Your Mood Can Change Drastically If Your Body Is Hooked On Sugar And Suddenly You’re Going Without
Sugar releases the feel-good hormones â dopamine and serotonin â in the brain, activating your body’s reward system, Robert Glatter, M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, Northwell Health told INSIDER.
In other words, the more sugar you consume, the better you feel â at least, temporarily. When you stop eating sugar altogether, however, your body goes through withdrawal, and it’s not pleasant for your body or your brain.
“As you begin to cut back on sugar intake, the body begins to sense this, and you may feel cranky or irritable, especially in the first few days,” Glatter said.
Many people experience fatigue, headaches, or even a feeling of sadness or depression, he added, aka tell-tale signs that your body is adjusting to the now low levels of glucose, dopamine, and serotonin. “After a week or so, your energy will begin to improve, and you will feel more alive and less irritable.”
Buy Plain Flavors And Sweeten Naturally With Fruit
Sure, that key lime pie-flavored yogurt looks mouthwatering, but it’s also filled with sugar and excess calories. Instead, buy plain Greek yogurt and flavor it with fruit and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Aside from its heavenly scent, studies show that cinnamon may aid blood sugar control and boost metabolism, making it a win-win for your flat belly goals.
Top Ten Healthy Sugar Alternatives
With an abundance of alternative sugar choices for sale in stores today, it can be quite confusing to decide which is right for us and our loved ones. One critical deciding factor in choosing which sugar substitute to use rests on the state of your health. To illustrate, someone who is diabetic cannot rely on the more honey or coconut sugar because it will still cause their blood sugar level to spike. Artificial sweeteners may be the better choice.
It is critical to comprehend the different types of sugar alternatives, so you can determine which is the best one that can meet the needs of your diet, especially the elderly. The Mayo Clinic notes there are four common types of sugar sweeteners. These sweeteners may fall under artificial, sugar alcohols, novel, and all natural. Furthermore, some of these are high intensity types of sweeteners. This means they offer more sweetness, without the additional calories. The ones listed below are the top ten alternative sugar choices that you can incorporate in your diet.
This artificial sweeter doesnt contribute to the decay of your teeth or raise your blood sugar level. The best part is this has almost no calories. You can use this for your coffee or tea. On top of that, Ace-K is a heat-stable product, so you can use this for both cooking and baking.
Monk Fruit Extracts
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Beware Of Dried Fruit
Though we’ve never met a raw fruit we didn’t love, dried and canned fruits are entirely different stories. Food manufacturers often add sugar, juice concentrates, vegetable oil, and syrups to extend their fruit’s shelf life and improve the flavor. Steer clear of these culprits to cut sugar and stay slim!
Are Sugar Alternatives Really A Healthier Option
Whether or not sugar substitutes are a healthier choice for you depends on which type of sweetener you use, how much you use, and why you use it.
Artificial sweeteners. These synthetic sugar substitutes are intense sweeteners, so you only need a little bit to enhance flavors in food. They add no calories and may help with weight control, although the benefits of artificial sweeteners on weight loss in the long term are still unclear. Artificial sweeteners may be beneficial for those with diabetes since they dont raise blood sugar. However, its important to consult with your doctor before using a sugar substitute if you have diabetes.
Some people have concerns about the safety of artificial sweeteners. However, all artificial sweeteners must be reviewed and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . The FDA also provides consumption guidelines that outline the maximum quantity of artificial sweeteners you can safely have each day.
Sugar alcohols. Unlike sugar, sugar alcohols dont cause tooth decay or cavities. Sugar alcohols also can help with weight control and diabetes management. This is because the body doesnt completely absorb sugar alcohols. However, when consumed excessively, sugar alcohols can lead to digestive problems, such as diarrhea and bloating.
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Lower Heart Disease Risk
High triglycerides raise your risk of heart disease. Less added sugar can lower those levels and may help stop weight gain and fat buildup linked to heart disease. If you get more than 20% of your calories from added sugar — even if youre at a healthy weight — you may be able to lower your heart disease risk when you cut back.
Healthy Ways To Replace The Grains In Your Diet
The Paleo diet is all the rage these days, but just like any other diet there are healthy ways and not-so-healthy ways to approach it. Replacing grain-based breads, crackers, and cookies with nut-based breads, crackers, and cookies can be helpful for those who need to avoid gluten, but relying heavily on these baked goods on a daily basis wont necessarily improve your health.
When done the right way, a grain-free diet should help increase your vegetable intake while also reducing your intake of processed foods and sugary snacks. Its essentially just a whole foods diet, which is why so many all-natural recipes fall into the Paleo category in the first place.
Today I want to share 6 ways to replace the grains in your diet, without relying on heavy nut-based alternatives. Even if you dont follow a grain-free diet, the following tips are a great way for anyone to increase their vegetable intake!
