How To Stop Eating Sugar
If youre like most Americans, you eat more sugar than is good for you. But its entirely possible to eat less sugar without sacrificing much if any of the pleasures of eating. Surprising as it may sound, many people who have cut back on sugar say they find their new eating habits more pleasurable than their old ones. This guide will walk you through why sugar matters, how you can make smart food choices to reduce sugar consumption, and how you can keep your life sweet, even without so many sweets.
What You Need To Know
Following a no sugar diet does not mean you have to adhere to a formal eating plan, so there’s no advice on meal or snack timing or even the makeup for your meals. You may find, however, that if you are just starting to cut out added sugar, it’s best to do it gradually. If you’re still facing sugar cravings, drink water and eat food regularly, so you don’t add extreme hunger to your sugar craving. Healthy fats are especially helpful for fighting sugar cravings.
To begin, try to limit your added sugar intake to 100 to 200 calories per day . The 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines suggest that everyone should limit added sugar intake to 10% of daily calories or less .
Sugar products including honey and molasses
Be sure to read labels carefully and choose products that have the least or no added sugar. You don’t have to give up sweet foods altogether, rather, you’ll make healthier choices.
Foods With Natural Sugars
Whole foods that naturally contain sugar aren’t off-limits on a balanced no sugar diet. For example, while whole fruits like oranges and pineapple and 100% fruit juices are naturally sweet, they don’t have added sugar.
The exceptionsand likely part of the reason behind the confusionare products like fruit drinks that do contain added sugar. For example, most cranberry juice beverages are a combination of fruit juices , additional added sugar, and water.
Foods With Added Sugar
Sugar Calories Add Up
A tablespoon of granulated sugar has 49 calories. That’s not a shocking number. However, the foods and beverages that contain sugar often include way more than a tablespoon, and they also contain other high-calorie, low-nutrient ingredients.
For example, a candy bar provides 20 grams of sugar in a 1.4-ounce serving, per USDA data. That’s almost double the number in 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. A soda has 52 grams of sugar in one can more than 4 tablespoons of sugar. Do the math, and you’ll see that the candy bar and the soda have 100 to over 200 calories from sugar alone.
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It Can Lower Your Bad Cholesterol
When you eat too much sugar, your liver pumps out extra LDL cholesterol. A sugary diet also lowers your HDL cholesterol. Together, high LDL and low HDL can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.
Research has shown that women who drink lots of sugar-sweetened beverages have lower HDL cholesterol levels than those who dont. Yu Z, et al. Cross-sectional association between sugar-sweetened beverage intake and cardiometabolic biomarkers in US women.
Go For Fresh And High Fibre
When it comes to our teeth fresh whole foods are best. By blending up a banana and strawberries into a smoothie it releases the sugars which then are able to coat the whole tooth, effectively bathing them in sugar. Whole fruit is higher in fibre and doesnt have such potential to get in all the small gaps in between and around the teeth. As with your breakfast, be very cautious of dried fruit high concentrated sugar and most often a real one getting stuck on teeth. Raw vegetables are very tooth friendly and the safest fruits to go for are berries, apples, and pears. If you cant resist the occasional smoothie or juice, use a straw so it bypasses the teeth.
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Sarah Wilson: How To Quit Sugar
The latest UK guidelines say that we should halve the amount of added sugar we eat. Adults are advised not to eat more than 30g of ‘free’ sugars a day, which is roughly seven sugar cubes. Children should have less than this. To put this into context, just one can of a regular fizzy drink represents an adult’s daily allowance of added sugar, as most contain 6-8 teaspoons.
Official health advice is now to give children water, not juice or squash at meals, and fruit juice may lose its 1-a-day status in future, with people being encouraged to eat a piece of fruit instead.
Sarah Wilson cut back on sugar for two weeks and just kept on going because she felt so much better. We asked her how she did it, what she eats now and how we can do the same…
Wondering how much sugar you should have in a day? Looking for a sweet alternative or want to know your fructose from your sucrose? Find out more in our sugar hub.
Benefits Of Sugar Detox
This 10 Benefits of Sugar Detox article includes a Sugar Detox Meal Planner, 20 recipes and more!
Cutting out sugar can help in a myriad of ways. Below we will share all the benefits of quitting sugar, and show you just how easy it can be!
We all know that sugar is bad for us, but did you know that consuming too much sugar can also have a big impact on your mood and energy?
Sugar is a source of empty calories, meaning it doesnt provide any nutritional value. And when we eat too much sugar, it can cause us to gain weight and feel tired.
