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How To Give Up Processed Sugar

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Weight Loss The Easy Way

How to Cut Sugar and Processed Foods | Living Well

Okay, its not easy giving up sugar but doing so cuts out a lot of empty calories. All labels had to be checked, most convenience supermarket foods and condiments were a no-go. Desserts, sugary drinks and most types of alcohol were to be avoided and if I could find an alternative it tended to be significantly less calorific. While I focused on avoiding sugar, the weight fell off.

Get Ready To See Results

The best news is that after you get over the hump of those first tough couple of days, you’ll be amazed by how energized and how great you feelyour mood will start to regulate, you’ll sleep better, and you might even see some improvements in your skin and body. Be mindful and observant of the good, because it will power you right through the end .

Q How Do You Help People Wean Themselves Off Sugar And Stay Off It

Sarah: Ive organised a realistic eight-week plan in my book, but one of my main messages is that to cut out sugar for life, you must eat more good fats. Ive talked to many groups of young women who say that theyve tried my programme and they find it tough, and theyre still hungry. So I ask them if theyve added fat to their diet, and most of them are horrified. But that is my number one secret lose the sugar, eat more fat. Good ways to do this are by drizzling butter, nut or olive oil over steamed vegetables, and adding avocado, nuts or cheese to salads.

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How Much Sugar Can We Eat

Many foods contain natural sugar, including fruit, vegetables and dairy products and these should be included in a healthy diet, but aiming for no added sugar will help to support health and reduce cravings, says Adrienne Benjamin, nutritionist for ProVen Probiotics .

The NHS states 30g added or free sugar a day as a maximum intake for adults, and suggests that sugar should only represent 5% of calorie intake, says Adrienne. In comparison, the average sugar intake in the UK is now 100g a day way higher than the recommended amount. But its very easy to consume excess sugar . For example, 100g serving of Special K contains 10g , she explains.

Its really not that easy to stick to the recommended amounts, confirms Suzie Sawyer, clinical nutritionist for Feel Alive! Supplements . For example, for those with a passion for fizzy drinks, then one can of original cola has 35g sugar. And if you also eat a portion of Muller Greek Style Yoghurt with 22g sugar that will take you well over the recommended daily intake.

Here, Healthspans head of nutrition Rob Hobson shares further examples of the average amount of free sugar in a recommended serving of:

  • A Mars Bar: 32g sugar in 54g bar
  • Sainsburys Fruit Yoghurt: 15g sugar in 125g pot
  • Fruit Gummies: 12g sugar in 25g serving
  • Ben’s Original Sweet & Sour Sauce: 14g in 112g serving
  • Bran Flakes: 4.3g in 30g serving

Caution When Dining Out

Giving Up Processed/Refined Sugar

Restaurant menus don’t come with ingredient lists, so you have to be discerning and ask lots of questions. Salads are your best bet because you can very easily control the ingredients and ask for an oil-and-vinegar dressing. Sandwiches are likely out because bread almost always has sugar.

Depending on how much effort you want to give it, you can work with your server to find something that’s entirely sugar-free as-is on the menu, or you can customize a dish with only the ingredients you know you’re cleared to have.

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Overcome The Sugary Snack Sabotage

Have a sudden desire for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up? Dont we all! This is your bodys way of telling you it needs an energy boost.

Often when we deprive ourselves of fueling up, waiting it out until mealtime, we get lethargic and distracted, which hinders us from completing our work and following through with various other priorities. When hunger strikes, often the easiest options are the unhealthiest ones, like cookies, candy bars, and granola bars.

Pinpoint these highly sugary snacks and switch them for healthier options that are sure to give you energy as opposed to make you crash. Try starting with fruit when the craving for sugar hits.

Also, incorporate high protein, fat, and fiber foods that keep the body full for longer, like eggs, nuts, avocados and hummus.

More Snack and Dessert Alternatives

There are healthier treats you can look forward to, and these will help to slowly curb your sugar cravings over time.

  • Trade your milk chocolate for Dark chocolate. Make sure to look for a bar thats at least 65% cacao. Its chock-full of so many incredible health benefits.

Sugar And Kids: Your Questions Answered

Sugar consumption, whether by kids or adults, is surrounded by controversy. Some people swear sugar is the enemy. Others claim it’s an acceptable way to placate irritable kids or reward a job well done. The truth, in my opinion, falls somewhere in the middle.

Here, I offer answers to the most frequently asked sugar-related questions I get from parents.

