Simple Ways to Cut Back on Sugar This Summer

posted: 06/29/16
by: Amanda Mushro
picture of women drinking summer drinks

With summer comes lots of opportunities to indulge in delicious summertime food. And even though these foods probably taste amazing, we already know they aren't good for us. If you're trying to stay away from sugary snacks and treats, you might be overloading on sugar with foods that don't even taste all that sweet, like breads and sauces. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day and men should only consume 9 teaspoons. When you look at the foods you're enjoying all summer, all of that added sugar adds up fast. Here's a few simple swaps you can make this summer to cut back on sugar but not on the taste.

Salad Dressings

With so much delicious summer produce available during the summer, you might be making more salads for lunch and dinner. While all those extra veggies are great for you, be sure to check your salad dressings. Even if you're reaching for fat free versions, you might be paying the prices in lots of added sugar. Instead, try vinaigrettes or oil and vinegar to dress your greens.


What is it about summer that makes me want to kick back and sip a delicious margarita? But after seeing that most margaritas have around 28 grams of sugar -- that's like eating 14 cubes of sugar in one drink--, it's time to change up my summer cocktail. Instead of mixing up a pitcher of margaritas, make your own with fresh squeezed lime juice or enjoy a glass of sangria.

Fruit Juices

When the weather heats up and your kids ask for a drink, don't let the word "fruit" in fruit juice confuse you. Often these drinks are loaded with sugar. Stick to water and jazz it up with frozen fruit and water cubes.

Flavored Yogurts and Smoothies

Grabbing some yogurt and granola for a quick snack or a smoothie to-go sounds like a great plan, until you read how much sugar is in those flavored yogurts. When yogurt is in your drink or snack, choose a plain yogurt or Greek yogurt and sweeten it up with fruit or honey to keep your healthy treat heathy.

Iced Coffee Drinks

On a hot day, when you need a little extra energy, you might be reaching for an iced blended coffee drink. Don't let your afternoon pick-me-up drink sideline your sugar cut back. Try an iced coffee sweetened with coconut milk rather than a sugar heavy iced frappe that usually contains around 50 grams of sugar.

Cut Down Your Portion

If you're cutting back on sugar but you really want to enjoy a summary treat like ice cream or a decadent dessert, go ahead and enjoy that treat but cut back on your serving size. You still get a taste but not all the sugar.