Dont Fake It Until You Make It
When reducing sugar consumption, many individuals may feel the need to switch to artificial sugars to satisfy their sweet tooth. However, patients should resist the temptation to reach for diet soda, sugar-free candy, and packs of artificial sweeteners into their coffee, as artificial sweeteners have been proven to interfere with the taste buds in identifying what is sweet. For instance, when an individual indulges in something sweet, their body expects calories and nutrition, which artificial sugars do not provide the body with at all. In fact, fake sugars have been associated with weight gain, not loss, according to a study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. Essentially, do not substitute artificial sugars while trying to eliminate sugar from your diet, as although it might appear harmless, anything fake or processed will do your body more harm than good.
How To Detox From Sugar
Overcoming sugar addiction is part physical and part psychological. Id say the psychological element is the most difficult, and in order to move beyond it you must change your subconscious feelings about food. Lets take a look at how you can take care of your body and mind during your sugar detox.
Have A Savory Breakfast
Get this: Having a sweet breakfast will set you up for all day long sugar cravings, says Brown. Yes, that means saying sayonara to your sugar-sweetened coffee and sugary cereal. Sorry! Though that may sound plain awful, it doesn’t have to be. Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee or sweeten a low-sugar cereal with slices of fruit. Better yet, opt for a savory morning meal: Whip up a veggie omelet or top your oats with ground pepper, cheddar, scallions and a fried egg instead of fruit and honey. These filling, satisfying meals will help you stay on the road toward low-sugar success!
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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.
Water From An Air Up Bottle
Its been reported that 16 million Brits want to reduce their sugar intake but are struggling due to a lack of alternatives, which is why we love the clever water bottles from Air Up. Using a specific technology called retronasal smell, Air Up bottles contain a scent pod that fools your brain into thinking you’re tasting a flavoured drink when you’re drinking water.
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What Is Added Sugar
Sugar is naturally in lots of foods like fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, and even grains. But manufacturers also add different forms of sugar and syrup to processed and prepackaged foods like ice cream, cookies, candy, and soda, as well as to less obvious products like ketchup, spaghetti sauce, yogurt, bread, and salad dressing.
More Needs To Be Done To Ensure The Public Lower Their Sugar Intake
While there are things we can do ourselves to reduce sugar intake, Prof. Wayne Potts told MNT that more needs to be done to encourage us to do so:
The disease states are a terrible scourge to individuals and the cost to public health care is tremendous. Since individual behavior can make major advances, we should use a variety of methods such as public awareness campaigns, taxation and more firm regulation.
Dr. Boyd pointed out that the food industry has worked hard to offer the general public a good range of sugar-free and no-added-sugar products. Soft drinks are one good example, she says, with more than 60% available on the market now being low calorie/no added sugar.
She added, however, that foods lower in sugar may not necessarily be lower in calories. In some cases, the reformulated recipe can contain more calories than the original. Research shows that diets high in sugar tend to be low in fat, and vice versa. She added:
The key thing to remember is that sugars occur naturally in a wide range of foods including fruit, vegetables and dairy products and can be consumed within a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle. As always, balance and variety in a diet is the most important thing for people to remember.
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Make Your Own Salad Dressing
When food manufacturers strip the fat out of salad dressings they replace it with sugar and salt. The result? A waist expanding salad topper that doesn’t have the healthy fats you need to absorb the vital vitamins from the superfoods in your bowl. Keep calories and sugar in check by sticking to two tablespoons of an olive-oil based dressing like Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Olive Oil Vinaigrette, and be sure to steer clear of varieties that use honey, sugar, concentrated fruit juice soybean or vegetable oils. They aren’t doing your body any favors. Or better yet, make a low-sugar dressing yourself!
Can You Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
Knowing how to quit sugar is one thing but should you go cold turkey or take it slowly? Cutting down can be tough and going cold turkey rarely gets long-lasting results, warns Rob. ‘Psychology plays a huge role as mood, boredom and habit can drive your desire for the sweet stuff. A lack of sleep, skipping meals, hormones and visual temptation can also contribute to sugar cravings, he says.
But there are ways to manage this challenging period. Some people suffer blood sugar imbalances making them feel rather jittery. But this can be avoided by eating sufficient protein, advises Suzie.
If you find the thought of going cold turkey too extreme weaning yourself off slowly may suit you better. A useful approach is to make small changes to your diet. Reduce the sugar you add to coffee or tea, choose lower-sugar food products and switch sweet treats for healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit, suggests Rob.
