Sugar and its impact on your health would definitely be one of the hottest topics within the health industry. With obesity and chronic disease rates growing dramatically, the link between sugar consumption and this is more evident.
As a parent I have always been concerned about the potential risk of my children becoming hooked on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes, but it has never been considered that sugar is as much of a damaging ‘drug’ that you can easily get hooked onto. There are many programs available to assist you in overcoming certain addictions, but what about sugar?
Sugar is everywhere. It is called several different names and therefore you probably wouldn’t even recognise that foods you are consuming are filled with this drug. It is no surprise that there are many times during the day when you are felling a little tired or sluggish that your ‘go to’ food will be something sweet to give you that pick me up.
Reducing the amount of sugar you consume could potentially be life saving. Here are 8 of my top tips to help you eliminate sugar from your diet.
1. Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
2. Choose whole foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain.
3. Include protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels, keeps you satisfied and fuller for longer. Make sure they are healthy sources of each and moderate amounts.
4. Move your body. Whatever movement you enjoy, whether it be walking, running, gym or yoga, will help reduce tension, boost your energy and decrease your need for a sugar lift.
5. Get enough sleep. When we are tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.
6. Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. This will do little to alter your desire for sweets as your body recognises the artificial sweetener as sugar. If you do need a sweetener, try Stevia, it’s the most natural.
7. Drink lots of water. Sometimes drinking water can help with the sugar cravings. Also sometimes what we perceive as a food craving is really thirst.
8. Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It’s difficult to snack on things that aren’t there! Have alternatives such as veggies, fruit, yoghurt and almonds.