This week we’ve been taking the time to consider our family’s sugar intake and look at steps to reduce the amount of sugar, not necessarily to cut it out completely but to cut down and strike a healthier balance.
We’ve been working with Canderel on their #SweetSmart campaign and trying some of their products to help us out on our cutting out sugar mission.
I noticed that there are a few times throughout the day that I find myself consuming sugar unnecessarily, or feeling tempted to reach for a sweet treat to give myself an energy boost. A few simple changes for those habits could definitely add up over time and have a positive effect on my health, diet and well being.
Here’s a look at a few of those trouble spots throughout the day, and the swaps I have been making.
We often opt for cereal at breakfast time, as a quick and easy option but many cereals are quite high in sugar – even those that seem quite healthy. I decided to switch that out for natural yoghurt with fruit, and sprinkle with a little Canderel to sweeten as needed (only a tiny bit needed!)
This makes a really tasty and filling breakfast, that feels like a much healthier choice and although there is sugar within the fruit that’s all naturally occurring sugar so much less of an issue to me than added sugar in processed cereals.
The morning coffee break is another time where I can be tempted to add extra sugar, in the form of a biscuit with my coffee. I don’t take sugar in my hot drinks, but if you do then Canderel would be a really good option to substitute that since Canderel tablets contain 0 calories! So by replacing your teaspoon of sugar in hot drinks with Canderel you could save up to 700 calories in a week if you’re a regular tea or coffee drinker.
I have found that being more aware of sugar and thinking about my intake helped me to say no to the morning biscuit, and personally I find that when I replace my coffee with green tea I tend to feel much healthier for doing that too.
Afternoon Energy Boost
As well as coffee, I sometimes indulge my caffeine habit with fizzy drinks too. Although I do prefer to opt for the diet options with less sugar, sometimes we do drink the regular versions and the amount of sugar in those is way too high for my liking.
I thought of making some smoothies to replace those fizzy drinks, and give my afternoon energy boost from fresh fruit and veggies instead. There are so many easy recipes to make smoothies, and I love to try different ideas each time – depending on what I have available in the fridge. Again, a little sprinkle of Canderel worked well to sweeten these on the occasions that it needed it.
When we cook our evening meals from scratch, they don’t tend to contain a lot of sugar since we use simple ingredients to cook traditional food with rice, lentils, spices, meat and vegetables but I’ve found that ready made sauces or ready meals can contain much higher amounts of sugar, even though they are not sweet so I had never really thought about this before. This emphasises the importance of cooking our own healthy meals rather than opting for the convenience of pre-prepared.
Later on in the evening is when I tend to hit another sugar danger spot, as I feel tempted to have a treat to snack on while watching television – normally chocolate.
So I thought of baking a dessert with lower sugar to eat after dinner, to put a stop to those sweet cravings later. When baking with Canderel, you can substitute sugar in a recipe for Canderel in the ratio of:
1 tbsp of sugar can be replaced by 1 tbsp of Canderel (volume ratios)
100g of sugar can be replaced by 10g of Canderel (weight ratios)
This is because Canderel is less dense and weighs a lot less for the volume.
I made some saffron rice pudding, replacing the sugar with Canderel in my usual recipe. Since it’s a filling dessert, it does help to keep cravings at bay later and eating the sweet desserts a little earlier on straight after dinner is probably much better than late night tv-time chocolate snacking anyway!
Follow the Canderel Facebook page for more inspiration and help with cutting down on sugar, as they will be posting two #SweetSmart tips a week so keep checking back for more info and tips.
You can also visit Canderel.com/recipes for recipe ideas and inspiration