In his previous piece, Dr Ali Hasan, Vitality Clinical Operations Director, explains what sugar is, the effect on your body and the risks of eating too much. Here are his five top tips to help you cut down:
1. Change how you shop
Look out for nutrition labels and if you are choosing between two similar items, pick the one with lower sugar – but beware in case it has higher amounts of fat or salt to compensate. The fewer reds on the label, the better. Swap fruit juice for whole fruits such as apples, blueberries and grapes. And avoid popping sugary snacks into your shopping trolley – if you don’t have them at home, you won’t be tempted to eat them.
2. Keep a food diary for a week
Try an app like Myfitnesspal or a journal to log all the obviously sugary foods then consider limiting the number you allow yourself in a week – or think about cutting out sugary snacks altogether.
3. Think about what you choose when you are eating out
More and more restaurants, takeaways and coffee shops have sprung up but less action has been taken to improve the food offered than with retailers and manufacturers. Avoid obvious sugar-loaded options and read the nutritional information where it’s available.
4. Log your spending
Track how much you spend on biscuits, chocolate bars and desserts in a week (including eating out) – multiply that by 52 and think about what else you could spend that money on. Not only could you look and feel better but your bank balance could too.
5. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks altogether
Nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diets comes from sugary drinks, like soft drinks, juices, cordials and squashes. Replace them with water and herbal teas, which can have a naturally sweet taste.