Three Ways to Cut Down on Sugar Today
I know you have heard, sugar is just the worst.
In my program, Keep Your Plants On For Good, I talk a lot about sugar and here is a little excerpt! (click that link to learn more)
A balanced diet needs sugar (carbohydrates). It is our bodies preferred fuel source. In a perfect world, we would all get our sugar from natural sources like fruits, vegetables, honey, and real, whole foods that also provide nutrients and FIBER.
But here's the thing: most Americans get WAY more sugar than we need and WAY less fiber. We get sugar from granola bars, cereal, muffins, pastries, donuts, chips, pasta, canned sauces, juices, and more.
Sugar is found in almost everything processed and is quite literally engineered to be addictive, correlated to heart disease, diabetes, obesity. Not only is it addictive, it's everywhere. In foods like chips, pretzels, and salty snacks that may not even taste sweet to you!
Sugar spikes our blood sugar, meaning we are more likely to overeat and then feel hungry in one hour (when our blood sugar crashes!) It also releases a hormone called insulin, which is our fat storage hormone. Great combo, right?
1. CUT ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS:
Here's why: They change the way we taste food.
Artificial sweeteners are 10x sweeter than sugar. This literally changes our palette, making us no longer satisfied by the sweetness of sugar, much less the sweetness of real food sources of sugar. It increases our cravings for sweets and can make you not enjoy vegetables and non sweet foods.
Artificial sweeteners are highly addictive and can cause hormonal issues, gut issues, and much more.
Ever met someone who was "addicted" to diet sodas? This is why.
It can take as few as ten days for your tastebuds to change, but be encouraged that they do change! Give it some time, cut out those artificial sweeteners and ramp up your veggies and fruits and you will see a huge change!
2. RAMP UP your fruits and veggies:
I'm talking 6-10 servings a day...
The World Health Organization tells us to have no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day.... but that's ADDED sugar. That means that whole, real food sources of sugar found in fruits and vegetables are up for grabs! These real foods are filled with vitamins and minerals and fiber to slow the absorption of the sugar. So you don't get as much of a blood sugar spike as you would with other sugar sources. The quality of the sugar matters.
Don't cut out fruit, the most nutrient dense food group we have, in the name of sugar! I do not suggest that you would sit down to a bunch of the highest sugar fruits (bananas, mangos, dates, grapes, pineapple, etc...) all in one sitting, but having fruit to satisfy a sweet tooth is a much better alternative to having anything with processed sugar.
Also, having fruits and starchy vegetables (like sweet potato, potatoes, carrots, squash, etc..) will make sure you are having enough carbohydrates throughout the day to keep you from feeling depleted as you change your diet.
**The only time I will lower a client's fruit intake is if they have been eating a strict Paleo (no grains, beans or anything processed, only fruits, veggies, meat, nuts and seeds) diet for a few months and has plateaued in weight loss. Unless you have been doing that, feel free to fill your diet with as many vibrant fruits and vegetables as you can!
3. EAT ENOUGH HEALTHY FATS AND PROTEIN:
It can be tempting to opt for low calorie, low fat, or fat free versions of foods. When you see a fat free food, you should wonder what they are adding in to the food instead! Most of the time, it's sugar and/ or chemical thickening agents to mimic taste or texture. This is NOT a good trade off! Fats like avocado, high quality oils, nuts, seeds, olives, and coconuts have a SATIATING effect on our hunger hormones. Fat and Protein literally turns off hunger hormones. Making sure that you have an adequate source of protein and fat at every meal will ensure that you are stabilizing your blood sugar, and are not coming back for a sugary snack in 20 minutes.
Make sure you are eating enough of the GOOD STUFF so you don't keep coming back for the sugary snacks!
Want to learn more about sugar and how to eat for your body?
Sign up for my program, Keep Your Plants On For Good today!