Q: Does sugar cause kids to be hyperactive?

A: Many parents insist that eating sugar changes their child’s behavior. As it turns out, the suspected link is largely a myth. Several studies have explored the issue, but none of them support the theory that sugar causes hyperactivity. That said, I do think some kids are sugar sensitive. Your best bet: Pay attention to your child. If her behavior seems to change after eating sugar, it may be best to limit or avoid it. Foods that contain sugar also tend to have artificial colors, preservatives and other potentially triggering ingredients. But more often than not, hyperactive behavior is related to environmental factors and sleep deprivation.

Q: How does sugar affect a growing child?

A: When your child fills up on sugar-sweetened foods, they may have little room left for the nutritious options that growing bodies need, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein. Plus, too much sugar can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of your child developing cavities.

Q: What are your thoughts about nixing sugar from a child’s diet?

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The Best And Worst Type 2 Diabetes Choices By Food Group

As you pick the best foods for type 2 diabetes, heres a helpful guideline from the NIDDK to keep in mind: Fill one-half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables. One-fourth of your plate should feature your protein , and the final fourth should include a grain or other starch, such as starchy vegetables, a piece of fruit, or a small glass of milk.

Because processed and sugary foods are unhealthy carbs, limit them in your diabetes diet, says Massey. That includes soda, candy, and other packaged or processed snacks, such as corn chips, potato chips, and the like. And while artificial sweeteners like those found in diet sodas wont necessarily spike your blood sugar in the same way as white sugar, they could still have an effect on your blood sugar and even alter your bodys insulin response.

A previous study found that when 17 obese, non-insulin-resistant people ingested a beverage treated with the artificial sweetener sucralose before taking a standardized dose of glucose, their blood sugar and insulin levels rose more than when they drank plain water. On the other hand, a meta-analysis published May 2018 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that artificial sweeteners didnt increase blood sugar levels. More research is needed to determine how artificial sweeteners affect people with diabetes.

For now, heres what you need to know about choosing the most diabetes-friendly foods from each food group.

Ditch Treats With Simple Carbs

What Happens If You Stop Eating Sugar for TWO Weeks

Pastries, cookies, muffins, white bread and other treats made with refined flour offer little nutrition-wise but are dense with added sugar, messing with blood sugar levels. This sets up a cycle of grabbing a donut or muffin for energy that doesn’t last, said Kohn.

Instead, get your carb fix with whole grain varieties. These are converted to sugar during digestion, but because they’re the complex kind rather than the simple type, they’re absorbed more slowly and provide steady energy.

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Decreased Risk Of Diabetes

Weight gain is a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Excess fat makes the body resistant to insulin and eventually the pancreas cant produce enough to meet demand.

Avoiding sugar, exercising, and managing weight will definitely lower the risk for diabetes.

Fortunately for those who may have developed type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes like exercising, losing weight, and giving up sugar can reverse many of the effects and some people might return to pre-diabetic health levels.

I Had No Sugar For 30

As someone who doesnt add sugar to my coffee, rarely drinks fizzy drinks, whose breakfast hasnt come from a box with a cartoon on it since I was a kid, and doesnt load up their shopping basket with biscuits, cakes, and chocolate I dont seem like the kind of person who needs to take on the challenge of quitting sugar.

However, I do have a sweet tooth and often find myself over-indulging in sugary treats when theyre presented at someones home or shared with the staff in the office.

My weaknesses for sugar are:

  • I dont say no to a slice of birthday cake.
  • I keep returning to the box of chocolates in the staff room.
  • I never have just one cookie when someone has shared a plate at an event.

Basically, when I start, its very hard to stop. So I decided to cut myself off and see what happens.

So I quit sugar for 30 days to see what would happen. By quitting sugar, I learned a lot about my eating habits, how to stop sugar cravings, and the benefits of no sugar in my diet.

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Youll Feel Lighter Brighter And Happier

Sure, eating your favorite cake or ice cream may make you feel better in the short term, but over the long haul, your mental health can take a beating. Did you know that overeating sugar is linked to depression? The underlying chronic inflammation that happens when we eat a high-sugar diet negatively impacts our brain function one of the reasons we get blue with too many sweets.

A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate sugary foods with a high glycemic index increased their risk for depression. Another study published in 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports found that men who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar every day increased their risk for depression when compared to men who ate less than 40 grams each day.

Just consider a small child after eating their Halloween or Easter stash. They often turn from little angels to pesky devils! If you want to eat to beat the blues, youll want to stop eating sugar especially if youre prone to depressive states.

