Knowing you want to cut back on sugar is one thing, but knowing how to do it is a different story. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Here are five simple ways you can start cutting back on sugar today.
Replace Your Soda
If you love your daily soda fix, you’re not alone. Tennessee has the second highest prevalence of regular soda consumption in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since sugary drinks are the number-one source of added sugar in American diets, swapping them out is the fastest way to cut your sugar intake. Instead of sipping your typical soft drink, replace it with a glass of water. If you miss the fizz and flavor, try naturally flavored sparkling water.
Cook at Home
Just one entrée at fast food restaurant can have more than 20% of the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sugar is hidden in foods you wouldn’t expect, like burritos, hamburgers and salads.
Cooking at home gives you control over everything that goes into your meal. When you’re choosing what to make, look for recipes high in whole foods and low in heavily processed ingredients.
Learn more about healthy eating.*
Prepare Healthy Snacks
Pack some healthy snacks for work so you don’t head to the vending machine when you get the afternoon munchies. Snacks like like trail mix, hard-boiled eggs and veggies and hummus are easy to make and pack. Keep them at or near your desk for easy access when hunger strikes.
Swap Out Dessert
You can still indulge in sweets, but do so in moderation. A few times a week, choose fresh fruit over baked goods, ice cream or other sweets.
Likewise, the next time you bake, look for a recipe that’s low in sugar, or experiment with reducing the amount of sugar you use. For example, if a dessert calls for one cup of sugar, try reducing it to 3/4 or even half a cup and see if you still like the results.
Read Labels Carefully
The next time you’re buying groceries, take time to read the labels. Check the ingredients lists for sugar, keeping in mind that it comes in many forms. Common names for added sugar on food labels include: sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, cane juice, cane syrup, corn sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup and molasses. If a product is high in sugar, look for a healthier alternative.
When it comes to lowering your sugar intake, there’s no better time to get started than today.
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.