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How Long Does It Take To Withdraw From Sugar
You’ve decided it’s time to learn how to give up sugar, so what can you expect? Sugar is known to be addictive and to have similar effects on the brain as some recreational drugs, says Adrienne. When you cut it from your diet, you’re likely to crave it more. You’ll possibly also experience low mood and anxiety as dopamine levels reduce, as well as disrupted sleep , headaches and fatigue , she explains.
These feelings should only last a few days, she adds reassuringly. But they may last longer depending upon how much sugar you currently consume.
Although withdrawing from sugar does not provoke the same unpleasant symptoms as stopping caffeine says Suzie, if you eat a lot of the white stuff youre likely to feel its absence. Certainly for the first few days, people may suffer from very strong sugar cravings . Plus, they may notice energy levels flagging as the body adjusts, explains Suzie. However, tastebuds may change within one to two weeks and sugar cravings can disappear.
Day : Make Smart Swaps Where You Can
Any time you would normally use sugar or artificial sweetener, notice your impulse and then ask yourself if its necessary to enjoy the food or drink. Be mindful of your use of so-called natural sweeteners like agave or honeyyour body handles those the same way as other sugars. Consider swapping in a 1/4 of a mashed banana for your usual sprinkle of brown sugar in oatmeal and take your coffee with a shake of cinnamon instead of flavored syrup. Eliminating added sugar might leave your taste buds yearning for sweetness. Instead, get your sweet fix in with these creative hacks:
- Add vanilla extract. While its not actually sweet, vanilla reminds us of ice cream, cake, and other desserts. Add a few dropsor the contents of a vanilla beanto tea, yogurt, oatmeal, nut butters, or smoothies.
- Try toasted unsweetened coconut. These flakes are naturally sweet and add nuttiness and crunch to breakfast or dessert. Opt for the large flakes over tiny shreds more surface area means more flavor on your tongue.
- Caramelize onions. If youre making tomato sauce or soup, skip the sugar and caramelize any onions in the recipe instead of just sauteing them. Their natural sweetness subs in well.
- Create contrast with salt. Because sugar and salt are polar opposites, a dash of salt can intensify sweetness. Try it on foods that are naturally a little sweet, like sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, or sliced fruit.
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Protein With Each Meal And Snack
‘The most effective way to stop sugar cravings is to eat plenty of protein at each meal, advises Suzie.
For example, an apple with a few almonds makes a great afternoon snack. If youre having a fruit smoothie, add a little rice or pea protein powder to help balance blood sugar levels and banish cravings, she says. You’ll find some high protein, low-cal snacks here .
How To Sugar Detox: Going Cold Turkey For Three Days
The good news is that even if youre not a true sugar addict, by eliminating sugar from your diet, you can quickly lose unwanted pounds, feel better and have a more radiant appearance.
There is no one person who wouldnt benefit by eliminating added sugars from their diets, Lustig said.
Children can benefit, too. Lustigs research revealed that when obese children eliminated added sugars from their diets for just nine days, every aspect of their metabolic health improved despite no changes in body weight or total calories consumed.
But going cold turkey is what works best, at least in the beginning.
Early on in my practice, when I would notice that people had real addiction to sugar, wed start trying to wean them of sugar or limit their intake or eat in moderation but the word moderation is so clichéd and not effective, Alpert said. It was just ineffective to ask people to eat less of something when theyre struggling with this bad habit. You wouldnt ask an alcoholic to just drink two beers.
What was so successful in getting my clients to kick their sugar habit was to go cold turkey. When they would go cold turkey, I wasnt their favorite person but the number one positive effect was that it recalibrated their palate, she said. They could now taste natural sugars in fruits, vegetables and dairy that they used to be so dulled to.
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Learn And Recognize All The Different Names For Sugar
Now that you know which ingredients to look for, don’t stop there. There are over 56 different names for added sugar including:
- cane sugar
- brown sugar
- sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltoseor any word ending in “-ose”
Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So, the closer these sugar ingredients are to the beginning of the list, the more of that sweetener is used in the food.
If several forms of sugars appear on the label, think twice about making it a regular addition to your diet. Sometimes, manufacturers will use several forms of sugar on the label to prevent a single source from appearing close to the beginning of the ingredient list. In this case, check the nutrition facts panel to see just how much sugar is in the food.
