5 ways to eat less sugar
A recent report has found that girls who drink more than one sugary drink a day are likely to start having their periods sooner.
The study by Harvard Medical School studied over 5,000 girls aged from 9-14 and found that those who drank more than one sugary drink a day had their first period almost 3 months before their peers who drank fewer sugar-filled drinks.
Starting your period at a very young age has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in later life, so if you’d prefer Aunty Flo to pay a much more timely visit to your tween, here are some ways of cutting sugar out of your daughter’s diet – and yours if you fancy being a bit healthier…
Switch to low-sugar cereals
Many cereals – especially the ones that kids like – are full of sugar. Instead choose porridge, Weetabix or Shredded Wheat for the ultimate low-sugar start to the day. If you find you still need something sweet, add a banana, chopped apricots or some apple.
Swap your snacks
Snacks are a sugar minefield, so try these swaps to cut sugar:
- Swap cake for malt-loaf or a toasted teacake.
- Swap biscuits for oatcakes or unsalted rice cakes.
- Instead of sweets, munch on dried fruit such as raisins, apricots or apple. While they do have sugar in them, they do at least count towards your 5-a-day.
- Ditch flavoured yogurts and serve up natural Greek yogurt, with fruit.
Avoid adding sugar
An obvious one, but don’t serve jam or chocolate spread on toast, don’t add sugar to cereals or tea and be cautious of too much honey – it’s still sugar!
Watch what you drink
A can of coke not surprisingly contains just over 9 teaspoons of sugar. What might be more surprising though is that other ‘healthier’ alternatives are just as bad. A glass of Ribena has 8 teaspoons of sugar, while a regular sized glass of orange juice contains the same amount of sugar as that can of coke. Either switch to low-sugar alternatives or better still, drink water with squashes and fizzy drinks an occasional treat.
Eat the right kind of chocolate
Just because you’re cutting down on sugar, doesn’t mean you can’t eat chocolate – especially when PMS strikes! It’s just important that you eat the RIGHT kind of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains half the sugar that milk chocolate does. Choose one that is at least 70% cocoa. It will take time getting used to it as it’s definitely not so sweet but will still help satisfy your choc cravings, while also boosting your health.