10 Sweet Ways to Reduce Added Sugar in Your Diet

Added sugars are added to products during processing, and it seems they are just about everywhere. They can lead to weight gain and raise blood triglyceride levels, which contribute to heart disease. Institute these healthy habits to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.

1. If you drink sugar-sweetened beverages frequently, try to cut down or quit them entirely. Examples include soda, lemonade, fruit punch, sweet tea, sweetened coffee and sports drinks.

2. If you add sugar or sugar-sweetened creamer to coffee or tea, try to gradually reduce the amount that you use.

3. Sweeten gluten-free pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit.

4. Replace the brown sugar in your gluten-free oatmeal with unsweetened dried fruit or fresh fruit.

5. If you use milk alternatives, such as soy milk or almond milk, choose unsweetened varieties.

6. Buy canned fruits in their own juice or in water.

7. Check the labels of frozen fruits. They are great for making smoothies, but some have added sugar.

8. When baking with sugar, you can reduce the amount in the recipe by a third or a half without noticing a difference in taste. You can also substitute unsweetened applesauce. Use more spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg. Vanilla extract and almond extract also add a lot of flavor without sugar.

9. Beware of sugar in foods that don’t need it, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, pasta sauce, yogurt and gluten-free cereal.

10. Some gluten-free granola or nut/fruit bars contain added sugars. Look for varieties with the lowest amounts.

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