When you're grocery shopping do you read food labels? Try it. Sugar is in almost everything. Next time you're shopping, take a moment to learn about the ingredients in the foods that you eat. You may be surprised. From pasta sauces to "healthy" low-fat meal options, sugar's hiding everywhere. You'll find added sugars like dextrose, sucrose, fructose, and glucose, which all contribute to cravings of sweets.
Sugar is an addiction. For some, eliminating sugar is as difficult as quitting smoking cold turkey. So we've put together a list to help you learn how to quit sugar once and for all. A Naturopath's guide.
1. Eat Simple Whole Foods
The best way to avoid extra sugar, is to eat simple, whole, real foods. Cook at home as much as you can, and if you are eating out, choose items off the menu with as few ingredients as possible. Avoid anything packaged. Try new recipes with simple ingredients. Think fruits, vegetables, grains (like quinoa & rice), eggs, beans, fish, and anything that doesn't come in a box.
2. Health Products Don't Always Mean Healthy
Many of those so-called packaged "healthy snacks" are full of sugar. Many of these foods have sweeteners like honey, palm sugar, coconut sugar, and agave which are all aliases for sugar. Agave is one of those seemingly healthy sugars, but is more than 70% fructose. If you're trying to quit, eating items with these "healthier sugars" won't help you at all.
3. Avoid Store Bought Sauces
Barbeque sauces, Tomato sauces, Ketchup, these all contain about 50% sugar. The best thing to do is avoid them all together or make your own where you can control the ingredients yourself. Many sauce recipes don't even call for sugar. A tasty homemade tomato sauce consists of tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices. Skip the sweet.
Benefits to quitting Sugar
- Less food cravings
- More thought about what you are putting into your body
- Restored energy
- Weight loss
- Better sleep
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
4. Ditch Fruit Juices & Dried Fruit Altogether
Did you know drinking a glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as a glass of Coke? Seriously. That's about 12 teaspoons of sugar in just one glass. Even more surprising, we found dried fruit contains just as much sugar as juice. Many of the dried fruits even have sugar added. There's no escape. Or is there? Instead eat fruit in it's natural state. Fresh. Whole. Preferably Organic. Fruit, when left whole and untouched is full of fibre and water, and our bodies are able to process the fructose more efficiently. When the fibre and water are removed (juice & dried fruit), sugar is all that is left and we see higher spiking of blood sugar and insulin.
5. Drink Water
Our brains and bodies can mistakenly think we are hungry when we really are just thirsty. Fill up on water to help curb cravings and hydrate your body. Not only does drinking water throughout your day keep you hydrated, but it also will help kick your sweet tooth tendencies. Try it. Take a moment, drink a large glass of water and see how you feel. Oftentimes we are just dehydrated.
To book an appointment with a Naturopath at Juniper Family Health please contact the clinic at 778-265-8340 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book online.