Tres leches. Flan. Pastelito de guayaba. Cajeta. Alfajor. Churros. Need I go on? Latinxs make seriously amazing sweets. With our penchant for all things dulce comes a greater risk of health problems like Type 2 diabetes (we’re 50% more likely to die from this than white folks) and heart disease (our number 1 cause of death in years past). Suddenly it’s not so appetizing, right? It’s hard to kick the sugar habit, especially when it seems like there’s always something sweet to eat. But don’t worry. It’s not too late to start implementing some low and no-azúcar habits to your daily life.
Ask For Your Cafe Cubano Sin Azúcar
I know, I know. It’s not the same. But think about it. Cuban coffee is already like drinking jet fuel, isn’t it? Sugar will definitely add to that initial hype, sure. Afterward, though, you’ll be left crashing much harder than if you just stick to the caffeine.
Opt for Healthy Alternative Sweeteners in Your Tea, Coffee, Horchata, Etc.
No, I’m not talking about those little pink, blue, or yellow packets. I’m talking about stevia (which adds a nice, mild sweetness to your cafecito). I’m talking about agave (which drizzles perfectly over oatmeal or pancakes with way less sugar). I’m talking about honey (especially the raw, local varieties).
Or Better Yet, Find Low- And No-Sugar Beverage Alternatives
I love a good jugo de maracuya, but I also know they tend to be particularly sweet. You know what isn’t sweet? Sparkling water. Lemon water. Coconut water. Sensing a pattern yet?
And If You’re Still Jonesing, Add A Little Canela
Cinnamon is seriously awesome for your health. It has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce insulin resistance, lowers blood sugar levels, and so much more. Plus, it kind of tricks your brain into thinking you’re having something sweet, sans sugar. Win-win!
Skip The Pastelitos For Breakfast (But Never Skip Breakfast)
Eating regular meals is really important to maintain your blood sugar levels, and this starts with making sure you eat a well-balanced breakfast. Go low on sugary carbs like donuts and pastelitos and empanadas, and add more eggs or veggie sausage and maybe even a salad (yes, salad can be good for breakfast!) It will make resisting sweets way easier later since you won’t be getting as hungry.
Always Buy The Unsweetened Versions Of Food Items
Unsweetened apple sauce. Unsweetened almond milk. You get the picture.
Avoid The Break Room (Especially On Birthdays)
Whether you work in an office or a warehouse, odds are that at some point, there will be sweets in the breakroom. Moreover, there will be free sweets in the break room. People will generously offer a donut break or a slice of cake for Teresita’s birthday. You don’t want to be the jerk to turn down Teresita, though, right? Best to avoid altogether.
Indulge In Aguacate, Cacao, And Other Healthy Fats
Studies show that some “healthy” fats can help with maintaining blood sugar levels, which will often lead to not feeling the need to snack on cookies at midnight. Avocados are a good example of healthy fat. Walnuts, olive oil, and salmon are other great alternatives.