5 Steps to Reduce Your Family’s Sugar Intake

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Riding the streetcar through my neighbourhood I often pass by the apartment of Jason Holborn. You can’t miss it. His window is filled with huge numbers counting down the days he has gone without sugar. Every time I pass this reminder I think about my own sugar intake but the thought of going cold turkey is pretty scary.

According to Statistics Canada the average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar a day! But according to Canadian registered dietitian Diana Steele, even small changes can make a difference. Try following these five steps:

  1. Reduce or eliminate sugar sweetened beverages. Sweetened beverages, including fruit- flavoured drinks, carbonated drinks, sports and energy drinks, may be the single largest driving factor of the obesity epidemic. Replace these beverages with calorie-free drinks such as water, tea or drinks that provide vitamins and nutrients such as almond milk and 100% pure fruit juice. Almond Fresh Unsweetened, is a refreshing, no sugar added beverage which can be enjoyed by the glass or be used as a cooking ingredient in healthy, low-sugar meals.
  2. Skip sugary ingredients. Instead of jams, jellies, honey and syrups, consider adding vanilla or almond extract or spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger which impart a sweet flavour without the use of sugar.
  3. Say no to candy and chocolate. Plan to have a snack between meals to help maintain blood sugars and prevent sugar cravings. Consider plain yogurt with berries, raw vegetables and hummus or a fruit and unsweetened almond milk smoothie.
  4. Add nutrients, not calories. Make healthier choices when choosing desserts. Consider having tinned peaches packed in water, apple crumble with oatmeal topping, low-sugar Greek yogurt with fresh berries or simply a glass of steamed unsweetened almond milk with a dash of cinnamon.
  5. Cook together. Skipping the sugar is no cake walk. Canadian health experts continue to point to cooking together as a family to establish healthy cooking habits and a healthy lifestyle. Selecting weekly meals and shopping as a family will also help instill healthy eating habits. Remember, start simple and make small changes over time and you’ll soon start to see a change in your overall health.

One way we’ve made the transition in our home is with the addition of Almond Fresh. Most smoothies seem to be milkshakes in disguise but blending a cup of fresh BC blueberries with a cup of Almond Fresh Coconut makes a great treat for the kids with only 10g of sugar per cup (0g if you use unsweetened Almond Fresh which would taste just fine with the sweet blueberries).

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For a grown-up treat I swapped out coconut milk in Distinguished Spirits Pina Colada recipe with Almond Fresh Coconut. You have to try this. I especially love that this recipe is shaken not blended.

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Even as bedtime treat we enjoyed steamed Almond Fresh Coconut. It makes a nice alternative to other traditional nighttime snack cravings.

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So although I may not yet be at the stage of Jason Holborn, cutting out my sugar intake all together, these tips from Canadian registered dietitian Diana Steele show that it’s easy to at least take some baby steps.

How are you doing with cutting out the sugar? Any tips that work for you?

This post was sponsored by Earth’s Own but as always the opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

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