Let's face it, we'd all be a little healthier, happier and probably lighter if we didn't have all that sugar in our diets. Follow these easy steps to cut it out completely...
There is so much in the news these days about how much sugar is lurking in foods all around us, silently sneaking into our meals and clawing us into a crave-filled, crash and burn, sugar addiction situation.
And it seems that this is the year in which people are deciding it’s about time we said no to all that sugary stuff in our diets.
The maximum intake recommended by the World Health Organisation is 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is 35 grams. But with so many of us going way over this amount without even realising, something has to be done.
We know it’ll be tough, and you might not be able to give it all up straight away, but we hope that these simple steps will help you get sugar-free for the whole family.
Are you trying to give up sugar? We’d love to hear your tips in our comments section below.
If you're serious about giving up the sugar. You've got to just do it. And really mean it.
addiction to sugar is what gives us those un-ignorable sugar cravings,
and the sooner you cut it out, the less reliant you'll be on it. But
it's not going to be easy. Going through sugar withdrawal is likely to
leave you lacking energy, craving sugary foods and maybe even
experiencing flu-like symptoms, so be prepared and make sure you keep
your energy up.
If you're really suffering from sugar
withdrawal, why not try a natural sugar substitute like Stevia? Only
have a little and eventually you'll be able to give those up for good
The likelihood of you ditching the sugar when you know you've got a mutli-pack of Twix in the treats cupboard is more unlikely than if you start afresh. We're not one for wasting food, but temptation is a terrible thing, so remove the culprits and you'll be one giant step towards sorting your sugar habit!
All this talk of sugar lately has had us investigating the sugar content in some of your everyday foods. And it seems that sugar is hiding everywhere! Even trusty ol' tomato soup has four teaspoons of sugar hidden in that inviting-looking tin. Sob.
See which other sugar shockers we discovered so you can know what to avoid.
Fruit, on the one hand, is great for you. Packed full of vitamins we're not for a second recommending you avoid them, but it's worth knowing that they do contain a lot of sugar.
A small orange, for example, contains around nine grams of the white stuff, and if you're the sort of person who dashes out the house with just a banana for breakfast, it's worth knowing that there are 12 grams of sugar hiding in there. That's over 3 teaspoons!
You could try opting for fruits with less sugar, like strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, instead?
We're sure many of you do this anyway, but the importance of making homemade meals goes far beyond being satisfying and cheap. Ready meals can contain so much sugar - as many as six teaspoons in some!
Stick to the homemade stuff and this way, you always know, 100%, exactly what has gone into that meal.
Why don't you try walking or running off your sugar cravings?
Popping your trainers on and getting outside for a little bit of exercise will not only drag you away from the contents of the fridge and cupboards (sometimes the temptation is just too much!) but exercise also releases endorphins in the body, which can help to regulate mood changes associated with sugar withdrawl symptoms.
Try some of our easy exercises.
Thankfully, those little colourful labels you'll find on foods in supermarkets can make your sugar-free life a little easier.
Make sure you always check the label before popping something in your basket and remember: pre-prepared meals are a real snake in the grass when it comes to sugar content, so keep your beady eye out!
Do you keep the biscuit tin next to the kettle? Or sprinkle sugar on your porridge? Maybe you can't get through a film without snacking on something sweet, or reward yourself with sweet stuff on a Sunday night?
These habits are only going to change if you replace them with new ones. Fill your biscuit tin with nuts, exchange your sugary porridge for a teaspoon of honey, and get to know the things you like that don't contain loads of sugar.
You might think that you actually don't consume that much sugar. But what you might not have realised (or turned a blind eye to) is the amount of sugar in alcohol.
For example, a standard glass of white wine contains about a gram of sugar (four grams makes a teaspoon), liqueurs such as Baileys (you know this one's going to be bad) contain six grams per serving! And as for mixers with spirits such as gin and vodka, well if your tipple's a vodka and coke, we don't think we need to tell you that this is just a sugary recipe for disaster.
Carbs - they're sugary, don't you know?
Refined grains contain more sugar than their altogether, healthier counterpart, whole grains. Of course we're not saying you need to cut out carbs altogether, but you can definitely make better choices at the supermarket if you want to cut down on your sugar intake.
Check out our round-up of the best and worst breads, here.