Steps to Kick Sugar From Your diet
One of the biggest health pirates in our diet is sugar. I’m sure you have all heard about how bad sugar is, but if you REALLY knew what regular consumption of sugar does to our bodies, I don't think you would need much more convincing.
Sugar not only keeps us fat and wrecks havoc on our hormonal response to just about everything, it inhibits the work of white blood cells, causes migraines, stiffens arteries and impairs proper brain function. In fact, scientists are starting to call Alzheimer's and dementia Diabetes Type III. I don’t know about you but this is quite alarming.
If you want to know some more of the science behind how sugar affects you, check out the work of Dr. Catherine Shanahan and Dr. David Perlmutter. Both of these MDs have written extensively on the nutrition, gut biome and the dangers of processed food.
But let talk about taking action to cut out sugar from your diet.
If you are an average american , you probably eat many thing that come in packages. Even folks who eat “healthy” eat plenty of things that come from packages: protein bars, electrolyte drinks, canned tomato sauce, granola, flavored yogurt, BBQ sauce. It ALL has added sugar!
You may think you should cut out sugar cold turkey but it is harder than you think. Not just because sugar is hidden in almost everything we but, but because sugar, like heroin is a drug. When it doesn't activate opioid receptors, it does release opioids and dopamine, that make us feel less pain and more chill.
I'm not a fan of cold-turkey quit because I believe it creates unrequited cravings & leads to binges. Having quit a number of things in my life (different post) and seen many people quit harmful habits and substances, I can speak with experience. Most of the folks I know who have quit smoking cold turkey have gone through the cycle of quitting and starting multiple times and still have occasional strong cravings for a cigg.
My advice it to go slowly, cut down and gradually accumulate skills that make this whole process easier. Cutting sugar out from your diet creates a HUGE gap in it. Filling that void requires knowledge, patience and skill.
Keep cutting it down every week
Slowly cut out treats and desserts. Obvious places of sugar. Orange juice for breakfast become an actual orange for breakfast. Stop with the drinks, cookies, cake. Keep those kinds of treat to TWO situations: homemade, from scratch goodies be someone who loves you and special occasions like holidays, birthdays and weddings.
Start by keeping it out of breakfast
Stop with the sugary breakfasts. We do this because we want to delay that insulin released for as long as possible. Eat eggs and mean, don’t put sugar or honey on oatmeal, eat a veggie smoothie for breakfast. Throw out cereals with sugar in them. No time? Then skip breakfast. Intermittent fasting should be your diet strategy anyway.
Start checking labels
Speaking of ingredients, this is about the time you can start checking labels. I know this is scary for many. We are NOT looking at the calorie count! I really don’t care about the calorie count but I do care A LOT about the ingredients. Anything that has sugar in it, throw out and/or do not buy.
I listed 56 names of sugar at the bottom of this post. Food manufacturers will try to trick you and make up names that sound better than the actually are. Don’t be fooled. Bookmark this post and cross check it next time you are at the store.
Simply say NO to all high fructose corn syrup and artificial sugars
Don’t eat anything with artificial sweeteners in it either. You don't want all of the chemistry and chemical floating around in your body, fooling it into enzyme reactions that are unnecessary. Our goal is to retrain your palate to be sensitive to sweetness. When whole milk and plain yogurt states sweet and apples taste like candy, then you KNOW you're on the right track.
Opt for low sugar variants of food: dark chocolate, homemade cookies with honey
If you do cook some sweets, cut the recommended sugar in half and incorporate honey into you recipes. Nearly every cookies and cake recipe can be delicious and won't suffer with Half or even a third of the sugar.
Then replace desserts and cravings with fruit
Replace you dessert cravings with a healthier treat. Berries and cream is a good one. Apples and cheese or fruit and cocoa powder are great alternatives. But really, you should be getting out of the habit of eating a dessert every night. Cut your fruit consumption to one pieces a day.
Next, try to eat fruit just seasonally
If you have already taken all of these steps, then work on eating fruit seasonally. Fruit blossoms usually in the summer so animals, including us, can fatten up a bit before winter. Take heed to this foolproof advice. Don’t eat fruit during all of the months that have an R in them.
By giving yourself some time, you slowly detach and find replacements, acclimating your taste buds to more natural food. Eventually, when you do have sugar, you will realize how powerful it really is. Dessert will become all too sweet for you!
56 Names for Sugar
Corn syrup solids
Dehydrated cane juice
Free flowing brown sugars
Fruit juice concentrate
High fructose corn syrup
Artificial Sweeteners (from Dr. Oz)
Equal Spoonful (also +aspartame)
AminoSweet (but not in US)
Canderel (not in US)
TwinSweet (Europe only)
Not in US as per FDA
Cologran = cyclamate and saccharin; not in US
HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE (HSH)
DiabetiSweet (also contains Acesulfame-K)
Hydrogenated High Maltose Content Glucose Syrup
MaltiSweet (hard to find online to buy)
(Derived from glucose and sorbitol)
Sweet N Low