6. Instead of downing sugary-sweet drinks like lemonade, make your own “sun tea.” Steep decaffeinated tea bags in water and set the pitcher in the sun for a couple of hours. Add lemon, lots of ice and sugar substitute for a carb-free summer quaff.
7. Buy dietetic condiments at the grocery store. Given that 1 tablespoon ketchup can contain about 1/2 teaspoon sugar, buying sugar-free condiments can make a big dent in your sugar consumption. Most condiments and other packaged foods for people with diabetes are made without sugar or with sugar substitutes.
8. Remember these code words found on ingredient lists. The only way to know if the processed food you’re buying contains sugar is to know its many aliases or other forms. Here are the common ones: brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, raw sugar, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, turbinado sugar, and xylitol.
9. Look for hidden sources of sugar. Cough syrups, chewing gum, mints, tomato sauce, baked beans, and lunch meats often contain sugar. Even some prescription medications contain sugar. For a week, be particularly vigilant and scan every possible food label. You likely won’t forget what you’ll find.
10. If you must eat sweets, eat them with meals. The other foods will help increase salivary flow, thus clearing the sugary foods from your mouth faster and helping prevent cavities. Of course, this does nothing for the calories you’re imbibing and won’t affect your weight, but at least you’ll have a healthier mouth.
11. Try all-fruit spread. Sweet as sugar, but without the added sugar, all-fruit spreads are wonderful not just on toast, but melted into hot tea, mixed into cottage cheese and plain yogurt, and drizzled onto pancakes and waffles instead of syrup (heat for 10 seconds in the microwave to make it syrupy).
12. Substitute applesauce or pureed prunes for half the sugar in recipes. You can also use them in place of the recipe’s fat.
13. Nix the sports bars and drinks. They’re loaded with the “s” word! Same with many protein powders.
14. Try xylitol. A great sugar alternative, it’s safe for those with diabetes and it actually improves the quality of your teeth. Plus, it has fiber-like health benefits.