By now we all know that sugar is the devil behind mood swings, bad skin and weight gain. Quitting sugar seems like a no-brainer, but the idea of a sweet-free life is hard for most of us to wrap our heads around.
Sugar is in almost everything, even food we consider relatively healthy, like tomato sauce or strawberry yoghurt, so cutting it out completely can be tough. Whether you’re eliminating sugar from your diet completely or just trying to cut down, here are sugar-free foods that taste great and make your body feel good too:
Before you get excited, not the yoghurt that comes with a little pocket of chocolate sprinkles on the side. Plain yoghurt is great for your gut, just be sure to read the ingredients to make sure there is no sugar secretly added to it. Add cinnamon to taste, and depending how strict you’re being about your no-sugar rules, you could add some fruit or honey too.
Nuts are the good kind of fat and a great source of protein. Treat yourself to one of those big boxes of assorted nuts from Woolworths and every time you feel an urge to eat a Lunch Bar, dip your hand in there instead.
This is a great flavour combination of sweet and spicy. Instead of sugar in your oats or coffee, rather sprinkle some cinnamon on. A great snack to trick your body into thinking you’re having a treat? Toast a piece of bread and add butter and cinnamon.
Fruit … in moderation
When cutting out sugar, people tend to up their fruit intake, thinking that because it’s not processed sugar it’s fine to binge on. Be aware of how much fruit you’re eating and always accompany it with a handful of seeds or nuts. This will slow down the spike in insulin brought on by the fruit. Go for low-glucose fruits like grapefruits, blueberries and raspberries and avoid grapes, bananas and watermelon. Eat your one to two pieces of fruit a day whole, steering clear of shop-bought smoothies, juices and dried fruits.
Popcorn is one of the best snacks because it fills you up but isn’t full of kilojoules. The trick to making it taste amazing? Use coconut oil instead of regular oil. The popcorn will have a slightly sweet and coconut-y flavour to it. Seriously, try it.
As if you needed another reason to upgrade your bachelor avocado to a four pack during your next grocery shop. The fat in an avo will keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack on other things throughout the day. If you’re making a smoothie, add an avocado to make it extra creamy.
When you find yourself craving a sweet cup of milky tea or hot chocolate, try another kind of hot drink.You might find that it’s more the ritual of making tea and drinking something warm that you crave than the actual sugar. Teas with sweet undertones, like mango- and litchi-infused green tea, peppermint tea or liquorice tea will hit the spot (okay, nothing is going to hit the spot quite like a cup of hot chocolate but it comes pretty close).
The clue is in the name. The naturally sweet-tasting vegetable is a great compromise for satisfying a sweet tooth. Sprinkle cinnamon and cook in coconut oil and you’ll find yourself less likely to be wishing for a dessert after your dinner.
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