How do I Reduce my Daily Sugar Intake?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There are many ways to reduce your daily sugar intake. One way is to read food labels and avoid those that have added sugar. You may also reduce your sugar intake by choosing naturally sweet foods such as fruit over unhealthy choices such as cookies. Gradually cutting back on the amount of sugar you add to food may help as well. Additionally, you may consider using artificial sweeteners in your food and drinks.

Demerara sugar.
Demerara sugar.

One of the best ways to reduce your daily sugar intake is to read the ingredient labels on the foods you purchase. Many prepared and junk foods have added sugar, so avoiding these foods is a step in the right direction. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these products may have sugar in them, even if the word sugar isn't on the ingredient list. Instead, the label may list fructose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, or dextrose, which are all types of sugar. If an ingredient list includes corn syrup or maltose, this also means the food product contains sugar.

Reading nutrition labels can help reduce daily sugar intake.
Reading nutrition labels can help reduce daily sugar intake.

You may have trouble lowering your intake of sugar if you crave sweets on a regular basis. You may, however, deal with this by choosing healthy sweets. For example, you may substitute fruit for cupcakes and sweeten your tea with honey rather than refined sugar. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these foods do contain sugar. This type of sugar is healthy, however, and less likely to contribute to health problems than refined sugar.

Reducing your daily sugar intake may also prove easier if you slowly wean yourself from it. For example, if you usually put 3 teaspoons (about 14.78 milliliters) of sugar in your tea, you may try cutting back to 2 teaspoons (about 9.85 milliliters) at first and then continue reducing. You may try this gradual reduction with other consumables as well. For instance, you may find that your favorite cookies are still tempting if you bake them with less sugar.

You may also take steps to reduce your daily sugar intake by choosing reduced-sugar foods. You may, for example, choose ice cream that does not have any sugar added or reduced-sugar breakfast cereal. In fact, many grocery stores carry a host of reduced-sugar items. Adding cinnamon or vanilla to foods that have reduced amounts of sugar may, in some cases, help to disguise the change in taste.

Artificial sweeteners may also help you to reduce your daily sugar intake. For instance, you may purchase cookies and soda made with artificial sweeteners. You can also purchase artificial sweeteners to use in your own cooking. For example, you may use an artificial sweetener in your coffee as well as when you bake a cake at home.

Many junk foods have excessive amounts of sugar.
Many junk foods have excessive amounts of sugar.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Reducing portion size is a great way to do this! Instead of having a full slice of cake, I try to have a bite or two and stop. I know it takes a lot of self-control to do this. But it's the best way to cut down on sugar and still not feel like you are being deprived.


I have terrible sugar cravings as well. It makes reducing sugar in my diet really difficult.

I have read in a diet book that some sugar cravings are caused by omega 3 deficiency. I have started taking an omega 3 fish oil supplement and I've noticed that I don't crave sweets as much on those days.

I think sometimes, we are not getting enough of a nutrient and our body has weird ways of telling us about it. Wanting to eat a lot of sugar might have to do with something else, like a lack of enough protein, carbohydrate or other nutrients in the diet.

When we get all the nutrients we need, I doubt that we would crave a lot of sugar and our sugar intake will go down automatically.


I think the best way to control how much sugar you eat is to make any sweets, desserts and snacks at home yourself. You don't have control over what is put in a ready-made processed cookie. But you can control it if you make it at home.

I have been doing this for a while and it has made a huge difference. I realized that I actually don't like my cookies and cakes terribly sweet. I put one third the amount of sugar than what I used to before and I think it tastes great.

If you make all the sweets at home, weaning off of sugar will also be easier.

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