7 Simple Food Swaps To Cut Out Sugar and Junk From Your Diet Print 3 LikeDislike By Ali Miller RD, LD, CDE Did you know that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year?! You can probably guess some obvious sources… but you may be surprised to learn that a lot of seemingly “healthy” options are packed with sugar too. You might even be eating these foods thinking that because they are “low calorie,” they are healthy. Luckily there are some simple food swaps you can do now to remove foods that are sugar filled or with empty calories and replace them with healthier versions. These simple food swaps can make a huge difference in helping you achieve your health goals. Read on to learn 7 simple food swaps you can do, plus get some easy and healthy recipes to make. Simple Food SwapsSo now it’s time to go through your pantry and refrigerator. Here are 7 food swaps that will help you cut out sugary junk without sacrificing taste. Eat snacks made from REAL FOOD instead of 100-Calorie Snack Packs or mini candy bars Don’t focus on what something isn’t; focus on what it IS! These small, 100-calorie packages are often made of chemicals and low-nutrient fillers. Worse, they will leave you hungry for more and won’t provide your body with nourishment. You’ll be much better off having a piece of fruit with nuts for an extra 30-60 calories because you’ll be getting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and more fiber! Or bake a big batch of healthy muffins that you can freeze and reach for when you need breakfast on the go or a mid afternoon snack. Try my Collagen Zucchini Muffin recipe. Use Natural Foods or Spices To Sweeten Drinks instead of Artificial Sweeteners Artificial sweeteners have been shown in research to interfere with our healthy gut bacteria which can lead to more fat storage. They can also lead to insulin resistance, causing more susceptibility for blood sugar spikes. There is a psycho-somatic reaction with sweet tastes; the pancreas releases insulin in response to the sweetness, which can further insulin resistance. Try cinnamon or almond milk in your coffee to add flavor without the fake sweetness. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit which is naturally sweet and contains lots of good for you antioxidants and nutrients. Try this delicious Cinnamon Collagen Coffee Latte for breakfast tomorrow! Eat HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSINGS instead of Store-Bought Salad Dressings Bottled dressings are made with industrialized oils that are not healthy. They may include olive oil, but they’re also likely to include soybean, cottonseed or canola oils, or other fillers, as well as preservatives and sugar. It’s so easy to make your own salad dressing. Just mix olive oil and vinegar or lemon. Drink SPARKLING WATER instead of Diet Soda or Soda Diet soft drinks have no nutritional value and can be harmful to your health. Some consist of potassium benzoate, a preservative and known carcinogen, and aspartame, a non-caloric sweetener that has been linked to neuropathy and neurological conditions, insulin resistance and even diabetes. Sparkling water with a fresh squeeze of citrus juice is a simple way to avoid consuming unwanted and harmful chemicals. The replacement will act as an electrolyte, a source of vitamin C and fuel hydration without damaging your body or tricking your blood sugar response. Eat regular Peanut Butter instead of Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter The only ingredients in peanut butter should be peanuts and salt! Plus, you want to keep the healthy fats in peanut butter, not remove them. Especially since when the fat is removed, sugar and chemical preservatives are added. Eat any type of nut butter including peanut, hazelnut, pecan, and almond butter that contains just nuts and salt. Check the label to make sure there is no added sugar! Once again, you can easily make your own homemade nut butter. Check out this quick and easy recipe for almond butter that you can make in just a few minutes. Eat Steel Cut Oats or Homemade Breakfast Bars instead of Breakfast Cereal/Breakfast Bars Really, no matter what it says on the box, it is almost impossible to make these breakfast options healthy foods. A serving of either can actually have more grams of sugar than a typical candy bar, and that’s not including the preservatives and genetically modified ingredients. Plus, eating a sugar-dense breakfast can lead to more hunger throughout the day or blood sugar crashes that lead to fatigue and brain fog. Steel cut oats and nut butter OR a whole-foods based nut bar (with 5 grams or less of added sugar)! Just check the label-it’s fine to keep the fiber, but you need to ditch the high fructose corn syrup. Or make my Keto Granola that’s chock full of healthy ingredients with no added sugar. Make a big batch and eat it for breakfast or a healthy snack. Eat Full Fat, No Sugar Added Yogurt instead of Low fat or Flavored Yogurt Flavored yogurts can contain high fructose corn syrup, fruit syrups, artificial sweeteners, cane juice and modified corn starch (often a genetically modified organism ingredient). Flavored yogurts can also include artificial colorants and food dyes, which have been linked to nerve disorders and behavioral conditions. The only ingredients in yogurt should be milk and probiotic cultures, which help with the digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as provide support for your immune system.With full-fat yogurt, you will also be getting conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) that boost metabolism, aid in blood sugar balance and provide more satiety to curb appetite. You can try making one of Further Food’s most popular DIY coconut yogurt recipes. Find the recipe here. Start cleaning out your pantry today Start small. It may seem overwhelming to clean out your entire cupboard worth of food in one night. Today, try to make one swap that will eliminate unnecessary sugar from your kitchen! And try to make another swap tomorrow. Small changes can lead to a huge long term difference. Want to Read More?9 Insanely Clever Food Swaps To Help You Lose the Last 10 PoundsSpring Cleaning Time! Pantry-Purging Recipes to Appease Your Appetite7 Sugar Free Desserts (and Snacks) to Satisfy Your CravingsOne scoop of collagen a day can help you fight sugar cravings. Learn more here.