4 lower-sugar grocery swaps
A diet high in processed sugar can have a negative impact on your health. Here are a few simple swaps to help you cut back on sugar when buying common grocery products
Cut those empty calories
Processed sugar has no nutrients, just calories, says Toronto-based registered nutritional consulting practitioner Theresa Albert, author of the upcoming book Ace Your Health. And sugary foods tend to be low in nutrients such as fibre, which slows down food digestion so blood sugar levels don't spike. "Without the minerals and fibre, the pancreas goes into overdrive and chugs out more insulin than the body knows what to do with." That can lead to insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. Albert recommends boosting your intake of fruit and vegetables (which have natural sugars and provide energy, vitamins and fibre).
Here are some ideas for cutting back on sugar when buying some common grocery products.
Instead of: Nescafé Vanilla Cappuccino powder is mixed with 2/3 cup (150 mL) of hot water. But it's a sweet afternoon treat: 10 g of sugar and 80 calories per 18.5-g sachet.
Try: Nescafé Cappuccino Skinny (mixed with the same amount of water) cuts the sugar down to only 4 g, and it has half the calories, at 40 per 12.5-g sachet.
Instead of: Fibre 1 Raisin Bran Clusters has 14 g of sugar and 210 calories per one-cup serving (before the milk is added).
Try: Fibre 1 Crunchy Original has 0 g of sugar and 200 calories for the same one-cup serving.
Instead of: Ocean Spray 100% Juice Blend Cranberry & Concord Grape offers two servings of fruit per one-cup (250 mL) serving and does not contain any added sugar-but this fruit juice has 39 g of sugar and 160 calories.
Try: Ocean Spray 100% Juice Blend Fruit & Veggie Cranberry Strawberry Banana (including carrot, sweet potato and beet juices) "equals two fruit and vegetable servings" per cup. One cup has 30 g of sugar and 140 calories.
Instead of: Mr. Christie's Nilla Vanilla Flavoured Wafers can curb a sweet craving, but one serving (29 g/eight wafers) has
12 g of sugar and 110 calories.
Try: Christie Honey Maid Biscuits Graham Wafers have 7 g of sugar and 110 calories for a similar-sized portion (27 g/ four wafers).