1. Try veggie rice.
Pulsing vegetables like cauliflower or butternut squash in a food processor creates a rice-like texture that can be just as satisfying as using real rice. This Cauliflower Fried Rice is my favorite way to convince skeptics it tastes just as good as the real thing!
2. Spiralize your vegetables.
3. Use steamed vegetables as pasta.
4. Make a vegetable-based pizza crust.
5. Swap your lasagna noodles.
6. Lettuce wraps.
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Phase : Maintain Your New Way Of Eating
Time: The rest of your life
Why: This is a way of eating, not a temporary diet. That means once you cut out these sugary, carb-rich foods, youll continue eating this way for the rest of your life. If you only eat this way temporarily and eventually go back to your old ways of eating, you can be certain that the addiction will rope you back in pretty quickly. The four phases just described lay the foundation for a healthy eating style that you can maintain forever. The key to achieving your goals lies in your knowledge of where sugars exist and what you can replace them with, and the consistent desire and dedication to follow what you know.
How: Remember, each phase takes time. Follow the allotted time guidelinesas a minimum. Be patient with yourself. If you find that one phase takes longer than what is listed or than you expected, thats fine! The important point is to achieve the goal of that phase, not how quickly you do it. Try to identify why certain phases are more difficult than others. This may help you to troubleshoot and figure out ways to transition through that phase that are specific to your needs. Invest the time you need it will be well worth it in the long run.
Is The No Sugar Diet A Healthy Choice For You
Many low-carb eating plans also limit sugar, so those plans can resemble a no sugar diet in some ways. And cutting sugar also aligns with government advice on healthy eating. The USDA’s dietary guidelines suggest a balanced mix of fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy products. There’s no space for added sugars, but they’re also not strictly prohibited.
If weight loss is one of your goals, you may need to count calories in addition to cutting back on added sugars. Avoiding those sugars will likely result in consuming fewer calories altogether, but to know for sure, use this tool to calculate a daily calorie goal, and then an app or journal to track your progress meeting that goal.
USDA guidelines suggest limiting your sugar intake to no more than 10% of your daily calories. Once you get there, you can gradually reduce your consumption of added sugars even more.
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Use Fruit To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Low glycemic fruits such as berries, green apples, and fruits from the citrus family are good natural options to help you satisfy a sweet craving. These fruits provide a hint of sweetness while also providing you with a fair amount of fiber and beneficial phytonutrients.
The fiber fills you up and the phytonutrients provide your body with vitamins and minerals that help you meet nutrient requirements so you dont try to seek them out somewhere else. So, unless your doctor has advised you to avoid fruit due to blood sugar issues, then you can use fruit to help satisfy your sweet cravings.
Whole fruit is natures dessert and can be enjoyed in moderation by most people.
I even have a recipe for Sugar-Free Apple Crisp which is so satisfying and enjoyable. You might also like my fruit recipes for Frozen Grapes, Dehyrated Watermelon, Pineapple Orange Smoothie, and Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream.
Who Should Go Sugar Free
Ideally, most people would be on a low-sugar or sugar-free diet. But, a sugar-free diet or one low in added sugars can be especially helpful for those having difficulties with blood sugar levels or systemic inflammation. This can include those with pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart disease, PCOS or other hormonal imbalances, or an autoimmune disease.
A no-sugar diet is more restrictive and can refer to a diet where you avoid even natural foods that have higher amounts of sugar. People who have diabetes or pre-diabetes should probably be on a sugar-free diet, choosing real foods that have a low glycemic index. Learn how to do a sugar detox.
Keep in mind that even vegetables can contain sugar in small amounts, so a no-sugar diet may be unnecessarily restrictive for the majority of people. If you dont have diabetes or pre-diabetes but still want to manage your blood sugar and inflammation, try cutting back on added sugars and see if you get an improvement in symptoms.
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Lower Odds Of Disease
People who have more added sugar in their diets are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, and other serious illnesses. You may be able to cut your risk for those conditions if you eat less of it. But its not yet clear whether the problem is added sugar itself or just the extra calories. Scientists are still trying to answer that question.
Cutting Out The Good Stuff
Some sugar-free diets advise people to cut out or restrict healthy foods and food groups such as fruit and dairy, without evidence to support their exclusion. This perpetuates the food fear/dietary restriction cycle and may contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
These diets also recommend people avoid fruit for a period of time, and then re-introduce a limited list of expensive healthy fruits while avoiding the cheaper unhealthy fruits such as bananas.
Whole fruit is a wonderful source of fibre, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Two serves of fruit per day can reduce the risk of developing some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Given only half of Australians eat the recommended two serves of fruit per day, the advice to restrict fruit further could result in people missing out on these benefits.
Many sugar-free followers also avoid plain dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, due to the assumption these contain sugars.
