Having been repeatedly linked to conditions such as diabetes and obesity, you probably don’t need us to tell you that having a lot of added sugar in your diet isn’t exactly great for you. Yet, here in the UK it’s estimated that we consume almost double the recommended amount on a daily basis, with “free sugars” – the kind found in processed foods, unsweetened juices, honey and syrups – making up 11% of the average adult’s daily energy intake, far more than the recommended 5%.
Yet, sugar can be highly addictive, so it’s fair to say that cutting back is rarely much fun. Our bodies tend to crave the foods we consume, and so the more sugar we eat, the harder we find it to give it the boot; many people even report that adjusting to reduced refined sugar caused headaches, low energy and crabby moods. So, how can you indulge your sweet tooth in a way that’s slightly
healthier when you feel a craving coming on?
Sip on sweet things to avoid the mid-afternoon slump
Are you craving that brownie, or would something sweet do the same job? Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar when you’re dreaming of something sugary at the end of a savoury meal try opting for a fruity tea to satisfy your taste buds, such as Offblak’s green tea-based Squeeze Me brew, which is orange and jasmie flavoured.
It’s not only your palate that this could work wonders for, however, because according to new research habitual tea drinking – here defined as at least three times a week – may well be linked to longer life expectancy and more years of ‘healthy’ years of life, including displaying a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. (1) Green tea appears to be particularly potent due to the presence of polyphenols, which protect against cardiovascular ailments (2).
Make Your Own
As simple as it sounds, taking the time to make food at home is arguably one of the most effective changes you can make when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and moving away from excessive refined sugar. Not only will it help you to avoid ‘hidden’ sugars, such as those often found in processed foods, it’s an easy way to include more nutrient dense, sweet tasting fresh vegetables into your meals.
Make a Conscious Effort to Break Bad Habits
Before you reach for a sugar-fix, take a second to think about why
it is you’re reaching for a sweet treat. Do you really want a cookie, or is it just ‘what you do’ at 4pm? If it’s both, tuck in. However, if it’s just a habit that you’ve got into as a way off seeing off the mid-afternoon boredom, then try going for a walk around the office and distracting your favourite colleague instead. You’ll likely find that the less you eat sugary treats, the more you’ll savour them when you do.
Have a Snack Stash
Too often we’re told that if you banish snacks from the house/office/car, then you won’t eat them. But let’s admit it, all that this really means is you end up grabbing something on-the-go when hunger strikes, and even with the best of intentions behind you, when you’re starving for a snack it can be easy to fall into the trap of picking up whatever you can. Instead, try trusting yourself a little and keep a snack stash for when you do need a pick-me-up; bananas, oranges and cashews all offer a more natural sweetness hit. Alternatively, stash a tea in your bag – they’re handily individual wrapped – to cure a sweet craving before you decide on your snack.
Everything in Moderation
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that cutting back doesn’t mean cutting out altogether, because sometimes after a long day you just need a big ol’ chunk of chocolate, and that’s totally fine.
From Squeeze Me (Spicy Orange & Jasmine) to Sleep Breezy (Chamomile & Peach), or Future Is Pink (Earl Grey & Rose) and Nicely Spicy (Cranberry & Cinnamon). Offblak’s delicious teas offer a sweet treat for every taste bud. Find out more about their innovative, quality flavours & straight up ingredients over on their website.
Need a life hack? Go for Subscription! When you join OFFBLAK’s T-Club, your tea will arrive home before you do. What’s more? You can save 10%, receive free delivery over £10, as well as be in full control of when and how much you receive!
- Xinyan Wang, Fangchao Liu, Jianxin Li, Xueli Yang, Jichun Chen, Jie Cao, Xigui Wu, Xiangfeng Lu, Jianfeng Huang, Ying Li, Liancheng Zhao, Chong Shen, Dongsheng Hu, Ling Yu, Xiaoqing Liu, Xianping Wu, Shouling Wu, Dongfeng Gu. Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2020.
- Hodgson JM1, Croft KD. Tea flavonoids and cardiovascular health. Mol Aspects Med. 2010 Dec;31(6):495-502