Vanilla Extract Could Be The Secret To Cutting Back Your Sugar Instake

Trying to cut back on sugar? It can be really tough since experts say you can actually get hooked on the sweet stuff, similar to how you might experience another dependency or addiction.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to take in less sugar. Just get this: Vanilla-flavored milk can actually trick your brain into thinking what-ever you’re drinking (coffee, smoothie, etc.) is sweeter than it is, so you can consume significantly less of the sweet stuff (like, up to 50 percent), a recent study found.

Coolest (and easiest) trick ever, right???

The reason behind why this works is kind of fascinating, too: it’s all in the scent. You can credit all those childhood baking seshes because now you naturally associate the aroma of vanilla with saccharine treats. That allows you to “taste” sugar even when there’s not much there, researchers hypothesize.

Use this hack with everything from cocktails (try adding a dash of vanilla; use less simple syrup) to your morning joe (try vanilla-infused milk or alt milk, or drizzle in vanilla extract instead of sugar packets for a DIY approach), and you may just find you’re consuming less sugar without even really thinking about it. Sweet!

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Women’s Health.

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