London: A sugar-heavy diet can have a dramatic impact on our health and well being. So, swap food items of high sugar content with lower ones.
To help reduce your sugar intake, Sally Norton, weight loss consultant at Spire The Glen Hospital Bristol and founder of Vavista.com, offers a list of lower sugar food swaps, reports femalefirst.co.uk:
* Fresh fruit instead of fruit juice: Fruit juice is very high on sugar and provides little nutritional value. A fresh apple contains around 2.6 teaspoons of sugar and around 50 calories whereas a 250 ml glass of apple juice contains around 6 teaspoons of sugar and 123 calories. The whole fruit contains fibre too which fills you up and is good for you in many other ways.
* Homemade soup instead of tinned: A can of soup bought from a shop contains the equivalent of four teaspoons of sugar and 171 calories, whereas if you make it yourself using fresh vegetables it will be far lower in sugar and higher in nutrients. You can also avoid adding much salt which is a leading cause of heart disease.
* Fruit flavoured yogurt for plain yoghurt and berries: Fruit yogurts can contain a huge amount of sugar so it's important that you read the Nutrition Facts panel. Don't be fooled into thinking that low-fat varieties are healthy either as they are often higher in sugar. You are best off with plain yoghurt and some lower sugar fruit such as raspberries and blueberries.
* Swap a hot chocolate for a cup of tea: A hot chocolate contains around 4.5 teaspoons of sugar and 200 calories even before you add cream and marshmallows, whereas a cup of tea contains very little sugar and around 20 calories if you drink it with milk.
* Swap an ice cream for a frozen banana: One scoop of ice cream contains around three teaspoons of sugar and around 180 calories, whereas a banana contains fewer calories and the sugar is bound up with fibre and nutrients.
* Choose cherries over chocolate: If you fancy something sweet, try swapping a milk chocolate (260 calories and six teaspoons of sugar) for a bowl of cherries which contains just 50 calories and two teaspoons of sugar.