Sugar-Free Diet: How and why to Cut Sugar out of your Diet
Sugar-Free Diet: a trend or something really beneficial? How can we cut sugar out of our diet, or simply reduce it, if we associate everything we do and any mood to sugar and the pleasure it derives from it? Eliminating or even reducing sugar from your diet objectively requires time and several sacrifices: even if we are not aware of it, in fact, we continuously take on sugars and our body is in some way addicted. If we think that everything we ingest every day contains a minimum percentage of sugar and then multiply this amount by everything we eat, we soon realize that our body is always subjected to this ingredient.
Reasons To Avoid Sugar aka is it sugar really so bad?
There are many studies that, over the years, have in some way highlighted how refined sugar hurts under different points of view; it is, in fact, a product that contains many calories but practically zero nutrients and therefore, in fact, useless for our body. So we ingest sugar substantially because we become addicted to it: according to different studies, in fact, the sugar releases excitant substances, producing on our mind a similar effect (obviously at different levels) to that of cocaine and heroin both in terms of pleasure and in terms of addiction.
So, in principle, we do not need sugar but consuming it constantly leads us to depend on it and it is no coincidence that, when we reduce consumption, our head gets confused, we feel the need and it seems to us not being able to survive without it: we are addicted to sugar. Sugar raises the level of sugar in the blood and this leads us to want to take more and more to avoid warning the so-called “low blood sugar” which in reality is often a response from our body and our head.
Plus, sugar is dangerous for our body and consuming it can lead to serious problems, both in short, medium and long-term. Among them:
- Can have impact on your heart and your liver, overloading them
- Can raise your cholesterol
- It is bad for your teeth
- Can cause insulin resistance and this can leads to metabolic problems and diabetes
- Can cause cancer ’cause it enhances insulin levels and these can contribute to cancer
- Makes you fat
- Contains dopamine and makes you addicted
So said, studies are still on-going and are added to the library very often so this is a very interesting subject to be watched closely.
How to cut sugar out of your diet?
Given that eliminating or reducing the consumption of sugar is a personal matter and should be treated as such, there are methods to do that, in the same way, help us to buy with more awareness and also to eat with more awareness. Here are some ideas for you.
Eliminate the consumption of bottled beverages
Not only carbonated drinks but also fruit juices, supplements and all that satisfies us at the level of flavor (thus going to affect the mind too) usually contains refined sugars. This type of drinks can be replaced with equally much more viable alternatives including the classic flavored waters, herbal teas and infusions and of course tea and coffee. Also, introduce apple vinegar into your routine to help lower blood sugar levels and fight sugar addiction.
Read the labels
Reading labels should be a priority for every purchase, but we rarely do it. If we did, we would discover that even so-called “fat free” foods can contain incredible quantities of sugar. If we add this to the fact that supermarket foods are often full of preservatives and dyes, we deduce that the amount of ingredients that are not good for our body is even higher.
Simple to say, difficult to put into practice: if we are used to a dessert after dinner or a snack of biscuits or cakes, remove them altogether is difficult and requires a lot of practice and a lot of patience. Before completely eliminating sweets from your diet, make sure you have at home a bar of pure dark chocolate or bitter cocoa: in the first few weeks, you will need just a teaspoon of bitter cocoa or a square of dark chocolate to remove the sweet desire.
Eliminate canned products
Canned products, especially vegetables, fruit and in general all packaged products, are generally full of preservatives and dyes (see above, chapter labels) and are also called “processed products” or food processed in such a way that they last longer and also have an inviting appearance. This means that most of the nutrients are eliminated and sugar is added both to alter the flavor and to make them more desired (the cocaine effect, remember?). Eliminating shelf products, at least the ones we can prepare at home, is essential if we want to reduce the consumption of sugar: what is the point of buying ready-made spinach if we can go to the greengrocer and buy them fresh?
Pay attention to healthy foods
All foods that are branded as healthy can contain very high amounts of sugar: think of energy bars, most of which contains fruits and nuts but also contains sugar (a bar can hold up to 30 grams!). If you love to eat bars and cereals, thinking they are “healthy” try to look at the labels and, once it is discovered that it is not always the case, substitute them with dried fruit or even fresh fruit. The effect is the same!
Eat more protein and fat
If sugar makes us addicted, eating more fat and protein foods reduces the need for sugar. Not only that, protein foods and fats such as eggs, meat, fish generally reduce appetite as opposed to sugar which instead stimulates it.
Replace the sugar
Refined sugar can be replaced by natural alternatives that do not cause blood sugar levels to rise and the following need to eat and take more. Find everything about natural sugars by clicking here.
Reduce consumption of pasta, rice, and flour
Pasta, rice and flour products do not contain sugar as we understand it but contain the so-called complex carbohydrates that are formed thanks to the union of long chains of sugars. So, in fact, the flours contain sugar and if it is true that it is almost impossible to eliminate them, it is also true that we can reduce their consumption and choose the least refined ones.
Other tips to eliminate or reduce the consumption of sugar
Follow a routine
If you follow a fairly scheduled and fixed daily schedule, you feel less the need to take sugars to satisfy anxieties or dead times.
Doing physical activity
When we do physical activity, we produce endorphins that are good for our body and also for our mind. In fact, endorphins act like sugar on our head but, at the same time, they are natural and they are good. More physical activity (outdoor species), less sugar.
Shopping list and time spent shopping
Trivial advice? Maybe, but if you focus on the things you really need to buy and write them, you’ll realize that you do not need snacks, for example. If you go shopping without a list, turning between the shelves you will surely want to buy something inviting and full of sugar; if you go with the shopping list in hand, and possibly with little time available, you will not fall into any temptation.
Patience is the virtue of the strong
In the first two or three weeks of reduced sugar consumption, you will feel like going crazy. It’s a normal reaction, due to the fact that your body is detoxifying but to detox, it must be bad, because it lacks something to which it was used. Patience and cold blood, a lot of willpower to face this moment and then you’ll see that everything else will be downhill.
Based on the above, do I have to eliminate sugar completely?
Eliminating or reducing the consumption of sugar is a completely personal choice. This does not mean demonizing this ingredient but simply knowingly choosing how much it takes, and how.
6 books you’ll love
- That Sugar Book by Damon Gameau: buy it on Amazon
- The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes: buy it on Amazon
- Oh Sugar! by Katherine Bassford: buy it on Amazon
- The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo: buy it on Amazon
- The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook by Diane Sanfilippo: buy it on Amazon
- The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide by Diane Sanfilippo: buy it on Amazon
[NB: No information contained in this post can be considered the result of medical knowledge but only the direct experience of the owner of the blog. It is therefore recommended to always consult a specialist if you have health problems and/or under medication]