14th November is World Diabetes Day. Consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to weight-gain as well as increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Over a quarter of the added sugar in our diets is believed to come from the drinks we consume. The focus of this week’s tip is on reducing the amount of sugar in your drinks.
Choose sugar-free or reduced-sugar drinks
When you feel thirsty, water is always the best option. Try swapping your sugary soft drink for a glass of water or a sugar-free or reduced-sugar drink. If you are not keen on the taste of water, you could try adding a slice of lemon and/or some mint leaves.
Save sugary drinks for an occasional treat
If you don’t want to stop drinking your favourite sugary drink permanently, try limiting the amount you drink by consuming it less frequently and in smaller quantities. Unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies also contain sugar, so try to limit your intake to no more than 150ml a day.
Avoid adding sugar, syrups and honey to hot drinks
If you usually add sugar, syrups or honey to hot drinks, why not gradually reduce the amount you add, until you can cut it out altogether. Alternatively, you could use an artificial sweetener, however this will not help you to adjust your taste preference for sweet drinks.
Cut down on sugar from alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic drinks can be high in sugar. A pint of cider contains around five teaspoons of sugar. Try to reduce your sugar intake by consuming alcoholic drinks less frequently, in smaller measures and by combining alcoholic drinks with sugar-free or reduced-sugar mixers, such as sugar-free tonic water.
A recent report from Action on Sugar identified very high levels of sugar in ready to drink alcoholic beverages, such as cans of ready mixed cocktails.
If you would like further information on how to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, you can visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-cut-down-on-sugar-in-your-diet/