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Food

10 tips to cut down on sugar

by Sarah Alcock

Britain's king of food revolution Jamie Oliver has decided to put sugar under the microscope. His documentary, Sugar Rush, airs tonight and is an in-depth examination of how sugar features in our lives today. With more and more recognition and understanding of how sugar works in our bodies, here are some top tips on how to cut down and keep it that way...

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1. Read the labels
Although this seems quite time-consuming when you're doing your weekly shop, it will open your eyes to the hidden sugars you can find where you least expect it. Be especially wary of ready meals and pre-made sauces and soups.

2. Sugar's pseudonyms

Some food companies add lots of sugar but list it under separate names and grams so that it seems that the product doesn't contain high amounts of sugar. Look for words that end in '-ose', syrups, concentrated fruit juice, cane crystals and hydrolysed starch.

3. Complex carbohydrates

These include bread, bagels, pasta and baked beans. These foods contain sugar molecules that are turned to glucose in the body. Although you shouldn't cut these out completely, it's good to be aware of the effect they have on your body.

4. Say no to artificial sweeteners

Using spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cardamom are more natural and much better for you.

5. Whole foods

Choose foods that are in their original, and therefore natural, form and cook from scratch as much as possible – that way, you'll know you're avoiding added sugars.

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6. Avoid drinking your five-a-day

Many people choose to drink their five a day in the form of bought smoothies and fruit juices. However, these drinks contain a lot of added sugar so why not make a fruit salad instead?

7. Mind over matter

Your sugar craving shouldn't last longer than 20 minutes so, if you can engage your brain to think about something else, you'll feel better in no time.

8. Water

Often when we think we're hungry we're actually thirsty. Drinking some water will quickly help you distinguish which of the two you were feeling.

9. Fruit

If you really need to eat something sweet, fruit is best. The natural sugars in fruits will satisfy your craving.

10. You can still eat sugar

Completely giving up sugar is extremely hard. Cutting out hidden sugars means that instead of wasting your allowance, you can eat the things you love and not feel guilty about it.

By Charlotte Davidson

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