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Temptation #3: Candy Bar

Whether it’s an afternoon slump or pre-dinner energy dip, that candy bar in the work vending machine or corner market can be awfully tempting. For example, the 2-ounce version of a popular bar adds 35 grams of sugar.

Satisfying Alternative

Slow down your chocolate enjoyment and ramp up the chocolate intensity just by switching to bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips that have at least 60% cacao (often noted on the front of the package). The more nonfat cocoa solids a chocolate product or food contains, the more antioxidants it tends to contribute.

Pop a couple of chips in your mouth at a time and let the chocolate melt in your mouth on its own. Sixteen dark chocolate chips (0.5 ounce) contain just 6 grams of sugar and they add one gram of fiber.

Temptation #4: Cupcakes

Cake is comfort food and celebration food all rolled into one for me. And cupcakes are just that much more tempting because they are cute and perfectly portioned.

Cupcake chains are popular in my area and the typical cupcake adds about 45 grams of sugar, and plenty of fat and saturated fat too.

Satisfying Alternative

If it’s chocolate you are craving, try the dark chocolate chip trick (see the satisfying alternative for Temptation #3 above) or a couple of dark chocolate kisses. If the mini-cake concept is really tempting you, a smaller portion size means a smaller amount of sugar. Reach for the 100-calorie mini-cupcake packs with about 12 grams of sugar (they taste better eaten chilled from the refrigerator). Or bake mini cupcakes at home.

Temptation #5: Big Bakery Cookies

I asked a few of my girlfriends what their biggest sugar temptation is and a couple of them said cookies -- the big, yummy kind you buy in a bakery. Each one of these cookies contributes about 20 grams of sugar to your daily total.

Satisfying Alternative

You can make a lighter batch of cookies at home without sacrificing flavor by using 1/3 less sugar than the original recipe calls for (and replace half of the white flour with whole wheat flour, while you are at it). Divide homemade dough or store-bought dough into smaller-sized cookie balls so you are enjoying three mini cookies instead of one big cookie. It will seem a lot more satisfying and you will be more likely to stop there.

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