Quitting sugar can provide you with a wide range of positive changes in your life, such as increased energy, mood improvement, better sleep, improved mental clarity, and more!
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The Symptoms Of Sugar Withdrawal
Making drastic dietary changes can cause unpleasant symptoms. Sugar detox is not an exception. The symptoms may vary from person to person as it depends on how much sugar you used to consume.
Sugar withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks. However, an important point often overlooked is that the longer your body goes without sugar, the easier the adaptation period will be. Make sure to consult with your doctor before starting a diet. Especially in case of any underlying health conditions. Here is the list of possible sugar detox symptoms:
Get Ready For Younger
The sugar in your diet affects the amount of sugar in your bloodstreamand studies suggest that high blood sugar levels set up a molecular domino effect called glycation. Say what? That’s just a fancy term for a process that can hinder the repair of your skin’s collagen, the protein that keeps it looking plump. A diet full of treats can also lead to reduced elasticity and premature wrinkles. Thankfully, research suggests that slashing your sugar intake can help lessen sagging and other visible signs of aging.
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It Could Keep Your Skin Looking Young
And now for the appeal to your vanity: A lifetime of eating too much added sugar can leave your skin dull, wrinkled, and prematurely aged.
Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, which is an appropriate name for what they do! Nguyen HP, et al. . Sugar sag: Glycation and the role of diet in aging skin.
AGEs damage collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. That damage leads to the wrinkles and drooping that some experts refer to as sugar sag.
How Much Is Too Much
Added sugars should make up less than 10% of a healthy daily diet. Thats about 11 teaspoons if you eat 1,800 calories a day. Some experts recommend even less than that: 9 teaspoons per day for men, and 6 teaspoons for women. A single 12-ounce can of soda has 39 grams of sugar, close to a days worth by any measure.
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You’ll Feel More Energetic
If your morning diet is dependent on bagels and pancakes, and you find yourself reaching for one too many cups of joe, it’s definitely time to rethink your eating habits. Cutting out these culprits laced with added sugar and replacing them with slow-digesting protein- and healthy fat-rich snackssuch as these best foods for energycan help balance your energy levels throughout the day.
Calories Per Pound Of Fat
According to the Mayo Clinic, a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. Theoretically, if you cut that many calories from your diet over a period of time, you will lose 1 pound of fat. Although fat loss is more complex and nonlinear than that, it illustrates the point of a calorie deficit.
Using this as an example, if you gave up your sugary soda at lunch and your bowl of ice cream after dinner, you could cut 500 calories from your diet each day. That’s 1 pound of fat in seven days, and you didn’t even have to exercise . After several weeks of creating this calorie deficit, your no-sugar-diet weight-loss results will be noticeable.
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Your Skin Will Improve
Trying to fix that flawed complexion and finally stop suffering from breakouts? “Removing sugar is one of the most effective strategies to reduce aging as a non-inflamed state allows the collagen to stay strong and pliable,” Ariane Hundt, a clinical nutritionist, tells us. In addition to that, “Sugar makes the collagen structure of the skin rigid.”
Use Almond Flour Instead Of Wheat Flour
For something that doesnt taste very good on its own, it is surprising how wheat flour is the key ingredient in a wide range of international foods
- Biscuits and cookies
In short, combining refined carbs like flour with a source of fat can make food taste delicious.
However, once again, it isnt the healthiest of options, and wheat flour is extremely high in carbohydrate.
For anyone who enjoys baking, switching to almond flour is a convenient way to cut down on carbs.
Here is how the two flours compare per 100 grams
- Wheat flour: 76.3 grams carbohydrate, 2.7 grams fiber
- Almond flour: 21.4 grams carbohydrate, 10.7 grams fiber
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Youll Feel Less Hangry
Eating too much sugar might trick your brain into constantly thinking youre hungry. In part, this is because sugar contributes to weight gain. Excess weight makes your body resistant to the effects of leptin, a hormone that normally signals your brain that youre full.
Foods that are high in sugar are also low in protein and other nutrients that fill you up. So shortly after you eat a slice of cake or a candy bar, youre ready to eat again.
Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, sans sweetener, to minimize that annoying hangry feeling and stay full longer.
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Its important to note that the plan may not be appropriate for diabetics, extreme athletes or anyone taking medication to control blood sugar. It is also not recommended for pregnant women.
Finally, before starting a sugar detox, enlist the help of friends and/or family members for support. You need people around you to help you be successful, Lustig said. The whole family has to do it together.
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and health journalist.
