The following post is from Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free:
The typical American eats 120 pounds of white sugar a year. Think about that. That’s around 270 cups of white sugar.
That’s a whole lot of sugar.
Most people are shocked when they learn I don’t eat white sugar. And, when someone tries to cut it out of their diet they are generally overwhelmed because food manufacturers have seemed to sneak white sugar into everything. Sauces, seasonings, salad dressings, and even stocks. And, we love our sweets.
If you want to try to reduce or eliminate white sugar from your diet, here are some simple steps you can take.
1. Start reading ingredient lists.
Just because the front of the box says “healthy” or “all-natural” doesn’t mean it’s actually a food you should put into your mouth. Companies use creative advertising to hook buyers. Instead, read the ingredient list. If there is white sugar in the first five ingredients, there is usually a good amount of sugar. I pass on those items. Other names for white sugar that you want to look for include cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, cane juice, and organic cane sugar.
2. Start using stevia.
Most people who’ve tried stevia tell me they don’t like it. After asking some questions, I quickly learned that it’s either because they used the wrong brand or they didn’t know how to use it. Stevia, derived from an herb, is 200 – 300 times sweeter than sugar. You just need a small amount to get the same effect. My favorite brand is NuNaturals. I use stevia to sweeten beverages and to boost the sweetness of certain baked goods. I find that liquid vanilla stevia works best for baking.
3. Bake your fruit.
I don’t know about you, but I love dessert. Instead of giving it up all together, I’ve found healthier substitutes. One of my favorite dishes is baked apples stuffed with dates or raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and a little coconut oil. You can even make these in the CrockPot! Try baking pears and bananas too.
4. Substitute coconut palm sugar for refined white sugar in your favorite recipes.
Coconut palm sugar has a low glycemic index, around 35, and is packed with minerals and nutrients. I think of it as the ‘healthy brown sugar.’ Because it’s got more flavor than white sugar, I generally start by substituting 25% less coconut palm sugar. If it’s not quite sweet enough, this is a perfect time to add 1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon stevia, depending on the recipe.
5. Make your own whole foods ‘ice cream.’
Throw some frozen bananas and your favorite frozen fruit into your food processor and give them a whirl until you achieve ice cream consistency. The result is creamy and delicious, with none of the drawbacks of white sugar. Some of my favorite fruits to use include strawberries, cherries, and blueberries. A squeeze or two of fresh lime juice is delicious too.
How do you feel about the amount of sugar you eat? What has helped you reduce your sugar intake?
|A stay-at-home mom, wife, and passionate cook, Amy strives to make each meal healthy and delicious. When she’s not doing laundry, dishes, or caring for her son, she plays around with food in the kitchen developing new recipes, which she shares at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free. Amy also publishes The Balanced Platter and authored the book Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less.|