If you are one of those people that get that 3:30itis sugar craving this entry is for you! Too often I am seeing a client’s food intake revolved around sugar in each meal. I’m not saying you should stop eating natural sugars such as fruit by any means – I am talking about those refined & added sugars. But why are they so bad in large quantities?
Health effects of too much refined sugar
- Spiking you insulin levels too much & too often can lead to weight gain (not to mention you feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride with your energy going from extreme highs to extreme lows)
- Weakens your immune system
- Increases anxiety
- Promotes tooth decay
- Increases triglycerides (a type of fat) which increases your risk of heart disease
- Increases fatty deposits in the liver
- Causes mineral deficiencies
- Causes headaches and migraines
Just to name a few
So what types of sugar are you talking about? Added sugars in products
- Cane juice and cane syrup
- Corn sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate and nectars
- rice/corn/maple/malt/golden/palm/malt syrup
- brown sugar
- maltose, sucrose, glucose, dextrose
- Raw sugar.
These can be found in (but not limited to)
- Fast food
- Bread & baked products
- Canned & packed products
- Ready-made meals
- Flavoured dairy
- Soft drink & Juice
BUT be careful - Just because there is ‘no added sugar’ on the label…doesn’t mean there isn’t already ALOT of sugar in the product for example strawberry jam.
Here are some ways to reduce sugar in your diet
- Admit you are addicted to sugar. If you find yourself always wanting that chocolate bar in the afternoon, something sweet to finish your lunch or dinner. You need to reduce your sugar intake. Once you can admit to yourself you need to reduce/remove it from your diet the next 9 steps are much easier
- GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE: Rid you house of anything with sugar. That’s right a full fridge & pantry clean out it. Remember out of sight – out of mind.
- Give yourself 2-3 weeks for it to get out of your system: Remember not to use sugar as a treat in the afternoon because you have been so good all day. Use a protein based snack
- Drink more water: not only with this curb your cravings it will stop you from reaching for the coke as a pick me up as well as detox the body from sugar
- Treat yourself: Find alternative treats to straight sugar such as lollies. Make your own sweet treats using alternatives such as lemon bliss balls, or banana breadetc. Quitting sugar is a mind game and as long as you have an alternative that you look forward to the easier it is
- Balance your meal: ensure you have protein at each meal & plenty of fresh vegetables
- Don’t skip breakfast: Skipping breakfast will increases the presence of ghrelin, our bad appetite hormone which triggers you to crave sugary foods to pick you up energy fast. Eating breakfast will reduce the presence of ghrelin & increase the presence of leptin, our good appetite hormone.
- Moderation is the key: – naturally there will be special occasions where you might have some cake or over indulge in alcohol and that is ok you are only human :)
If you are struggling to reduce sugar in your diet and getting a good balance email nutritionist Sinead at email@example.com