How To Ditch Sugar

Everyone’s talking about sugar but everyone also thinks that they eat pretty healthily. Bran flakes or wheat toast for breakfast, a wholesome sandwich for lunch and some fresh veggies and lean meat for dinner. Maybe you snack on some fruit throughout the day, too.

Though, if you really look at your diet then you’re probably eating more sugar than you think. A lot of products you may not even think contain sugar are big culprits for smuggling the sweet stuff. You may also be eating more ‘treats’ than you realise as well.

But why do we need to quit sugar?

– It can cause tooth decay

– It creates insulin resistance which can eventually lead to diabetes

– Normally paired with unhealthy foods such as cakes, cookies and chocolate

– Easy to overeat

– Spikes blood glucose and insulin levels

Unfortunately, spotting sugar isn’t so easy anymore as, like a spy trying to infiltrate your body, it can go by lots of different names.

– Obviously, anything with ‘sugar’ after it such as muscovado, cane, invert, brown, beet, palm etc

– Corn Syrup

– Corn Syrup Solids

– High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

– Glucose

– Fructose

– Sucrose

– Lactose

– Honey

– Anything with ‘syrup’ after it such as agave, malt, rice bran, brown rice, maple, golden, sorghum etc.

– Jaggery

– Treacle

– Caramel

and a fair few more.

What will probably help you more, however, is finding out what sort of items this little guy is weaselling his way in to.

So, where is it hiding?

– Condiments (Ketchup, brown sauce, marinades etc.)

– Ready-made sauces

– Bread

– Cereal

– Ready meals

– Salad dressings

– Many other artificial or pre-prepared food items

Quite a few places as you can probably tell and they’re just some of the non-obvious ones! However, all hope is not lost. There are some tips that you can implement to your everyday life in order to avoid sugar and stay in tip-top shape.

1 – Lean How To Cook

As we’ve figured out, a lot of sugar is hiding in pre-packaged and processed products. Convenience foods, basically. These items are normally chosen because people think cooking takes ‘too long’ or it’s ‘too hard’ when in actuality there are a lot of recipes that take no time at all and are extremely simple.

If you do a quick google search for ‘quick, easy and healthy recipes’ there will be hundreds of results. I’ll also be sharing some of my favourite recipes in some subsequent posts.

2 – Subtract Your Additions

A lot of people are guilty of adding a teaspoon or two of sugar to their coffee, tea or porridge to make it taste a little better. It doesn’t sound like much but over a day or a week it can really add up.

Try to cut down on how much sugar you add. If a teaspoon of sugar is what’s needed to help the drink go down then switch to something else like herbal teas or water with a spritz of citrus fruit.

Fruit juices and smoothies too are choc-a-bloc with sugar so make sure to avoid those. Though they may seem like the ‘healthy option,’ they often contain extremely high amounts of sugar and far less nutrients and minerals than the fruit themselves.

As well as this, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract are a great calorie-free and sugar-free way to add flavour to food and drinks.

3 – Eat More Healthy Fat & Protein

Avocados, lean meats, wild fish, eggs, coconut, nuts, seeds and other healthy proteins and fats will keep you full and prevent those sugar crashes. They’re also packed full of essential nutrients to keep you feeling fit and proper.

Protein in particular has been shown to be the most satisfying macronutrient and a lot of people tend to under-eat on this vital dietary component. Try to consume a fist full of protein at each meal so that you’re not constantly hungry.

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