8 tips to help you reduce your sugar intake

 According to a study, people think sweet stuff such as cake appears sweeter on a white plate than a black one.
According to a study, people think sweet stuff such as cake appears sweeter on a white plate than a black one.PHOTOS: ST FILE

(SHAPE)  - Break your addiction to sugary things with these tips.

Choose cream or white-hued crockery

One study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies found that participants thought hot chocolate tasted sweeter in a cream-coloured cup, the article also shared that people thought strawberry mousse appeared to be sweeter on a white plate than a black one.

Eat a protein-rich breakfast

A protein-rich brekkie promotes satiety and reduces brain activity that compels cravings, so you will not feel as compelled to eat high-fat or high-sugar foods later in the day, says one US study.

Pick a decaf drink

The bitterness of tea and coffee makes one more likely to reach for sugar or a sweet treat, and a recent study by Cornell University in the United States also found that caffeine tends to hamper your ability to detect sweetness, making you want to load up on sugar.

Add cinnamon and vanilla

If you cannot ditch your morning cuppa, try adding cinnamon or vanilla. Just as how adding spices and herbs to dishes help you cut down on adding salt, the two fragrant ingredients are often associated with sweetness, tricking your body into thinking a food or drink is sweeter than it really is.

Be aware of your stress levels

Sweetened beverages reportedly help suppress stress levels, which is why we crave them when deadlines are looming. Something to think about before downing that next cup of sweetened tea or soda.

Eat dark chocolate

If you love chocolate, have some of it, but go for the dark variety. Besides the rich chocolatey flavour, healthy fats and antioxidants it delivers, dark chocolate supposedly makes you feel more satisfied, so you are less likely to go for sweet, salty and fatty foods afterwards.

There is a lot of sugar hidden in processed foods.

Avoid processed foods

Even if they do not taste sweet, there is a lot of sugar hidden in these snacks, which add to their addictive quality. Eating them often desensitises you to the taste and effects of both salt and sugar, so do not make it a regular habit.

Go to sleep

As you stay up into the later hours of the night, your self-control for salty and sweet foods goes down, shares a report published in Obesity. These unnecessary calories then get stored as fat and contribute to weight gain. If you have trouble sleeping, switch to warmer lights and put away your gadgets, also, skip the midnight snack as it might lead to indigestion and poor quality of sleep.