Posted on April 11 2016
7 Tips on How to Quit Sugar by Roki Prunali
I know what you all are thinking, how the heck are we going to quit sugar? Well Pretty Birds, the truth is that we consume about three times the sugar than what is suggested by the American Heart Association and something seriously needs to be done. Learning to love sweets later on in my life, I am finding myself cutting it out wherever I can. I am not going to bore you with consequences of high sugar intake because we have been bombarded with articles and info of why it is so bad for us, but I am here to help you first to realize where you are actually getting your sugar intake and some steps on how to cut back. Are you ready for this roller coaster ride of quitting sugar?
The type of sugar that we should definitely steer clear of is refined white sugar. This is the infamous culprit that we will not substitute out of our homemade desserts because we are afraid that it will ruin the taste. The problem with this kind of sugar is that the bloodstream absorbs it quickly, causing a surge in the blood glucose levels and insulin.
During my journey of nutrition and visits to my nutritionist, the one sugar killer for me that was wreaking havoc on my body was carbohydrates. I was told that the major culprit to my inflammation was the breads, pasta, pizza all the yummy stuff I cannot get enough of especially living in Italy. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, easily digested and fast acting for energy. So when thinking about carbs, most people think it is only found in these bread based products, but carbohydrates are found in many foods, knowing the right carbohydrates to eat will help you cut down your sugar intake. Carbs with signs of fructose (not natural from raw fruit), corn syrup, glucose should be avoided.
Some foods you may not even associate with sugar, but trust me it’s there waiting for you. For instance, dried fruit is a major culprit of sugar. During the drying process, the fruit not only maintains its original sugar but the process adds more sugar as well. Also some manufacturers will add more sugar if the fruit is too tart after drying. Pasta sauce or ketchup are also super high in sugar, I know sometimes it is the fastest option. So when you can, read the labels and look for brown sugar, corn syrup, maltose, fructose, dextrose, molasses, agave, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane syrup, and evaporated cane juice, which are all just other ways to say “sugar.”
1. If you think you are getting less calories with artificial sweetener or drinking drinks with aspartame, this may be true, but you are not satisfied after eating or drinking it, which will lead you to crave more afterwards. If you are going to add something, try honey or agave.
2. Don’t think you can do it all in one shot eliminating sugar. Your body will go into some serious shock and you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Ease slowly, don’t go cold turkey.
3. Maybe start with substituting water for your sugary drinks, including fruit juices. While they maybe fresh, I am talking 100% fruit juice, there is a ton of sugar, so do half a glass of fuit juice with half a glass of water to dilute it a bit. But cutting out sodas and other sugary drinks should be a priority because they are empty calories.
4. Can’t cut out the carbs? Opt for complex carbs, starches and fiber, instead of simple carbs, sugar. You can find your complex carbs in certain fruits and vegetables, whole grain, nuts, beans and legumes.
5. Slowly start easing off the sugar in your coffee. It took me a while to get used to drinking my coffee black, but now I cannot even drink a coffee that has sugar in it. Stick it out Pretty Birds, I swear the taste will get better.
6. Get it out of your house. If you don’t see it, you won’t want it. If other people in the house are not willing to cut back on the sweets, make sure they keep it in a hidden spot or not a place where it will continuously be in your face.
7. Absolutely in need in sugar, and fruit is not doing it for you? A little dark chocolate is fine to eat every now and then. It is a bit bitter, but if you choose dark chocolate over 75%, it is even better.