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Tips For Cutting Back on Sugar

Tame Your Sweet Tooth With These Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

I know that eating too much refined sugar increases my risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, but it's so hard to resist sweet treats. If you have a hard time saying no to all things sugar-sweetened and chocolate-covered, here are some ways you can cut down on the white stuff.

  • Don't go cold turkey. This plan usually backfires and you end up missing the sweet stuff so much you binge on an entire bag of M&Ms. It's best to limit the amount of sweets you eat gradually.
  • Decrease the amount of sugar you add to foods. Stir less into your morning cup of joe and sprinkle less brown sugar on your oatmeal.
  • Choose one sweet treat per day. Moderation is key, so if you can't live without a piece of chocolate after lunch or ice cream after dinner, then don't. Designate one time each day to indulge in a little dessert and limit your sugar intake for the rest of the day.
  • Read labels and watch out for natural sugars. Brown sugar, molasses, Sucanat, and organic sugar are still sugar.

Curb your sweet tooth with these other tips when you


  • Say farewell to soda and other sweetened beverages. These sugary drinks are also high in calories, so choose water flavored with fresh lemon or lime, seltzer, tea, milk, or plain water instead.
  • Modify your favorite recipes. I often find that cutting back on the sugar in baked goods doesn't change the flavor too drastically. Or you can whip up healthy alternatives to your favorite decadent treats such as this Frozen Raspberry Creamy, Dreamy Pie made with skim milk and egg whites instead of cream — the fruit makes it naturally sweet.
  • Choose plain yogurt with fruit instead of flavored yogurt. You'll end up cutting back on sugar and the fruit offers vitamins and fiber as well.
  • Curb cravings with fruit. Fresh fruit is full of natural sweetness, so the next time you have a cookie craving, reach for a juicy peach, some luscious strawberries, or dried mangoes instead.

Have tips that worked for you? Share them below!

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Join The Conversation
sourcherries sourcherries 6 years
We always cut the amount of sugar called for in baked recipes--rarely do you need the full amount. People always crave our chocolate chips and chocolate bundt cake--simply because they aren't as sweet. ;p
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I find that using vanilla and cinnamon in my sweet foods helps me use less sugar. I think it adds a nice touch of flavor without the calories.
zc zc 6 years
Ive been slowly cutting down on my sugar-intake. Ive reduced my sugar in coffee by more than half - it's amazing how your taste adjusts!
2muchtv 2muchtv 6 years
I gave up all processed sugar for a month, as an experiment to see whether or not I was addicted (fruit and jaggery squares only). It was pretty easy since I don't drink soda nor eat outside junk food. Whenever I had a craving, I just had a few medjool dates (it has to be the nice, large ones, not the kind that looks like roaches). I know everyone says moderation, but I can't do that, I need hard rules. I highly encourage people to experiment with totally eliminating sugar for a week, because your taste buds change. Once you have sugar again, a little goes a long way.
le-romantique le-romantique 6 years
Good tips. I used to be horrible with soda in college, drinking about 4 cans a day. Now I only drink maybe two glasses a week (I blame my boyfriend, he lives off of Starbucks and Coca-cola). My new thing: instead of sweets during work I sometimes have a cup of hot chocolate at the classic 3pm slump when I need it. It really boosts my mood and seems more rewarding than cookies or something else rotten. I'm really into sweets though, so I can't cut it off, but as we all know: MODERATION!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I don't know what it is about peaches, but they totally kill any craving i have for a sugary snack. Recently I've found that a luna or soyjoy bar kills a craving for baked goods. Pretty cool.
LeiraElle LeiraElle 6 years
My advice: work in a dessert shop. I worked full-time at an artisanal chocolate and dessert cafe for two years. We could eat whatever we wanted; at first it was heaven, but after a while you just want something fresh or savory. I haven't worked there in years, but I think I permanently lost my sweet tooth. If I want a sweet finish to a meal, its easy to have just one piece of chocolate or a peach and call it quits.
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