How to cut back on sugar: Healthy Diet Plan January 2018

    Keen to cut back your sugar intake? Discover three top tips for adopting a low-sugar lifestyle, plus how BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plans can help.

    The BBC Good Food Healthy Diet Plan logo

    Made a New Year's resolution to cut back on the amount of sugar that you eat, but not sure how to get started? Don't be daunted – instead, be inspired by our expert information, top tips and recipes to help you achieve your goal.

    Our Healthy Diet Plans are a great way to kickstart a healthier way of eating. All our recipes steer clear of added refined sugars and follow the latest guidance on your intake of 'free sugars'. Sign up today to receive free online access to the plan.

    We asked nutritional therapist Kerry Torrens for her three top tips to cut back on sugar, plus how the recipes from our latest Healthy Diet Plan can help you achieve your goal.

    Three tips for cutting back on sugar

    1. Cook from scratch

    A plate of lamb biryani served with cucumber raita

    Cooking at home rather than eating at a restaurant or fast food outlet is the single most effective way to control levels of added sugar in your diet. Try making your own versions of takeaway favourites such as our spicy lamb curry (pictured above), and opt for homemade open sandwiches, pasta salads and soups rather than buying from a café at lunch – get all the recipes when you sign up to our Healthy Diet Plan. It's obvious that cakes and pastries contain the sweet stuff, but did you know that many processed and packaged foods contain hidden sugar, including supposedly savoury items? Our printable healthy cooking cheat sheet is a great way to keep track of little extras, such as condiments and sauces, that can inadvertently add lots of hidden sugar to your daily intake.

    2. Opt for naturally sweet fruit and vegetables

    A bowl of chocolate and banana porridge topped with yogurt

    As you wean yourself off ‘free’ sugars (the type we are advised to cut back on) choose natural sources of sweetness like the banana in our deliciously indulgent yet good-for-you chocolate porridge (pictured above and featured in our Healthy Diet Plan). 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 butternut squash, are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Try our inspiring snack and sweet treat suggestions, designed to complement a healthy balanced diet.

    3. Eat enough protein and fat

    An omelette in a frying pan served with grilled tomatoes

    Include protein and healthy fats in all of your main meals – these macronutrients take longer to digest so they keep you fuller for longer, which is crucial for curbing cravings and keeping you satiated. The flavour-packed omelette from our Healthy Diet Plan is a great breakfast, rich in protein and healthy fats from the eggs. Some research has suggested that a satisfying, protein-rich breakfast can help you to make better food choices later on, so you may find yourself less likely to reach for the biscuit tin.

    Enjoyed this? Get more health tips...

    Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plan for January 2018
    All you need to know about sugar
    10 things you should know before giving up sugar
    All our free Healthy Diet Plans

    All health content from BBC Good Food is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

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