Cutting out sugar can be one of the hardest things to do. In a way, it’s easier not to start, but with the food industry still promoting products that include sugar, it’s not surprising we’re eating more of it.
Sugar is addictive, the more sugar we eat, the more sugar we want, the more we want to eat. That’s the bad part. The good part is that if you decide to eliminate sugar from your diet it can be done effortlessly, but first we must understand that like all addictions, sugar is an addiction that needs to be dealt with sensitively.
The more we come to understand how sugar is an addiction the more successful we will be at kicking the habit. Sugar doesn’t just taste good; it’s chemically addictive, triggering the release of dopamine, the chemical that makes us feel good.
Like all addictions over time we build a tolerance to the addiction and need more to make us feel good. One of the best ways to break the habit of addiction is going cold turkey. A healthier lifestyle helps and is often the key to kicking addiction.
Below are some tips that can help us cut out sugar and follow a healthier lifestyle:
- Ready meals are renowned for containing hidden sugars, so we should try to eat fresh and cut out packaged foods altogether. Read through the list of ingredients to make sure you’re not consuming sugar;
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Although fruit contains fructose (fruit sugar) fruit also contains fibre which offsets and balances out the fructose, which makes it a healthier choice;
- Replace sugar with either honey or maple syrup, but try to cut those out as much as you can. If you use maple syrup, check that it’s not ‘maple flavoured syrup,’ as the flavoured variety contains mostly corn syrup;
- Drink plenty of fluids but not the flavoured variety. If you want to add flavour you can always add a sprig of mint, lemon or lemongrass;
- Herbs and spices are good alternatives to sauces, which often contain sugar and try to eat food that is closer to its natural state;
- Avoid yoghurts that include added sugar and go for the plain variety instead, or those flavoured with fruit, as opposed to sugar.
Cutting sugar out will help reduce diseases such as heart disease, obesity and cancer and needs to happen if we are to lessen the risk of these and other illnesses.