6 simple ways to cut down on sugar

So, you’ve cut down on chocolate and other treats – but could you do more to avoid the sweet stuff?

We all know consuming too much sugar can help pile on the pounds – and being overweight can greatly increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, and even of having a stroke. SmartPoints® is based on the most up-to-date science on sugar, so following the plan will go a long way to keeping your intake under control. But there are some other straightforward ways to cut down. These tips will help...

1. Do it gradually
Help your tastebuds adjust to your new lower-sugar regime. Start by cutting down the amount in your tea or coffee and diluting fruit juice with sparkling water.

2. Learn your label
Let packaging help you make healthier choices – check the ‘traffic lights’ on the front of the pack and try to select foods with sugar rated as green, rather than red or amber.

3. Eat more veg!
Add sweet vegetables to your baking and sauces to help cut down on the sugar. Squash, parsnips, carrots, beetroot and sweet potatoes all work well.

4. Make like Sherlock
Turn detective to find sugar hiding on labels under a pseudonym. It could be listed as glucose, fructose, corn syrup, maltose, dextrose or fruit syrup.

5. Beware alcoholic drinks
Your favourite tipple could be packing in the sugar, so choose wisely. A pint of sweet cider has 11 SmartPoints! A pint of lager, meanwhile, has just 5 SmartPoints. A vodka and cranberry juice has 9 SmartPoints, compared with 2 SmartPoints for vodka with a diet mixer.

6. Get smart with flavour
Shake cinnamon over puddings, porridge and lattes to add a naturally sweet flavour without any sugar.