However much we try to cut down on sugar by switching to diet drinks and dropping that extra spoonful in our cuppa, our diets still contain large doses of natural or added sugar.
There are ways to reduce your sugar intake, but do it gradually - when you start to cut down on sugar, you’ll probably experience headaches and feel grumpy and lethargic for a few days. But after a week you’ll start to feel better and be amazed at how quickly your addiction fades.
Here’s how to do it painlessly but effectively.
Cut down gradually
Set yourself reasonable targets, if you have two sugars in your tea now, have one in the first week.
After six weeks you’ll find food you never realised tasted sweet does, because your palate has returned to its ¬natural state and is now more sensitive to sweetness.
Eat little and often
This will keep your blood sugar levels steady so you won’t be hit by a sugar slump in the mid-morning or afternoon.
The mineral chromium can stabilize blood sugar levels to prevent cravings. Boost your levels naturally by eating plenty of broccoli, cheese and chicken, or try a supplement such as Cinnachrome (£16.55 for 60 capsules, from Holland & Barrett), which also contains cinnamon – another excellent ingredient for balancing blood sugar.
The more tired you are, the more your body craves sugar to give you an energy boost.
While you’re weaning yourself off sugar, aim to get eight hours of shut-eye per night and avoid burning the candle at both ends.
Avoid coffee - caffeine can make sugar cravings worse. Go for decaf or fruit tea instead.
The sugar listed on a product’s nutrition label is a combination of the naturally occurring sugar and the added sugar. Sugar is indicate by the ending '-ose' on a word - sucrose, glucose and fructose are all examples of the presence of sugar.