Healthy Diet Plan: how to cut back on sugar
Keen to reduce your sugar intake? Read on for easy ways to adopt a low-sugar lifestyle, plus how our Healthy Diet Plan can help.
If you've made a decision to cut back on sugar but you're not sure how to get started, there's no need to feel daunted. Our Healthy Diet Plans are a great way to kick-start a healthier way of eating. All our recipes aim to steer clear of added refined sugars and follow the latest guidance on your intake of 'free' sugars.
Here, we share five top tips to cut back on sugar, as well as some recipes from our latest Healthy Diet Plan which can help you achieve your goal.
You'll find lots more bonus content from our experts to help you feel your best. Find out how to get more active, support your immunity and improve your digestion. If you haven't already, sign up today to receive free online access to the plan.
Five tips for cutting back on sugar
1. Cook from scratch
Cooking at home rather than eating at a restaurant or fast-food outlet is the single most effective way to control the levels of added sugar in your diet. It seems obvious that cakes and pastries contain the sweet stuff, but did you know that many processed and packaged foods also contain hidden sugar, including supposedly savoury items? Try making your own pasta sauces and dressings, and opt for homemade salad bowls or soups rather than buying ready-made options. There's lots more recipes like this harissa vegetable stew with quinoa in our Healthy Diet Plan.
2. Opt for naturally sweet fruit and vegetables
As you wean yourself off 'free' sugars (the type we are advised to cut back on), choose natural sources of sweetness like fresh fruits or naturally sweet veg, such as sweet potatoes. This will help your palate adapt and will keep you energised so you don't experience a sugar crash. Naturally sweet fruit and vegetables, such as fresh berries, are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
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We have lots of clever snack and sweet treat suggestions, designed to complement a healthy, balanced diet, that will stop you craving sugar. Try our pear & peanut crunch for a filling afternoon snack.
3. Eat enough protein and fat
Include protein and healthy fats in all of your main meals – these macronutrients take more time to digest so they keep you fuller for longer, which is crucial for curbing cravings and keeping you satiated. Eggs and oily fish are rich in protein and healthy fats. Some research has suggested that a satisfying breakfast may help you to make better food choices later on in the day, so you may find yourself less likely to reach for the biscuit tin. You'll find delicious, hearty breakfast recipes in our latest plan, including this hearty winter breakfast hash.
4. Reach for the spices
Try swapping the sugar in recipes with spices as these will boost flavour so you won’t miss the sweetness. We’ve used warming cinnamon in our lighter rice pudding with pomegranate – it makes for a healthier treat but still leaves you feeling satisfied.
5. Switch to less refined carbs
Starchy foods like white pasta, rice, bread and potatoes convert to glucose in the body and can impact our blood sugar levels. It's best to choose wholegrain carbohydrates instead, and enjoy potatoes with their skins on, for the added fibre. This slows down the rate at which our body breaks down food, reducing blood sugar spikes. Try our puy lentil with seared salmon for a high-fibre meal.
Find out more about our latest Healthy Diet Plan.
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