Lowering your sugar intake can seem like a daunting task, so make your life easier with these seven easy and practical diet swaps

Words Joy Montgomery

Overhauling your diet can be a slow, painful and trying process. Temptation is everywhere, whether it’s drinks on a night out, the odd biscuit at work or even your morning coffee. Furthermore, when we’re tired and our blood sugar is crashing, trying to cut down on sugar is made a thousand times harder.

The best thing to do is take each day as it comes; making those small changes in the short-term are the habits that will offer in real results long-term. That’s why we’ve rounded up ten easy diet swaps to help you on your way. Not a kale smoothie or chia seed in sight.

SWAP: BLUEBERRY MUFFINS FOR: TOAST & PEANUT BUTTER

When you hit that blood sugar low at 3pm on a week day it can be tempting to reach for the nearest baked treat. Instead of picking up a calorie-packed muffin try nut butter on wholegrain toast (and banana, if you’re so inclined). This protein-packed alternative will keep you going till teatime.

SWAP: FIZZY DRINKS FOR: FRUIT JUICE & SODA WATER

Did you know that there is seven teaspoons of sugar in a can of Coke? Not looking so refreshing after all. If you’re looking for a warm summer day pick-me-up then a glass of fruit juice with some added soda water will taste just as good as the sugar-packed alternative.

SWAP: GRANOLA FOR: PORRIDGE

Granola is sold to us in the shops as a ‘healthy’ breakfast option, yet countless brands contain shocking amounts of sugar. Start your day right with a bowl of slow energy-releasing porridge flavoured with cinnamon (nature’s natural sweetener).

SWAP: DIGESTIVES FOR: CHOCOLATE RICE CAKES

Ok, so we all know that a cheeky chocolate digestive (or five) is not exactly a healthy snack choice. However, giving up your afternoon biscuit can become a much more attainable goal when replacing it with a yummy alternative. Dark chocolate covered rice cakes are ideal for filling that chocolate-shaped hole.

SWAP: CHAI LATTE FOR: FILTER COFFEE

They seem innocent enough, yet those creamy chai lattes can contain more sugar than a can of Coke. Next time you need a caffeine hit then opt for a filter coffee with a dash of skimmed or soy milk.

SWAP: SEX ON THE BEACH FOR: GIN & TONIC

A night out with the girls can be the hardest time to stick to your healthy eating plan. Fruity cocktails are the worst culprits, often packed with sugary juices, liqueurs and syrups. Next time you hit the bar order a gin and tonic instead – lower in both sugar and calories.

SWAP: MILK CHOCOLATE FOR: DARK CHOCOLATE

This is one of the simplest, yet potentially hardest, swaps to implement. Milk chocolate contains less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate. This means that the latter is often diluted milk solids, sugar, and cream. Milk choc guzzlers might take a while to get used to the bitter flavour of high percentage dark chocolate, so introduce small bits at a time to adjust your palette.

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