Reducing Sugar

What strategies does everyone use to reduce sugar intake? Food alternatives.


  • HungryCatapillar23
    Don’t eat anything with added sugar, use natural sugars like honey, maple syrup or fruits .
    You could use sweeteners
    But I would not recommend 🤮

    Cream (no added sugars) is a good way to sweeten tea coffee etc
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 9,064 Member
    Presuming your reason is to reduce calories or keep your blood sugar down - honey and maple syrup will be no better than sugar.

    I substitute some sugar containing products for artificial sweetened ones - sodas, jelly.
    And look for unsweetened or no added sugar versions of products.
    And cut down amounts of biscuits, cakes, candy etc
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,502 Member
    I eat very little highly processed food. Eat lots of bread, but bread contains very little sugar here. Cook mostly from scratch. Fruit and veg: I don't care. Yesterday I had 19g sugar in total and the day before 32g.
  • wm3796
    wm3796 Posts: 75 Member
    Eliminate almost all processed foods, like cookies, crackers, granola bars, granola, cereals.Try to seriously limit eating out and try cooking instead. Read the labels on store bought sauces etc and choose lower sugar options. Try to eat mostly whole foods( things not in a package or things with long list of ingredients). Non starchy vegetables and fruit, particularly berries are good options
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,704 Member
    You don't give us much information: What's your motivation for decreasing sugar intake (weight loss, nutrition, health condition . . . )? What problems if any do you have with sugar (cravings or binging, or . . . )? Are you looking for a "what to eat" answer, or a "how to change habits/cravings" answer.

    The basic answer is to eat less of things like sweet baked goods, candy, and sugared sweet drinks.

    Secondarily, start reading labels and notice which other foods include sugar (under various aliases) in the ingredients, especially if it's early in the ingredient list. Reduce those.

    If you're logging your food on MFP, you can look at the sugar column in your diary, and reduce high-sugar foods. (Eat smaller portions, eat them less often, or drop them from your habits.) Caveat: Most health authorities don't emphasize limiting inherent sugars, rather just those that are added. The sugars in fruits, veggies, no-sugar added dairy foods are not generally a problem from a health and nutrition standpoint, as long as overall nutrition is OK (i.e., getting enough protein, fats, etc.), and eating appropriate calories for your goals.

    If you're diabetic or insulin resistant, you may need to manage sugar specifically and carbs generally more carefully, including managing inherent sugars in fruits and such.

    It's not universally necessary to strictly limit sugar or carbohydrates just for weight loss, though some people do find that eating low-carb or keto helps reduce their appetite/cravings. Personally, I lost weight fine eating 150g+ carbs most days, and routinely exceeded my MFP default sugar goal all the way. (I ate few added sugars, mostly ate foods with inherent sugars, such as fruits, veggies, dairy.) I'm in maintenance now; yesterday I ate 94g of sugar per MFP, only about 18g of it added sugar, which is less than the roughly 10% of calories of added sugars that WHO and other mainstream nutritional sources say we should stay within.

    BTW: Honey and maple syrup are by definition "added sugar". Personally, if I'm going to sweeten something, I prefer natural-ish sweeteners but to me that includes those plus molasses or even . . . granulated sugar. I just don't eat that many sugar-added foods in general.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,011 Member
    bk3621 wrote: »
    What strategies does everyone use to reduce sugar intake? Food alternatives.

    I'm low carb and actually ketogenic at the moment, which basically eliminates most starchy carbs that are basically just sugar to the body and of course there's very little to no added sugar in this diet, although I do consume berries periodically. If your query isn't health related then reducing carbs and sugar to this extend isn't warranted at all and if your question is about added sugar then probably just replacing some processed foods with whole foods tends to eliminate a good percentage of those added sugars.
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,641 Member
    edited November 2023
    I eat whole food when possible, and use artificial sweeteners on products that make otherwise healthy foods palatable (like some greek yogurts, protein powders, on some whole grain cereals).
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,868 Member
    bk3621 wrote: »
    What strategies does everyone use to reduce sugar intake? Food alternatives.

    Keep your diary and note the things you're eating that have added sugar and cut back on those things. It also depends on why and what your consumption looks like. When I started keeping a diary I noted that my consumption of added sugars was overall pretty negligible so I stopped tracking it altogether and started tracking fiber instead. Most of my sugar consumption comes from fruit and veg and even that is pretty low since I don't eat fruit everyday...I eat quite a bit of veg, but I'm not at all concerned about the sugar content in the carrot or red bell pepper in my salad.
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 8,218 Member
    Mine was to go Keto. Sugar is a carb, and I only have so many in my budget for the day, so I avoid it. More specifically, I use sugar substitutes of various types. Find one or several that you like, and use them.
  • JoLightensUp
    JoLightensUp Posts: 140 Member
    It might help if you could mention some of the sugary foods that you now enjoy but would like to reduce or replace (if that is your aim)? I have a sweet tooth but don't like most lollies/hard candy or rich desserts, and I can take or leave ice cream. Chocolate and cookies, however...just hand 'em over and nobody will get hurt lol!

    Anyway, I will mention a few things that help me...

    1) Making sure my meals are satisfying. That seems to help reduce my cravings for the sweet stuff. I focus on including some protein, some low gi carbs like sourdough or grainy bread/cereals, plus bulking out meals with vegetables or salad or vegie soups etc. This works for me but others have different strategies.

    2) Fruit! I love fruit and it helps satisfy my sweet tooth. Even reducing my 'treat food' portions and replacing it with fruit helps. The other night I ate half a cupcake with a bowl of strawberries. I didn't miss the other half and my daughter was happy because she got it!

    3) Using reduced sugar or no sugar versions. I love Bundaberg Diet Ginger Beer (I'm in Australia) - it has some sugar but less than the original. I also like Avalanche No Sugar Drinking Chocolate, which has Stevia.

    Hope some of this helps. As others in this thread have said, it depends on your goals. Some of it is just experimenting with what works for you and your tastes.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,988 Member
    Eating more fruit helps me satisfy both my sweet tooth and my calorie goals. Fruit is lower in sugar and fat, and thus calories, than foods like baked goods, candy, and ice cream, plus it has bulk and fiber, which also helps me with satiety.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,784 Member
    A lot of people demonize sugar substitutes. I was one for years, and obese. But I stuck by my “real sugar” guns, by golly.

    Nowadays, I take the point of view that the extra hundred pounds was harming my health a hella lot more than a few grams a day of artificial sweeteners, so I make use of them.

    Chai latte with sugar free syrup, homemade ice cream made with sugar free pudding mix and sugar free syrup (if needed), sugar free chocolate sauce, sugar free sweeteners in my daily protein pancakes.

    I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Clamping down in it would just be misery.

    I have a Nugo bar every day. Some sugar, some stevia, better than a Hershey’s bar of any kind, and a fraction of the sugar. Their coconut/dark chocolate tastes like a Mounds bar.

    A diabetes class I attended with my husband years ago pointed out that many people perceive the taste of cinnamon as “sweet”. I “sweeten” a lot of foods with cinnamon, or brew it with my coffee sometimes. Vietnamese (aka Saigon) cinnamon has a much stronger and sweeter taste than regular shelf cinnamon. Frontier Coop’s is amazing. I buy it by the pound. You can sample a regular spice jar sized bottle on Amazon for about $5.