The sugar in plain dairy products is the natural lactose , which is nothing to fear. Unnecessarily avoiding dairy may increase the risk of osteoporosis if not replaced with adequate levels of calcium from other sources.
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Some Natural Sweeteners Should Be In Your Kitchen Which Will Keep A Check On Your Added Sugar Intake:
1. Honey: We all have heard the numerous health benefits of honey. Honey is sweet and has less calories, fructose and glucose than the classic white sugar. The advantages of opting honey instead of the white sugar includes quicker browning and more moisture. However, people with high blood sugar should still be mindful while eating honey.
2. Coconut sugar: The coconut sugar is extracted from the plant fluid of the coconut palm tree. It contains some healthy nutrients which are calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, as well as antioxidants. It is due to its insulin content that it has a low glycemic index than sugar. Though it has a variety of potential health benefits but should be eaten in moderation as it has the same amount of calories as in the regular white sugar.
3. Jaggery sugar: It prevents constipation by keeping the digestion system healthy. Many people prefer eating jaggery after a meal as it acts as a cleanser, and helps detoxify the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body. Jaggery is packed with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radicals. It helps in boosting resistance against infections, hence building stronger immunity. Jaggery acts as a natural sweetener and provides energy for a long period of time.
Embrace A Gratitude Mindset
Its very difficult to replace a bad habit with a healthier lifestyle choice if we dont enjoy it. You can retrain your palate to enjoy healthier foods you may not have liked in the past. Get excited about feeling better and taking better care of yourself!
I find meditation to be a useful tool in changing subconscious thought patterns and breaking unwanted habits.
At the height of my unhealthy relationship with food, I thought of food in a negative way. I was so obsessed with it, that I would not even eat a banana, because it had too many carbs and too much sugar.
When I changed my perspective to understanding that food is good, beautiful, nourishing, strengthening, things changed for the better. While I no longer crave or even really enjoy sugary foods, I feel no guilt about eating a few bites of cake on a birthday, or even a double scoop of gelato on vacation. I dont believe in having any foods off-limits as we often want the things we cant have. Its the forbidden fruit syndrome.
I started to think like an athlete. Rather than dieting and exercising, I started training and eating. Can you feel the difference? The former is restrictive, while the latter empowering.
Think, know, and feel this: I feel best when I nourish my body and mind with whole foods. Sugar and processed foods make me feel sick, and Im tired of feeling sick.
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First Thing In The Morning
Remember, breakfast shouldn’t taste like dessert.
Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day for sugar. Many breakfast foods that sound as if theyre healthy are in fact laden with sugar. In Chobani Strawberry Yogurt, for example, the second ingredient ahead of strawberries! is evaporated cane sugar. And many brands of granola have more sugar per serving than Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. In the United States, as the science writer Gary Taubes says, breakfasts have become lower-fat versions of dessert.
There are two main strategies to ensure that breakfast doesnt become a morning dessert. The first is for people who cant imagine moving away from a grain-based breakfast, like cereal or toast. If you fall into this category, you have to be quite careful, because processed grains are often packed with sugar.
A few grain-based breakfasts with no or very low sugar:
- Cheerios. Theyre quite low in sugar.
- Plain oatmeal. Flavor it with fresh fruit and, if necessary, a small sprinkling of brown sugar.
- Bread. A few breads have no sugar . A longer list of brands have only one gram, or less, per slice . Authentic Middle Eastern breads, like pita and lavash, are particularly good options and a growing number of supermarkets sell them.
- Homemade granola. You can also make your own granola and play around with the sugar amounts.
- Scrambled or fried eggs
- A small portion of well-spiced vegetables, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes.
How Do You Lower Blood Sugar Naturally With Diet
Researchers agree that the first approach to lowering blood sugar and A1C is to reduce carbohydrate intake.
Youve already seen the influence that carbohydrates has on your blood sugar in that image above.
So it makes perfect sense that if you reduce carbohydrates you wont be getting those big glucose spikes right?
If you dont know what A1C is, its an average measure of glucose in your bloodstream over the previous 3 month period.
Glucose/sugar attaches to a protein in our red blood cells in a process called glycosylation. The average red blood cell lives for around 3 months, so when they are doing this blood test they are testing glycated hemoglobin .
So it makes perfect sense that if you reduce carbohydrates youd have less glucose in the bloodstream to attach to the red blood cells, right?
And lets not forget insulin.
Many type 2 diabetics have high insulin they have high glucose and high insulin because the high glucose promotes high insulin production. And having both high glucose and high insulin promotes more insulin resistance.
So to help lower blood sugar naturally you need to lower your glucose levels, lower insulin production, and increase your cells insulin sensitivity.
How can you do that?
lower your carbohydrate intake and eat real food.
These are the 2 diet changes to focus on.
Theres also stress and exercise that are important too. But were here to cover carbohydrates.
Your body simply cant tolerate the carbs anymore.
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