Keen to reduce your sugar intake? Discover three top tips for adopting a low-sugar lifestyle, plus how BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plans can help.
If you've made a resolution to cut back on sugar but you're not sure how to get started, you don't need to feel daunted. Our expert information, top tips and recipes will help you achieve your goal.
Our Healthy Diet Plans are a great way to kick-start 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. If you haven’t already, sign up today to receive free online access to the plan.
We asked nutritionist (MBANT) 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
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 pasta sauces and dressings, and opt for homemade salad bowls, wholemeal pasta dishes and soups rather than buying from a café at lunch – get all the recipes when you sign up to our Healthy Diet Plan. 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? 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
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 veggies 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 the peaches we've used in a delicious, balanced salad (pictured above) in our Healthy Diet Plan, 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
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. The flavour-packed stuffed peppers from our Healthy Diet Plan makes for a great lunch, rich in protein from quinoa and chickpeas and healthy fats from olive oil and pumnpkin seeds. Some research has suggested that a satisfying, protein-rich breakfast may help you to make better food choices later on, so you may find yourself less likely to reach for the biscuit tin.
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