3 easy ways to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet

Looks delicious, right? (Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels)

‘Tis the season for desserts, cocktails and everything that’s delicious.

Although diet advice does change throughout the years, likely most health experts would agree: You don’t want an excessive amount of sugar in your system. Occasional treats and splurges are fun, but a diet that’s consistently filled with excess sugar can lead to things like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Our bodies do need sugar, but you’ll want to steer clear of added sugars, like in processed food, which can be way more than what we need.

Follow these steps to limit the amount of sugar you consume daily, and improve your overall health.

1. Cut out sugary drinks.

A lot of people don’t realize just how much sugar they’re consuming in their drinks every day.

A soda can have as much sugar as a candy bar.

Even if you don’t eat candy or chocolate, you could still be overindulging when it comes to sugar.

Buying sugar-heavy coffee daily will absolutely cause your sugar intake to skyrocket. As hard as it may be, you have to skip the sugary drinks in favor of water.

Simply switching to water with every meal will most definitely limit the amount of sugar you consume daily.

2. Make healthy breakfast choices.

Healthy choices in the morning will set you up for success.

The sad truth is, a lot of breakfast food is full of sugar. Donuts, muffins, pancakes with syrup, and cereal can all be chock-full of unwanted sugar.

High sugar intake in the morning will leave you feeling sluggish instead of energized. Opt for healthier breakfast options like a fruit smoothie, oatmeal or eggs.

Don’t let breakfast skew your sugar intake for the rest of the day.

3. Check the nutrition labels.

There are probably a lot of foods you believe are low in sugar that actually aren’t.

Sugar can even hide in bread or dried fruit. Don’t play the guessing game when it comes to sugar -- know exactly how much sugar is in everything you’re purchasing.

Unfortunately, reading the label isn’t always easy, as manufacturers use many names for sugar. Search the nutrition label for high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, maltose, dextrose, rice syrup, or molasses.

When you get smarter about checking your nutrition labels, you’ll be more in control of the amount of sugar you consume.

And finally: A bonus item, for once the holidays are done. Skip dessert!

It’s fine to have dessert on occasion, but if you’re a daily dessert eater, it might be time to cut back.

If you’re eating something sweet every time you have a meal, your sugar intake might be too high.

If you find your sweet tooth is hard to control after you eat, try having a few pieces of fresh fruit. Allow natural sweetness to quell your cravings.

Remember, it’s OK to have sweet treats in moderation. Being militaristic about your diet will drain you and may cause you to give up on healthy eating entirely.

So, don’t be afraid to grab some candy now and again, just make sure you aren’t also consuming too much sugar on a daily basis.