A few months ago I wrote about a Dutch scientist who argues that sugar is just as addictive as nicotine. Along with a discussion of his essay, I made some recommendations for cutting the sugar out of your diet. I was reminded of that today, when I saw a great article on Mother Nature Network called “7 Simple Swaps to Reduce Your Sugar Intake.” They’ve got some great advice on cutting out some of that hidden sugar that sneaks into our diets, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites!

Stick to Unsweetened Products

MNN specifically mentions applesauce, and the example they give has half the amount of sugar as the sweetened stuff. Not bad! You can also try this trick with iced tea (like Honest Tea) and peanut butter. The Huffington Post did a taste test on the best natural peanut butter – just be sure to check the ingredients!

Ditch the Sports Drinks

Unless you’re actively running a marathon daily, you probably don’t need all the sugar, carbs, and electrolytes that are loaded into Gatorade, Powerade, and the like. Coconut water offers all the benefits of sodium and potassium, without being crammed full of sugar and artificial ingredients.

Use Fruit Spread Instead of Jam or Jelly

Polaner All Fruit might sound pretentious, but its name speaks the truth. It contains half the sugar that jam does, and is plenty sweet and fruity on its own. Plus, they have a nice variety of flavors and provide you with 3 grams of dietary fiber to help fill you up!

Make Your Own Pasta Sauce

Talk about hidden sugar! Store bought brands cram sugar into their sauces, up to 11 grams per serving! Instead of buying store bought, try making your own, or even just buying canned diced tomatoes and tossing those in with your pasta. Anything to avoid that sugar!


Be sure to stop by Mother Nature Network for more good tips on avoiding secret sugar in your diet. What are the ways that you cut the sugar out of your food?

Image Credit: Uwe Hermann