Whenever I tell anyone that I’m on a health journey, their reflex is almost always: “oh you cut sugar?”.
TBH, it’s refreshing to see we’re becoming more aware, as a society, of sugar’s effect on the body. BUT, my answer is still no.
I didn’t cut ALL sugar.
I cut REFINED sugar.
I eat NATURAL sugar found in real food.
There’s a BIG difference in the way our body metabolizes the two & more importantly, in in the effects they have on our body.
FUN FACT: The average American eats/drinks 22 tsp. refined sugar a day (while the maximum recommended daily amount is 6 tsp. for women + 9 tsp. for men).
Refined sugar found in just about everything & in most processed + packaged foods. It’s generally derived from GMO corn + beets & studies show:
- it’s addictive
- it has absolutely no nutritive value
- it causes inflammation, disease (especially type 2 diabetes: every 150 cal. of sugar consumed increases the risk by 1.1%), certain cancers, messed up metabolism, leaky gut, fatty liver, mood disorders, energy depletion overtime
- broken down rapidly causing insulin/blood sugar to skyrocket, whereas foods with natural sugar (such as fruit) also contain fibre, which nourishes the gut, keeps us full & blood sugar in check.
My recommendation is to cut sugar gradually, especially if you consume it regularly. Remember, it’s addictive & like any addiction, trying to let it go cold turkey is HARD.
A great way to start is inform yourself about what to look for on nutrition/ingredient labels & to slowly cut packaged foods & buy/make healthier alternatives. Slowly, cravings become less frequent & eventually, they go away!
- To read more about understanding food labels, click here: KITK’s How To Dissect A Food Label & Top Ingredients To Run Away From In Processed & Packaged Foods a.k.a. Get That Stuff Back On The Shelf, Baby!!
- To read more about cravings, click here: Everything You Need To Know About Cravings & How To Curb Them Wisely!
- On a food label, any ingredient ending in “ose” is sugar (hidden by companies vs. flat out writing “sugar” & a great way for companies to sadly get away with loading their products with sugar in order to make them taste better, all while taking advantage of the fact that most people do not dissect nutrition labels)
- Don’t cut 100 other things at the same time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Also, cutting just sugar will allow you to see how good you feel once you do it for a few weeks & eventually, months, whereas, if you cut tons of things at once (gluten, dairy, soy, etc.), you won’t know what it is you actually had an intolerance or sensitivity to.
- Don’t be fooled by natural-sounding names (cane juice/beet sugar/fruit juice/molasses are all still sugar)
- Say NO to artificial sweeteners + sugar polyalcohols. Yes, they have no calories but they’re CHEMICAL!
- The higher up sugar is on the list, the more of it is in a product
- Don’t get down on yourself if you have a hard time; take it slow & be kind to yourself. Satisfy cravings in moderation when you start + let your mind/body adapt
- I stick to yacon, grade A maple syrup, raw organic honey, coconut/date sugar, coconut nectar, pure vanilla, ceylon cinnamon + brown rice syrup in moderation!
- To read more about healthy sweeteners, click here: The Nitty-Gritty on Healthy Sugar Alternatives & Substitutes a.k.a. Nobody-Said-You-Couldn’t-Curb-Them-Sugar-Cravings-Just-Curb-‘Em-Wisely!