6 Easy (and Delicious) Ways to Use Less Sugar
It's hard to find foods that don't contain added sugar these days. It's in everything from salad dressings to yogurts to savory foods like canned soup. All you have to do is check the ingredient list, and you likely will find a sugar source hidden in there. So while you may not intentionally be consuming sugar, you probably are–and your sugar intake can quickly add up (even if you aren't eating dessert every day.)
When you eat high amounts of sugar at one time without any digestion-slowing nutrients, it may cause spikes in your blood sugar. In the short term, blood sugar spikes can cause you to get a rush of energy and then a quick crash, leaving you feeling hungry soon after eating. Long-term, when you're consistently spiking your blood sugar after meals, it may lead to health issues such as type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.
If you are looking to manage blood sugar levels, a useful tool is what's called the glycemic index. According to Harvard Health, "the glycemic index (GI) is a value assigned to foods based on how quickly and how high those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels." Low-GI foods release glucose slowly and steadily whereas high-GI foods release glucose rapidly.
Rather than keeping track of the glycemic index of all the foods you eat, one hack for managing blood sugar is to opt for a low glycemic index sweetener, like agave, which does not spike your blood sugar as regular sugar does.
Making easy swaps like replacing refined sugar with agave from Agave In The Raw—which is lower on the glycemic index—can help support more even-keeled blood sugar levels.
In addition to subbing agave for cane sugar, here are six easy ways to use less sugar every day.
Replace maple syrup with agave syrup.
Maple syrup is a treat to the taste buds–but it is high in sugar. If you want an option with equal flavor but with a lower glycemic index, pour agave syrup like Agave In The Raw on your pancakes, granola, and in smoothies instead.
Use agave instead of refined sugar.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your sugar intake is to swap any refined sugar you're using throughout your day with agave. Agave is 25% sweeter than sugar, which means you can use less of it for the same amount of sweetness as refined cane sugar. If you typically put refined sugar in your coffee, tea, or oatmeal, swap it instead with agave. It has a rich, deep caramel flavor that will take any drink or dish from boring to yummy–while also reducing calories and sugar content.
Having friends over for cocktails? Use Light Agave syrup in place of simple syrup. Its lighter flavor profile pairs perfectly with citrus drinks.
Buy plain flavors of foods and sweeten yourself with agave.
Skip the fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt and flavored packets of oatmeal, which are typically packed with sugar. Instead, opt for plain yogurt or oatmeal and sweeten them yourself with agave. The best part: you get to control how sweet you make it.
Pair agave with fruit to sweeten your favorite foods.
You don't have to rely entirely on added sugars to sweeten your favorite foods. Instead, use both sweeteners and fruit! Topping waffles, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, and more with both agave and fruit will not only add sweetness but extra vitamins and minerals from the fruit.
Shrink your portion size.
Bigger isn't always better, especially if you are trying to cut back on sugar. If your go-to order is a large coffee at your local cafe, consider downsizing your order. The larger the portion size, the more sugar and calories you're likely consuming. Another easy swap: choose agave instead of sugar, which is 25% sweeter than sugar and has fewer calories.
Enhance baked goods with spices instead of sugar.
Refined sugar is often used to sweeten baked goods. But rather than add flavor, it just adds sweetness. To cut down on sugar, it's time to hit the pantry and scour the spice rack. Choose spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to enhance the flavor of your baked goods. Another tip? Replace your cups of refined sugar with agave syrup instead.