sugar per cup). Or try plain oatmeal—our personal favorite--which contains less than a gram of sugar per serving.
Savings: 11 to 12 g of sugar
Breakfast Swap 2: Instead of flavored yogurts packed with added sugars choose a plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries
Sugary Snack: Strawberry Yoplait original (26 g sugar)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: Fage fat-free plain yogurt (7 g sugar)
Savings: 19 g sugar
Afternoon Snack Swap 1: Instead of a nutrition bar full of added sugars, choose a naturally low sugar snack bar.
Sugary Snack: CLIF Banana Nut Bread bar (21 g sugar)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: KIND Nuts & Spices bar (4 to 5 g sugar)
Savings: About 17 g sugar
Afternoon Snack Swap 2: Trade a can of soda for a carbonated, naturally flavored sparkling water. We’re obsessed with doing this and even have our own seltzer making machines!
Sugary Snack: Coca-Cola 12 oz. can (39 g sugar)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: Poland Spring flavored sparkling water (0 g sugar)
Savings: 39 g sugar
Dessert Swap 1: Instead of slice of fruit cobbler have a bowl of fresh berries drizzled with a 1 tsp honey, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, powdered sugar, or maple syrup.
Sugary Snack: Slice of Mrs. Smith’s Apple Pie (18 g sugar in 1/6th of a pie)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: Small bowl of blueberries and strawberries with 1 tsp of honey (5g added sugar) or chocolate sauce (4 g sugar)
Savings: Up to 13 g sugar
Dessert Swap 2: Instead of a piece of chocolate cake select a small piece of dark chocolate.
Sugary Snack: 1 slice of Pepperidge Farm 3-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake (26 g sugar in 1/8 of a cake)
Sugar-Slashing Swap: Two Dark Chocolate Godiva Gems (5g of sugar each)
Savings: 16 g sugar
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Have you tried to cut added sugar out of your diet? What did you cut? Did you switch to a natural sweetener? Let us know in the comments!
—Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dietitians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. They will be blogging about nutrition and weight loss for Fitbie every week.
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