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Sugar swaps!

170605_TSF_BlogHero_01Sugar is added to a lot of our everyday packaged food and drink. This includes seemingly healthy foods, such as muesli bars, fruit-flavoured yoghurt and store-bought muffins, and those convenient foods we turn to when low on time and energy, such as instant soup and cereal.

Without the need to whip up elaborate meals throughout each day, here are some ideas for swapping out the commonly sugared-up stuff for real, whole food alternatives!

Sugar Swaps
Breakfast
Swap this For this
Fruit or flavoured yoghurt (particularly low-fat products) Plain yoghurt (dairy, coconut, or other alternative) with fresh fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, nuts and seeds stirred through. Try our roasted plum soft serve!
Cereal or muesli Homemade granola or cereal mix of coconut chips, nuts and seeds, with whole oats, buckwheat, and some cinnamon. Serve with fresh fruit.
Jam Smashed berries or chia seed jam
Juice or liquid breakfasts, such as store-bought smoothies or ‘UP&GO’ Whole fruit or homemade smoothie of banana, leafy greens, plain yoghurt and nuts
Packaged, ready made pastries, muffins, pancakes, or baked beans Egg muffinbanana and blueberry pancakes or blinis, or homemade baked beans

Don’t be afraid to go savoury at breakfast. If poached eggs and wilted greens, or last night’s chicken and veggies are what you want, then go for it! For more ideas, check out our other quick no added sugar breakfasts.


Lunch and dinner
Swap this For this
Store-bought sushi (which has sugar added to the rice) Fresh salmon or tuna sashimi with salad or homemade sushi, omitting added sugar
Pasta sauce Homemade spaghetti bolognese or pesto
Instant pasta, soup or noodles Make homemade soup, stir fry, curry, or casserole meals in bulk and freeze in batches. Defrost and use portions as required.
Salad dressing (particularly low-fat products) Make your own for your salad simply with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Play around with ingredients like tahini, plain yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, and chopped fresh herbs for variations in texture and flavours.
Tomato sauce Homemade tomato sauce. A simple recipe is roasting a punnet’s worth of of cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and once caramelised, blending into a sauce.

Check out The Office Luncheon e-book for more great lunch ideas and recipes that are designed to be easily transported and a cinch to make!

Some simple sugar swaps for your everyday food and drink!

Snacks or dessert
Swap this For this
Flavoured crisps or crackers Kale chips, roasted chickpeas, beetroot chips, or veggie sticks and seed crackers with dip such as hummus, guacamole or pesto
Biscuit or cookie Sliced pear or apple with 100% nut butter or cottage cheese, or homemade cookies
Pudding or custard Chia seed pudding, avocado and chocolate mousse, or homemade custard, such as our coconut vanilla baked custard
Ice cream Plain dairy or coconut yoghurt with berries, homemade coconut yoghurt soft serve, a smoothie bowl, or ‘nice-cream‘ using frozen banana as the base
Cake, slice or chocolate bar Fruit, hard boiled egg, nuts or cheese sticks, or a homemade snack ball or chocolate cookie
Snack bar, muesli bar or fruit snacks such as Roll Ups (fruit leathers) Pick ‘n’ mix of your favourite nuts, seeds and other yummy bits like coconut chips and a little dark chocolate

For more inspiration, we’ve loads of low-sugar snack recipes in our Low-Sugar Snacks e-book!


Drinks
Swap this For this
Soft drink and sparkling juices Soda or mineral water infused with fruit pieces and fresh herbs
Flavoured milk Plain milk
Juice Water infused with fruit pieces and fresh herbs
Fancy or flavoured coffee Black coffee or coffee and unsweetened milk

Swaps for kidlets

As we learn ways to limit our added sugar intake, we must ensure our kids are not overloaded with sweet stuff as well. Despite being notoriously fussy, we can influence the eating habits of our kids with patience, kindness and persistence. Try our suggestions above or these healthy meal ideas for kids. By swapping out kid’s sugary stuff, we help nourish their brains and bodies at a time of critical development.

We hope these ideas help you on your way to a low-added sugar lifestyle!

As you begin to swap out the food and drink high in added and free sugars for whole foods, you may experience cravings. This will lessen over time. Also allow a few weeks for we call ‘paladjustment’, when your palate adjusts becoming more sensitive to the subtle sweetness and flavours. Soon enough, you will find the level of sweetness in many packaged food and drink too intense.

Happy swapping!

By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut Med)

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