Medically Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on June 16, 2022
Change Up Your Rice

Change Up Your Rice

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Pulse a head of cauliflower in a blender to create a non-starchy rice alternative. This replaces a carb-heavy, refined grain with a fiber-filled veggie on your plate.

Go for Greek Yogurt

Go for Greek Yogurt

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Flavored yogurts come packed with extra sugars. You can satisfy your sweet tooth by adding fresh fruit and cinnamon to plain yogurt. Greek yogurt has fewer carbs and more protein than other yogurts, making you feel fuller faster with a lower glucose spike.

Opt for Plain Oats

Opt for Plain Oats

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It may feel quicker to choose a flavored oatmeal packet for breakfast, but it takes about the same amount of time to whip up your own bowl. Instant and old-fashioned are both fine, just be sure to get your flavor from natural peanut butter, cinnamon, fresh fruits, or nuts.

Sub in Nuts

Sub in Nuts

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Granola seems like a healthy grab-and-go choice, but ready-made clusters often come with added sugars and fat. Mixed nuts are just as good for a travel snack, and they help boost heart health, too.

Skip Sugary Drinks

Skip Sugary Drinks

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If you’re used to downing juice or soda, you can help satisfy your craving by grabbing a flavored seltzer instead. Most options have no sugar at all, but if you need a little more sweetness in your drink, some come with a touch of real fruit squeezed in.

Prep Your Own Pasta Sauce

Prep Your Own Pasta Sauce

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Check the labels: The vast majority of premade pasta sauces include sugar high up in their ingredient list. Making it yourself is easy and usually requires no more than tomatoes, oil, garlic, onions, and herbs and spices. You can also look for one that doesn’t have sugar as a leading ingredient.

Try Veggie Noodles

Try Veggie Noodles

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To go with your homemade sauce, skip the flour noodles and use zucchini or squash instead. Skinny strips of these veggies are the perfect vessels for any delicious vegetable-based topping you want to ferry to your mouth.

Mash a Banana

Mash a Banana

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Bananas make a mean ice cream substitute once you mash them and freeze them. And a banana spread on whole grain toast is a great alternative to sugar-packed jelly. Likewise, peanut butter and mashed banana are a good swap for peanut butter and jelly.

Make Your Own Dressing

Make Your Own Dressing

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When you whip up a simple salad dressing using just a few ingredients such as oil, vinegar, and spices, you not only remove extra sugar, you skip the extra fat and sodium, too.

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SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: “Swaps for Sustainable Healthy Diets.”

Diabetes UK: “Yogurts,” “Healthy Swaps: Breakfast,” “Fresh Tomato Sauce,” “Salad Dressings.”

The University of Tennessee Medical Center: “The Benefits of Eating Greek Yogurt.”

Mayo Clinic: “Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health.”