Easy Sugar Swaps
By Sara Butler
Added sugars aren't good for you. According to the American Heart Association, added sugars in the diet put you at higher risk of heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer of Americans today. Most people enjoy some sweetness every now and again and you don't have to give that up to be healthier. You simply need to know about some easy sugar swaps you can use in your everyday life.
For Cooking and Baking
If you have a recipe that calls for sugar, there is a substitute you can easily use to naturally sweeten it instead -- applesauce! Yes, applesauce is a great way to cut sugar and fat from the foods you make. When using applesauce, you may need less oil due to the amount of moisture it contains, so experiment to find a texture and taste you like. You can also try using an artificial sweetener when you cook or bake, but natural sweeteners are going to be your best bet.
Sauces and Dressings
Sauces and dressings are a huge way for added sugars to find their way into your diet. Swap out your bottled tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and salad dressings for homemade versions with less sugar. When you make them yourself you have complete control over how much sugar and other ingredients go into them.
If you drink soda or sweet tea, then you need to cut them out. They're a huge source of empty calories and sugar in the American diet. Plain water or flavored sparkling water are great bets, or you can always mix water with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice for a little extra sweetness.
Coffee and Tea
Those fancy coffee drinks you get may be delicious, but they're full of sugar -- and sweetened tea is no different. Even the versions of these drinks created with agave syrup or honey add to your overall sugar intake, so you need to keep track. Adjust the sweetness of your beverages and cut back on sugar by using natural flavors such as nutmeg, mint, cinnamon, and citrus.
When it comes time for dessert, just say no to traditional desserts that are loaded with added sugars. Instead, make fruit, either fresh or frozen, a sweet ending to your meal. You can even get a little fancy by poaching, stewing, grilling, or baking the fruit.
Cutting back on sugar doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself, just be smart about the sugars you choose to put on your plate!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dallas, Tex.