5 simple ways to quit sugar and lead a healthier life
When did sugar actually become the enemy?
But, let’s clear one thing up: It’s actually not SUGAR, by itself, that is the main problem here.
Just like the demonized calories and carbs, sugar gets a bad wrap that is not necessarily deserving. “Real” sugar — the kind that exists in natural foods, like fruits, vegetables, and milk, to name a few — actually satisfies a legitimate nutritional and functional purpose in our bodies. Yep: sugar is something that exists in natural, whole foods and it provides our bodies with energy. Energy is good, in this sense.
We all know, more or less, that sugar is bad for us and that manufactures put it in pretty much everything they can because, as consumers, we have developed an insatiable need for more and more sugar to make our tastebuds happy.
But, just how bad is sugar, really?
Well, research shows that refined sugar is associated with weight gain, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and depression, among others. <— None of those are good things.
What’s NOT good is that sweet tooth freaks have over time, developed a certain need for sweeter and sweeter things. Couple that with becoming addicted to sweet stuff and you got yourself a gold mine, if you’re a manufacturer selling sweet foods. This has led to processing sugar (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and so on) into what we now have in most of the packaged foods out there.These highly (highly highly highly x10,000) refined forms of sugar are no longer taken from a fruit or a bean or a vegetable.
When we consume those real foods, the naturally occurring sugar enters our bloodstream slowly as we digest the food and all the other nutrients provided by those foods. This is what we WANT.
Refined sugars, on the other hand, does not work in our bodies in the same way. They are pure energy from the very start – no need to digest and process the fibrous tissue of an apple to get your naturally occurring sugar. Instead, you get a shot of the straight sugar without any chance of slowing it down. This is NOT what we want. Over time, this will put such a toll on our bodies and our organs will start to fail (i.e. Diabetes, heart disease, etc.).
The good news is that it is totally possible to quit processed sugar. Here are 5 steps for how to quit sugar and work towards a refined sugar free life.
STEP 1: READ YOUR NUTRITION LABELS.
For any drink, cereal, package, energy bar, or whatever prepared food you purchase at the grocery store, read the label.
Most of us, after reading the label and seeing high fructose corn syrup as one of the top 5 ingredients in the list would realize that food probably isn’t a good choice. But, what if you saw brown sugar, fruit juice, malt syrup, or organic cane juice? Would you stop and think this is just as bad?
Because, despite how much nicer they may sound, they’re still forms of refined sugar.
STEP 2: CHOOSE HEALTHIER, MORE REAL SOURCES OF SUGAR.
There are several healthier alternatives to adding sweeteners to your food. They are the following:
Coconut Palm Sugar – this sugar is actually sap from the coconut palm which is heated and evaporated which reduces it to granules. Coconut sugar is nutritious and has a low score on the glycemic index (which essentially means it doesn’t tax your body and make you crash after giving you a sugar rush). Coconut sugar tastes similar to brown sugar, but slightly richer. (Here are some recipes that use coconut sugar).
Raw Honey – Raw honey is pretty awesome. It’s used by many cultures as a remedy for ailments, including ulcers, digestion problems, and as an antibiotic. Raw honey contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. Make sure to look for raw in the name, as processed honey has no such health benefits. A honey simply labelled as un-pasteurized is likely filtered, but hasn’t been heated.
While these are better than sugar they still do contain many more health benefits than processed sugar, it is still sugar. Therefore, make sure you consume them in moderation.
STEP 3: BEWARE OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.
Many people turn to artificial sweeteners when trying to avoid excess sugar in their diets. While many consider these type of zero calorie sweeteners “safe” or “guilt-free,” they’re not helping you one bit.
No, they don’t contain calories, but they also don’t contain any nutritional value so your body wants more and more of them, thinking the sweetness will provide you, at least, with energy, which it never does so you’re left craving more and more sweets.
Artificial sweeteners can also increase your cravings for sugar and carbs and they can deplete your body’s store of chromium, which is a crucial nutrient in blood-sugar metabolism.
There’s a reason why diet soda is highly correlated to weight gain and obesity.
STEP 4: IDENTIFY THE MAIN CULPRIT.
We all have one type of food or drink that is probably the most major of all the culprits of our continued dependency on processed sugar. Maybe you are a sweet tea/coffee drinker.
It’s likely this one culprit that scares you about letting go of processed sugar and quitting for good. It’s also likely this one culprit that is holding you back from reaching your health-related goals.
Each change you make during this process of quitting processed sugars will help you with the next change. Attacking this main culprit head-on will certainly work to help you remove the need for sweets within the rest of your diet.
STEP 5: MAKE IT A TRANSITION.
Change can be very scary and difficult for us to swallow, especially when we consider the years and years we’ve likely been addicted to refined sugars.
Start small, take baby steps, and keep moving towards removing refined sugars from your diet. Each teaspoon of sugar you remove a day, the better off you’ll be.
Make the transition gradual to the point where you don’t even feel like you’re working to remove anything. Then, one day, you’ll not even feel like that extra soda or white mocha latte or cookie. Your body and mind are capable of amazing things – so stop letting sugar control them and take charge!
To read the full article visit http://www.asweetpeachef.com/clean-eating/how-to-quit-sugar/
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think about the different ways to a healthier life. Till then, stay healthy and keep it simple.