Sugar is in almost everything these days, even savoury items have sugar in them like bread for example. We’ve become so reliant on it, having that dessert after dinner, sugar with breakfast, sugar with cereal that already contains sugar, sugar with coffee or tea in the morning, a chocolate bar as a snack, sweeties, pastries, doughnuts, etc. (when you buy a product with a label-check the sugar content, you’d be surprised how many things you thought didn’t have sugar in them actually do). A little sugar every now and then is okay but as the sugar and glucose levels build up in your body because it is stored faster than it is metabolised and the excess glucose forms fat and cholesterol, the risks of diabetes and obesity increase and so do many other minor symptoms and disorders. Many hormone imbalances, growth hormone deficiencies, insulin resistance, ADD, adrenal stress and fatigue, mood swings, female reproductive disorders- to name a few-may arise. These minor symptoms and disorders may become major health problems as time goes on, the more you ignore them. Living without sugar is really hard considering that its in so many of our foods but I’m here to give you a few tips. I know the struggle, I’ve been through it and I am currently on a completely sugar free and majority sweetener free elimination diet, so living a low sugar or sugar free diet is tough but it is do-able.
Benefits of being sugar free
-improve brain power
-lower risks of heart disease
-lower bad cholesterol
-lower the risk of alzheimers and dementia
-help prevent liver disease
-prevent skin breakouts and promote glowing skin.
-anti ageing benefits
-may improve your energy levels… wait…what? how can decreasing your refined sugar intake increase your energy?!
show that added dietary sugars can decrease the activity of orexin cells. These cells are basically the Energizer Bunnies of our bodies, and induce wakefulness, stoke the metabolism, and keep our system movin’ and groovin’. When orexin cells are turned off or absent, we’re sleepy and sluggish, which explains why you want to nap after a carb- and sugar-laden lunch” – click
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1. When going to the shops do not buy anything that contains refined sugars (chocolate, sweets, peanut brittle, ice cream, flavoured popcorn, some tomato sauces) if you don’t buy it and you don’t have it in your house- you wont be as encouraged or tempted to go to the shops and buy sweets when you have a little sugar craving. Sometimes if we see something in our cupboard then we want it, this is not a true hunger or craving.
2. Buy a healthier sweetener as an alternative that you can add to something if you desperately need to. Things like xylitol, honey, stevia.
3. Use natural fruits and sweet veg to curb your sugar cravings, for me strawberries do the trick quite well. You can also use these in recipes to add natural sweetness
4. Drinking more water and eating more whole foods prepared at home will fill you up and leave less space for sugary items.
5. Eating healthy fats (like avo, nuts, coconut oil) sometimes can aid with satiety and curb sugar cravings
6. Using adaptogen powders in smoothies along with fruit are one of my favourite ways to sweeten up my day without refined sugars, for example having cacoa powder with banana, berries and nuts with almond milk can be a great substitute for a chocolate milkshake or strawberries, coconut milk, mesquite powder, banana and raspberries can be a delicious sub for a strawberry milkshake. Each adaptogen powder also has its on wide spectrum of great benefits for the body so by taking out sugar and adding superfood powders- you’re probably going to create a very happy and healthy body and mind. more info on adaptogens,click here
7. Be aware of too many high sugary fruits as well, you don’t want to overload your system on fructose. some of the best fruits are avo, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.
The best way to do it is to probably be very strict and very disciplined for 30 – 60 days, put a lot of effort into staying sugar free. it will be hard at first but after thirty days your bodies antibodies would have ridded your body of any excess refined sugars and you may not even crave it at all PLUS you may feel a million times healthier, energised, powerful. the longer you do it for the easier it gets so if you push through the first couple of weeks- it should get easier from then onwards and you can identify how you feel and how your body has changed.
for sugar free recipes check out my instagram page @jordynmuirhead_