Chances are, if you’re like most adults, you probably eat a lot more sugar than you should. It’s a problem for all of us because consuming lots of sugar can cause obesity and that leads to other serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Sugar is also bad for our teeth. Now the good news is that eating a diet low in sugar has so many great benefits, like weight loss, it increases energy, improves skin, reduces mood swings, and can improve your overall health. It’s not even that di…
ficult to reduce sugar intake. It’s just a matter of reading food labels and using whole foods in your low-sugar recipes whenever possible, like lean meat and poultry, fish, unprocessed whole grains and legumes, and fruits and veggies.
Low-Sugar Breakfast Recipes
If you live for the first meal of the day and are a huge fan of jam, maple syrup, and muffins, a low-sugar diet might take some getting used to. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego breakfast altogether. Doctors say it’s the most important meal of the day. There are tons of low-sugar and no-sugar options, and when you add some fresh fruit and nuts to the mix, you can still get that burst of sweetness you crave in the a.m. Muffins with fruit and nuts – like almond berries, pumpkin, and banana – are all available in sugar-free or low-sugar mixes. And since we’re talking mixes, you can snag all sorts of low-sugar breakfast foods at the market, like sugar-free banana pancakes (whole wheat, optional), oatmeal with apple and spices, or dried cranberries, and even low-sugar waffles with fruit or coconuts. As far as all your other breakfast staples – from eggs to sausage and bacon – with the exception of some natural sugars in the form of carbohydrates in eggs, they’re all sugar-free.
Low-Sugar Snack & Dessert Recipes
Your biggest challenge for staying on the low-sugar wagon may come when you’re craving a mid-day treat or after-dinner dessert. But don’t fret! There are lots of great low-sugar snacks to munch on. When you’re craving cookies, try some homemade snack bars instead. Use ingredients like dried apricots, dates, almonds and almond butter with vanilla and shredded coconut – unsweetened. After pulverizing the nuts and apricots in a food processor, mix in almond butter, dates, and vanilla until it’s a sticky, tacky blend. Then place the loaf in a pan and refrigerate. After it hardens, cut into slices. These gooey, chewy bars have a two-week shelf life. Here’s another dessert bar, with even fewer ingredients. In the food processor, blend several handfuls of nuts – like cashews, walnuts, and almonds – with sugar-free dried apples, pitted dates, and cinnamon. You can shape into bite-sized bars or small snack balls. There are tons of recipes out there for low-sugar sweet treats like blondies and vegan chocolate brownies, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies, and fruit-exploding Popsicles.
Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes
Of course, one of the best ways to get deliver the vitamins and minerals to your diet is with homemade smoothies. Not only can these beverages satisfy a sweet tooth, but they make a healthy snack, too. Adding these fruits – either alone or in a blend – will have a little punch to your, well, frozen punch. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, blueberries, and apples have less than 15 grams of sugar per cup or piece of fruit. To give a dairy-free smoothie a creamy base, put 1/2 a banana in the blender with your fruit, and about a cup of water per serving. If you decide to blend with juice, plain Greek yogurt, or low-fat coconut milk, be sure it’s the low-sugar or sugar-free version.