Sugar: most of us have a love/hate relationship with it. Sure, it’s delicious in the moment, but we all know it’s not great for our health. Plus, the side-effects (brain fog, anyone?) are enough to make even the most hardcore sweet tooth's out there think twice.
Unfortunately, sugar is a legit drug, and it’s tough to stop cold turkey. According to a large (and growing) body of research, glucose activates the brain’s opiate receptors and triggers the reward center of the brain. This leads to compulsive consumption, despite the negative consequences - including weight gain, headaches, and more.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you’re looking to eliminate or cut back on sugar, you are not alone. Fortunately, that lofty goal is also not impossible.
In this post, we’re going to dive into the best ways to cut glucose (sugar) from your diet. We’ll also offer a few tasty replacements that make the transition easy.
Let’s get into it.
Why Cut Back on Sugar?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults in the U.S. get about 15% of their daily calories from added sugars.
That’s almost half a cup of sugar, daily. And a ton of added calories!
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the U.S. struggles with widespread obesity and heart disease. It’s also no wonder that cutting back on the sweet stuff can pose such drastic health benefits. Here are a few perks of shaving some glucose off your daily diet:
- Clearer, younger-looking skin
- Lasting energy and fewer “crashes”
- Less abdominal fat
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk for diabetes
- Improved heart health
- And more
No matter what your reasons for quitting may be, dumping this sticky additive is an excellent way to safeguard your health and keep yourself looking and feeling great.
7 Tips to Cut Back on Sugar
Say it with us: “I can cut back on sugar.”
Whether you’re a die-hard sweets lover or you’d just like to cut a few calories from your daily intake, we believe in you. Cutting sugar is possible, and these tips can help you reduce your daily intake:
1. Take it off the table
Literally! If you keep sweeteners (either white or brown sugar) around your kitchen or dining spaces, get rid of them. The same goes for honey or molasses. This is a small tip, but it helps reduce unnecessary tests on your willpower. Over time, it can go a long way toward reducing the amount of sugar you add to things like cereal or coffee.
2. Opt for water
Instead of fighting the afternoon slump with a soda or a sweet tea, opt for water, instead. If you find plain water boring, flavor yours with a slice of lime or some muddled raspberries.
Drinks can be a huge source of hidden glucose. Simply being more conscious about how many calories you’re drinking each day can help you cut down.
Pro Tip: If you’re someone who loves sweetened coffee, start sweetening your cup of joe with our Stevia-based coffee creamers. Delicious, sweet, and sugar-free, they’re an excellent option for anyone who wants to cut back without giving up every good thing.
3. Eat fresh (rather than canned) fruits
Canned fruits are usually preserved in syrup, which is packed with sugar. Instead, opt for fresh, frozen, or dried fruit whenever you can. If you can’t avoid canned varieties, drain and rinse the fruit before you eat it.
4. Read the label
This is a small step that takes just a few seconds, but it can make a big difference when it comes to your health. The next time you hit the grocery store, read the labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sweetness.
While lots of foods contain naturally occurring sugar, processed, baked, or pre-packaged foods are particularly high in added calories.
5. Get naturally sweet
If you’re craving a sweet pick-me-up, be conscious about how you get it. For example, sweeten a morning bowl of oatmeal with fruit instead of sugar, or reach for one of our delicious stevia-based coffee creamers or drink mixes instead of downing a few Oreos. Not all sweetness is created equal. What matters is which treats you choose to add to your plate.
6. Half your serving
If your long-term goal is to cut back on sweets, start by decreasing the amount you add to your goodies. If you’re baking cookies, for example, reduce the sweetener in the recipe by one-third to one-half. You won’t taste the difference, but your body will thank you.
You can also swap traditional sweeteners for unsweetened applesauce in most baking recipes, or opt for a substitute like monk fruit sweetener.
7. Opt for extracts
Instead of loading a recipe up with processed sugar, try sweetening it with extracts like almond, vanilla, orange, or lemon, instead. Pure stevia is also a powerful glucose replacement that can overhaul your cooking and baking daily. It can be tricky to use alone, so opt for a version combined with erythritol like this one that bakes and measures just like the real thing.
Making Time for Sweetness - Even With Less Sugar
The great news for anyone who wants to cut back on glucose is that there are plenty of delicious substitutes out there to make the process feel like less of a sacrifice and that you have the power to make this change!
Our sugar-free coffee creamers are just one tool in your belt. Keto, whole-30, and diabetes diet-friendly, our Stevia-sweetened White Chocolate and Salted Caramel coffee creamers will help you add some welcome sweetness to your day - without spiking your blood sugar or your bathroom scale.
If you’re ready to get started on your sweets-free journey, check out our favorite recipes for some delicious drinks you can make at home.
Our sugar-free dark chocolate drink mix is also a nice way to create healthier desserts (we love stirring some into plain greek yogurt for a satisfying chocolate cheesecake-like snack) and enjoy some tasty sweetness without negative side effects.
While cutting sugar can be a tough process, the health benefits are massive. Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, enjoy clearer skin, or just feel better, all around, cutting back is an excellent thing for your health, wellness, and lifestyle - all together.
Here at 5 Sparrows, we’re committed to helping you ace that journey. Our products will support your health and wellness and give you the boost you need to crush your goals this year.