9 sugar swaps you’ll wish you’d made years ago
Sugar paranoia competes with sleep hygiene for the most talked-about conversation in wellbeing circles, with zero -ose food plans and eight hours a night the latest status symbols — and for good reason.
Too much sugar contributes to a whole host of health problems, affecting teeth, joints, skin, liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, sex drive and body weight.
One of the problems, whether you’re cutting out or cutting back, is it’s not immediately obvious on ingredient labels. As well as featuring heavily in so-called ‘healthy foods’, it’s often listed as glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, dextrin, maltose, corn sweetener, cane juice and carob syrup.
The scary thing is it’s addictive. Like nicotine and alcohol, sugar triggers our dopamine levels, which help control the brain’s feeling of pleasure. Instead of satisfying the need, it makes us want to take action to repeat the stimulus. Too much sugar over time causes dopamine levels to drop meaning we need sugar to get us back up to neutral.
Here are 9 easy sugar swaps you can make to reap the benefits…
Swap: Sugary cereal
For: Overnight oats
Swap: French dressing
For: Balsamic vinegar
Swap: Chocolate bar
For: A slice of toast with chocolate spread
Swap: Sugary sweets
For: Sugar free Ricola Herbal Caramel
For: Blended and frozen banana, berries and milk (optional dairy-free)
Swap: Refined sugar in tea
For: A natural sweetener, such as the stevia plant
For: Water and lemon
Swap: Chai latte
For: Chai herbal tea
Swap: Chocolate biscuit
For: Chocolate-covered rice cake
Though no-sugar may not sound tempting, or even possible, try finding alternative dopamine and energy fixes for a few days and experience the difference.