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Quash Sugar Cravings With Tea
Next time you’re having a hard to ignore the sweet-tooth attack, fix yourself a cuppa tea. Mint, ginger, cinnamon, and Chai teas will all help you fend off those longings by hitting that “sweet spot” without sugar overload, explains Brown. And with so many varieties, it’s hard to get bored. If you need to sweeten it up, add just a teaspoon of honey , which is a bit healthier for you than straight sugar or sweeteners.
Dont Drink Sugary Fruit Juice
It still surprises some people to find out that most fruit juice contains more sugar than Coca Cola.
On this note, a typical 100% orange juice provides more than 10 grams of sugar per 100 ml .
Two cups of orange juice per day contributes almost 50 grams of sugar to the diet.
Unlike whole fruit, there is no fiber content to accompany the fruit sugars within juice. Fruit juice drinks are also far less satiating than whole fruit for this reason .
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You’ll Be Less Likely To Get Sick
Chronic, low-grade inflammation has been linked to nearly every major disease of lifestyle and aging, including arthritis, G.I. disorders and metabolic syndrome. Studies in mice have found that high sugar intake changes the balance of bacteria in the gut, increasing the type with pro-inflammatory properties. The evidence in humans is sparse and still emerging, but a 2018 systematic review of 13 studies with more than 1,100 participants showed that all types of added sugars ratcheted up levels of C-reactive proteina key marker of inflammation. Chronic inflammation is an unhealthy and abnormal immune reaction in the body that leads to an overworked immune system, and added sugars are a key diet component known to exacerbate this type of inflammation.
On the flip side, a study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that a decrease of around 23 grams in daily added sugar intake was associated with a significant reduction in C-reactive protein. Cutting out added sugars can help minimize existing inflammation, as well as preventing new inflammation. This improves overall immune function, so the body can effectively fight off pathogens, reducing your susceptibility to illness.
Creating A Calorie Deficit
Calories are energy that your body needs to carry out physiological functions, and that you need to power through your day and a workout. But when you eat more calories than required, your body can’t use them and they are stored as fat, reports the Cleveland Clinic. To lose weight, you need to reverse the process eating fewer calories than you need each day will force your body to stop storing fat and use stored fat for energy.
Most people need fewer calories than they think especially when the goal is weight loss. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average moderately active female between the ages of 26 and 50 needs 2,000 to maintain her weight. But to lose weight, the calorie requirements are even lower. In fact, many women will lose weight on a diet including only 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day.
That doesn’t leave a lot of room if any for nonnutritive, sugary foods. If you are on a 1,400-calorie weight-loss diet and you drink a can of soda at lunch that provides almost 200 calories entirely from sugar, you’ve just consumed nearly 15 percent of your daily calorie allotment and gotten no nutrients in the bargain. It’s going to be very hard to get the nutrients you need and feel full and satisfied without going over your calorie budget.
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Tips For Cutting Back On Added Sugar
If youre used to regularly eating sugary foods like cake, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it may take time to reduce your reliance on added sugar.
For some people, cutting all forms of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, others may find this method too extreme.
Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake can significantly affect your overall health. Follow these helpful tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.
The tips above can help you slowly cut back on added sugar and improve the quality of your overall diet.
Here are some tips to help you beat the side effects and avoid or at least limit some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of your diet.
What To Eat On A No
The USDA recommends eating a well-balanced diet including fruits, grains, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy products. In addition, its advised to limit added sugar to no more than 10 % of daily calories .
Its important to include whole foods into your ration to get all essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Many vegetables and foods like meats, fish, eggs, cheeses, avocados are sugar-free. Therefore, they are always a safe option when you are hungry.
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Focus On Overall Diet Quality
Studies show that improving overall diet quality can help minimize cravings for sugary foods and enhance cravings for healthier foods.
For example, eating fewer foods high in added sugar like ice cream, cake, and cookies and increasing your intake of nutrient-dense foods like beans, vegetables, fish, and whole fruits may help reduce your reliance on added sugar and help you crave healthier foods.
Foods To Avoid On A No
- breakfast pastries
- baked goods
- any other sugar-sweetened beverage
As you can see, no-sugar diet is not overly restrictive and can help you significantly reduce your calorie intake and lose those extra pounds. Keep in mind, however, that you can consume extra calories even on a no-sugar diet. The recommended daily calorie intake is about 2000 calories for adult women, and about 2500 calories for men. However, the number of calories burned per day varies for each person. You can calculate how many calories you burn and, accordingly, which calorie limit is right for you, by using this calories burned calculator. Dont fall into the trap of extreme calorie restriction those diets work against you, depriving you of essential nutrients and decreasing metabolism, so that you literally tend to gain weight instead of losing it.
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