One of the most crucial steps in creating a healthier lifestyle is to eliminate sugar from your diet. Sugar can effect your health in so many ways but here are just a few. When you eat sugar, it spikes your blood sugar quickly and then just at quickly, it falls back down to below the original level that it was before you ate the sugar. This creates hypoglycemic effects which can cause you to become tired, dizzy, get a headache, and many other negative side effects that are unwanted. Another strike against sugar has to do with your gut bacteria. There are good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria and the bad gut bacteria feed off of sugar. This means that every time you eat sugar, you are giving the bad bacteria in your gut more food to thrive on. Your gut is the primary basis for you overall health and lacking good gut bacteria can lead to a myriad of problems such as digestion problems, stomach aches, headaches, and more long-term effects such as autoimmune diseases, weak immune systems, and many other health problems. These are only a couple of examples of how sugar can deteriorate your health but they are more than enough to convince me to stay away!
Where is sugar in your diet?
- candy and baked goods
- sugar added to coffee and tea
- lactose in milk
- most processed foods
- processed grains
As you can see, sugar is highly prevalent in many of the foods that we typically eat on a daily basis. This is why it is so difficult to cut sugar out of our diets, not to mention the fact that it is extremely addicting as well. I know my diet used to be made up almost completely of foods that contained sugar. Now that I have made an effort to change my eating habits, I have noticed such a difference in my overall health, energy, and mindset. I know that it can be very challenging to stop eating sugar but I have a few suggestions that may help.
What food should you eat instead:
- whole fruits and vegetables
- unprocessed food
I know that it can be difficult to refrain from buying sugary foods at the grocery store, especially in the first couple weeks of cutting it out because you will have cravings, but one tip for shopping is to try your best to stick to the outside rim of the store and the produce section. The food in the center isles is mostly processed food that will contain sugar. By sticking to the outside isles, you will avoid most of the processed foods and you won’t get sidetracked either. This is a helpful technique but there are still certain items that you should stay away from such as milk, fruit juices high in sugar, and highly processed meats.
For the times when you need a little sweetness in your life, there are some great natural sweeteners that you can use in place of sugar. Raw honey and maple syrup make great replacements and are just as sweet as sugar and artificial sweeteners. You can also use Stevia as a replacement if you chose to do so. If you make sure you have honey and maple syrup on hand, it will be much easier to stop your sugar cravings when you get them.
Here are some other simple techniques that can aid against sugar cravings:
- Drink a large glass of water
- Eat some veggies
- Eat fruit
- Eat enough throughout the day to avoid getting too hungry
- Use one of the replacements from above (honey, maple syrup)
Cutting sugar from your diet can be a very tedious but rewarding task. After a few weeks without sugar, you may notice an increase in energy, an increase in mood, and even a decrease in your weight! Most people do not even realize how addicted to sugar they are until they try cutting it out of their diet because of the fact that it is so prevalent in modern food. My best suggestion is to stick to a whole foods diet as much as possible. Once you break your sugar addiction, it is okay to eat it once in a while, but make it a treat not an everyday part of your life.
I hope this helps you in your sugar elimination quest! Leave a comment about your thoughts or if you have any more tips for eliminating sugar!