Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
1:00 AM 18th November 2023

Healthy Heart Tip: Reducing Sugar Intake

Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK

Sugar Awareness Week runs from 13th to 19th November and is organised by Action Against Sugar, it aims to raise awareness of the damaging effect of too much sugar in our diet. Reducing our intake of sugar can have a beneficial impact on our heart health and reduce our risk of heart diseases. As we head into the festive season, many of us will be surrounded by sugary temptations and in this week’s healthy tip, we give you some helpful ideas to reduce your consumption while still joining in the festivities.

Make your own desserts

A festive, family get-together wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat or dessert to enjoy after your meal. While buying cake or biscuits from a shop is easy, if we make it at home ourselves, we can reduce the sugar content. Many recipes work just as well and taste just as good with half the recommended sugar, simply reduce the amount you add to the mixture. Alternatively, find low-sugar or sugar-free recipes that use fruit such as bananas for sweetness.

Jazz up fruit

Fruit can make the perfect tasty treat and will offer you some extra fibre which contributes to heart health. A simple fruit skewer drizzled in a little chocolate looks great on a platter and can be enjoyed by everyone as a healthier, sweet option. Or why not arrange various fruits into the shape of a Christmas tree to entice people to dive in.

Watch out for hidden sugars

Added sugar is sneaky, and can crop up in foods we don’t even realise they are in. When trying to reduce your intake, a great first place to start is to check the labels of food products you regularly eat and swap them for lower sugar versions. Common culprits are yoghurts, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, soft drinks (even if they look healthy), condiments and sauces. Try lower sugar alternatives by swapping any foods you regularly consume that contain more than 5g of sugar per 100g.

To help keep your heart healthy, why not try out some of the Healthy Heart recipes from the website:

Or have a look through the Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers:

Heart Research UK
Proud to stand out from the crowd, Heart Research UK is the charity dedicated to your heart. They inspire and invest in pioneering medical research, ground-breaking training and education, and in communities to improve their heart health for themselves. For over 50 years they have driven advancements in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease to benefit patients as soon as possible.