Breaking The Sugar Addiction

Reasons why sugar destroys your health... Tough to avoid but trying to ...

There are benefits to giving up sugar which can break the addiction and reset your taste buds. Yes, sugar is addicting. It has been shown that the brain finds it more rewarding than cocaine. So, all the sugar hiding in our foods gets us even more addicted to sugars.

Taking 30 days to cut sugars out of your diet is a great way to reset the body. We recently started a month long challenge to give up sugar with lots of excited participants. There are many long-term benefits of giving up sugar. Excessive sugar consumption is bad for your heart, it has led to high rates of diabetes, and it actually feeds cancer. There are benefits you will notice after just a short time of giving up sugar. The first few weeks are hard but the benefits of giving up sugar are worth it. Here are a few of my favorites that many people experience but there are so many more.

Read Also: What Happens When You Stop Eating Sugar

Pay Attention To Food Labels

Food labels provide valuable information about the carb content of packaged foods.

Paying attention to serving size is also important, especially when eating foods that may be higher in sugar and have smaller serving sizes than many people traditionally eat.

For instance, cereal packaging and commercials often exaggerate serving size depictions, making it easier for people to eat more than one serving at a time .


Reading food labels and understanding serving sizes can help you make more informed choices when it comes to reducing carb intake.

Better Mood And Mental Focus

The sum total of all the benefits of cutting out sugar from our diet is better overall mental health combined with restful and restorative sleep.

Reducing inflammation in the brain and body, combined with better sleep leads to an improved ability to concentrate and think clearly.

These same reasons have shown that people experience a better mood each day with a lower risk of dealing with depression.

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Are Artificial Sweeteners Better

Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame , saccharin , and sucralose can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.

However, there’s also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundredsor even thousandsof times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.

However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. “For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they’re not a permanent fix,” Dr. Hauser says.

You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn’t find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.

How To Quit Sugar With 8 Easy Tips


Currently, the World Health Organization recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Then how come Americans are consuming on average 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day? And thats not the sugar from healthy fruits like apples and berries. Thats just the refined white powder!

So, its probably time to think about how to cut down on your sugar intake if not quit refined sugar altogether. Its not an easy process you could even experience sugar withdrawal symptoms like changes in mood, anxiety, sleep troubles, fatigue, dizziness, etc. But were here to give you the rundown on how to effectively quit sugar as easily as possible.

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Read Your Nutrition Labels

This is possibly the most important thing you can do to take charge of what foods youre putting into your body. For any drink, cereal, package, energy bar, or whatever prepared food you purchase at the grocery store, read the label. What is this going to tell you? Everything!

Most of us, after reading the label and seeing high fructose corn syrup as one of the top 5 ingredients in the list would realize that food probably isnt a good choice. But, what if you saw brown sugar, fruit juice, malt syrup, or organic cane juice? Would you stop and think this is just as bad?

Because, despite how much nicer they may sound, theyre still forms of refined sugar.

Another very easy way to spot sugar in the nutrition labels is by recognizing the -ose suffix. So, when you see words that end in -ose, like sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup, etc., theres a good chance it is sugar.

Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Numerous studies have found that added sugars can produce changes in neurochemistry and behavior similar to those of other addictive drugs. When initially cutting out sugar after long-term use, one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar detox symptoms should resolve within a few days, but may include:

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Kids And Sugar: A Recipe For Disaster

When it comes to how sugar affects children, there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion. People tend to associate sugar-laden treats with hyperactivity.

But is eating sugar the trigger for off-the-wall behavior? Or is this type of hyperactivity an unfortunate coincidence? Most important, do you really want to turn into the food police with your school-aged children?

Know How To Tough Out Cravings And Withdrawal Symptoms

Giving Up Sugar? Do These 5 Things First

For me, gentle exercise and getting lots of sleep also helped immensely. Getting my fill of adaptogenic herbs also helped balance my mood swings and appetite, since they help regulate our cortisol .

Maguire adds that in cases of extreme cravings, your best strategy is to allow your body to indulgethe healthy way. “The body is looking to satisfy the reward center in the brain,” she explains. “If you find that any craving hits, then reaching for good low-sugar snacks such as dark chocolate , nut butter, nuts and seeds, or berries with Greek yogurt can kill the cravings.”

Incorporate foods and beverages that are bitter into your diet to help reset your taste buds and fight cravings.

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