To find out exactly how much added sugar, look at a similar, unflavored version of the product you’re interested in buying and see how they differ. For example, if a serving of plain oatmeal has 1 gram of sugar and a flavored version has 16 grams, it’s safe to assume you’d be consuming 15 grams of added sugar. When it comes to candy and sweets, assume all of it’s the added variety.
Standard Diets And Carbohydrate Consumption
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that most people consume a balanced diet made up of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The general recommendation is that the standard 2,000 calorie diet provides 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, which roughly translates into 900 and 1,300 calories per day from carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, which means that you should be consuming about 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates on a daily basis.
Most people know that carbohydrates can be found in foods like bread, pastries, rice and other grain-based foods. However, carbohydrates are much more than that: This macronutrient can be found in foods like fruits, vegetables, juices, legumes, dairy and a variety of other products. Carbohydrates are categorized into four main types:
While the recommended daily value for carbohydrates is about 300 grams per day, there aren’t daily values that are specific to sugar, sugar alcohols or starch. However, there is a daily value for dietary fiber. The Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming about 25 grams of fiber per day.
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Switch To Natural Zero
There are several artificial sweeteners on the market that are totally free of sugar and calories, such as sucralose and aspartame.
However, these artificial sweeteners may be linked to imbalances in gut bacteria that can lead to poorer blood sugar control, increased food cravings, and weight gain. For this reason, it may be best to avoid artificial sweeteners too (
They are all naturally derived, although they do go through some processing before they arrive at your local grocery store. Still, research on these sugar alternatives is ongoing.
Stock Up On Fresh Fruit
So what should you buy instead of all those sweet snacks? Nature’s candy, of course, is naturally free of all added sugars. In fact, dietitians say that eating fresh fruit is one of the healthiest ways to satisfy a sweet craving. To ensure your fruity nosh leaves you full and satisfied, pair it with protein and healthy fats, such as nuts or nut butter , keeping you fuller for longer. Examples of fruit snack pairings include:
- raspberries and low-fat plain yogurt
- banana and peanut butter on whole-grain toast
- apple and low-fat cheddar cheese
- tangerine and cashews
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Why You Should Remove Sugar From Your Diet
A 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found an association between high sugar intake and more heart disease deaths. Perhaps their findings werent surprising, considering that your liver processes the sweet stuff the same way it does alcohol, converting all that excess energy to fat that can clog your arteries.
Sugar can also upset your bodys pH. This phenomenon explains one reason the substance is so problematic for your teeth. Your enamel can repair itself when you balance your body chemistry, but excess acidity dissolves the protective minerals in your enamel, leading to decay. Some researchers theorize that high acidity in the body could also increase cancer risks.
Excess sugar consumption also contributes to Type 2 diabetes risk. Approximately one out of three Americans already live with prediabetes. If it advances to full-blown disease, their chances of heart and kidney disease significantly increase.
Sugar Detox: What To Know
A sugar detox, even if its sensible and gentle can be uncomfortable. When you reduce your sugar intake, your body takes notice.
When you significantly reduce your sugar intake you may experience physical symptoms and discomfort. This is sugar withdrawal.
The withdrawal symptoms are not dangerous, but they can be bothersome. Heres what you need to know about the symptoms of detoxing from sugar.
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What Is A Sugar Detox
A sugar detox is when you abstain from eating sugar, specifically added sugar, for at least a week and up to a month in order to reduce sugar intake, curb sugar cravings, and improve overall health.
There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to sugar detoxes, but your focus should be on cutting out added sugars from your diet: that means paying attention to nutritional facts and avoiding sugary sodas, most desserts, processed foods, and even some condiments like ketchup, which can include four grams of sugar per tablespoon.
“There’s now lots of emerging research that too much sugar can lead to heart disease and cancer and inflammation,” says Lisa Young, RDN, an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. “So while you might not see the results of cutting out added sugar tomorrow, over time, it’s a very big positive for your health.”
In fact, a 2017 study estimated if Americans cut their added sugar intake by 20% for 20 years, about 20 fewer people per 100,000 would develop type 2 diabetes, and 10 fewer per 100,000 would develop heart disease. These effects increased the more added sugar was cut.
Note: Due to the lack of clinical studies examining sugar detoxes, there is no clear recommendation for how long you should detox whether that be 7, 21, or 30 days. Instead, Young suggests you start your sugar detox by aiming for a minimum of one or two weeks without eating added sugar.