A balanced approach to sugar

How to tame your cravings

Sugar is addictive. But there are ways to painlessly reduce sugar and still enjoy life, whilst reaping the benefits of better health.

Australians are eating 4.5 times the recommended 6 teaspoons per day. Here are our top tips for balancing your sugar intake:

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  1. Gradually reduce sugar intake

    This will increase your sensitivity to sugar and you’ll appreciate small amounts of sugar.

  2. Read the labels

    Watch for sucrose (regular table sugar), glucose, fructose, lactose, dextrose, maltose, malt, maltodextrin, ribose, galactose, maltodextrin, fruit concentrates, agave syrup (mainly fructose), cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, honey and molasses.

  3. Avoid large quantities of fruit juice

    This is an easy way to consume large quantities of sugar. Whole fruit is different as, unlike juice, it contains beneficial fibre and phytonutrients.

  4. Avoid artificial sweeteners

    Aspartame has been linked to behavioural and cognitive problems and may be associated with increased BMI and cardio-metabolic risk.

  5. Eat slowly to bring out the sweetness

    Digestion starts in the mouth. Our saliva has the ability to break down the starch in foods into sugars. Slowly chewing bread or any starchy foods will turn the starch into sugar. Try chewing a piece of bread for a few minutes - you will notice an increasing sweet taste!

  6. Switch to dark chocolate

    The magnesium and flavanols in chocolate protect our brains, lift our moods and generally benefit our health. It is the added sugar that that turns chocolate into a liability. Try 70% cacao or higher and eat it with a date, or a slice of apple to minimise the bitterness.

  7. Sweeten foods with fresh fruit instead of sugar

    Replace sweetened yoghurt with natural yoghurt and frozen berries. Add diced orange and apple to cabbage salads with a dash of olive oil replacing sweet dressings.

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