We know sugar in high quantities isn’t good for us, but how do we break those sweet addictions.
Most of us are aware of the health dangers of sugars. This not only includes the obvious unhealthy sugar sources such as candy and baked goods, but also the less-obvious sources such as processed carbohydrate foods, and even too many natural sugars from fruit and fruit products.
Many don’t even realize how much sugar they are truly ingesting on a daily basis. Shockingly, while the expert recommendation for daily sugar consumption is five teaspoons, the average daily sugar consumption by American adults is twenty-two teaspoons and approximately thirty-four teaspoons for children! Getting too much sugar is very easy to do: a single can of soda contains ten teaspoons of sugar, which is double the recommended amount of sugar intake for an entire day!
Because hidden, added, and other sugar sources are so common in our diets today, minimizing and decreasing sugar intake can be difficult. Additionally, sugar is one of the most addictive substances that there is. Therefore, trying to break the addition many of us (unknowingly) have with sugar can be a real challenge. But, minimizing sugar intake, especially from the processed, unnatural forms can do some great things for our health, including reducing joint pain, rashes, stress, migraine headaches, irritable bowel and other digestive issues, acid reflux, and fatigue, to name a few. Sugar is one of the main culprits leading to degenerative disease.
Below are some simple, basic guidelines and tips for helping you to break the sugar addiction and improve the overall wellness of your body!
Before all else, one must make the decision to decrease sugar intake from all forms, and particularly to avoid any added and unnatural sources of sugar. This is an important step because it takes awareness to avoid all the sugar that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Once the decision is made, it makes it easier to follow the other steps and guidelines.
For many, it can be easier and better to try to quit with the unnatural and processed sugars cold turkey. This includes white sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, and other processed sugar sources such as (high fructose) corn syrup. This is a key step to not only getting healthy, but in drastically reducing the intake of sugar.
Avoid liquid sources of sugar
Liquid sources would include soda pop, processed fruit juices, processed teas, and other sources of liquid sugar. Even the “healthier” fruit and vegetable juices such as Naked or Odwalla are processed and are incredibly high in sugars and should be avoided.
Adding protein to each meal or snack
Adding protein to your meal (especially if the food is higher in sugar) helps to balance out the sugar load to help you stay full for longer and to not have the same drastic rise in insulin.
Add healthy fat to each meal or snack
Adding healthy fat (especially if the food is higher in sugar) also helps to not only balance the blood sugar levels from the sugar, but also helps to slow the digestive process to help you feel fuller for longer and more satisfied from the food.
Eat sugar from the right sources
The right sources such as fresh, raw fruit and non-starchy vegetables like dark, leafy greens, asparagus, and broccoli. Grains from organic soaked or sprouted whole grain sources are great, too.
Drink lots of water
Often, we get cravings or hunger because we are actually dehydrated. Staying adequately hydrated can help to stave off hunger and cravings.
Get all your nutrients
Make sure to have an overall nutrient dense diet that contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, healthy protein, fiber, and enzymes from whole, fresh, real foods. Often, cravings for sweets and sweet foods is a signal that our bodies are deficient in an essential nutrient, such as magnesium and the craving is a cry for us to get more nutritional balance.
Manage your levels of stress
When stressed, many tend to get more cravings, more “hunger” and are more nutritionally deficient. During times of stress, the body releases more cortisol, which is a hormone that increases hunger and cravings.
Get quality sleep
When fatigued, it can lead to more feelings of hunger, more cravings, less feeling of satisfaction after eating, and can also lead us to choose more sugary “energy” foods and drinks to help us make up for energy lost from inadequate sleep.
These simple guidelines and tips are a good start to beginning the journey of decreasing the amount of sugar in the overall diet, and helping you to rid yourself of any addictions to sugar.