Instead Drink More Water
H2Oh, yeah, baby. The good stuff.
Wake up and drink two large glasses of water to help flush out your system and lower blood glucose levels. Its especially important when you might be dehydrated after a big night out .
When youre dehydrated, the volume of blood decreases, and the blood glucose remains the same. This means more of your blood consists of sugar in other words, the concentration of sugar is higher.
Day : Nix The Sugary Snacks
Get rid of easy-to-grab sweets in your pantry or drawercookies, energy bars, muffins, candyand youre already slashing a bunch of unnecessary calories. A good rule of thumb is to stick to 25 grams per day if youre a woman 36 grams if youre a man, per the American Heart Association . When you notice a sugar craving, stop and take a moment to figure out whats really going on. Addressing whats truly driving the urge to eat sugar sets you up for success. Here are the top contenders:
How To Cut Back On Sugar Without Being Obsessed Or Grumpy
You really want to decrease your sugar intake. You know its key to feeling great and being healthy, but you hate the thought of giving up all your favorites. No worries: Heres how to cut back on sugar without becoming obsessed .
My nutritionist heart took quite a stab when a yoga buddy told me she spent a month without milk, nectarines, grapes and other nutritious foods because of their sugar content.
Fortunately, hers was a 4-week experiment that she gladly abandoned on the 1st day of the following month. I wonder if she even remembers that joyless month. But her mention of it a few years ago still lingers with me because I so often see confused shoppers squinting over food labels in the yogurt section or cereal aisle of the supermarket.
Image credit: Eduardo Goody
Thats not to say cutting back on sugar isnt a good goal. It is. Too much added sugar leads to extra calories, extra pounds and extra lousy diets.
You should pay attention to your sugar intake if you have prediabetes, diabetes, or concerns about your weight. Gosh, if you eat, you should pay attention to your sugar intake!
I tackled the notion of sugar being poison already. Check out my answer to the question, is sugar toxic.
Recommended Reading: Can I Have Sugar Free Syrup On Keto
How Much Sugar Is Healthy
According to the World Health Organization , theres no nutritional reason to include added sugar in your diet. But if you do, the WHO suggests that a person with a healthy BMI consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Thats 6 teaspoons.
Even if you follow a healthy diet, its possible that youre consuming way more than that.
Our sugar consumption has risen dramatically over the past 200 or so years. In 2005, Westerners consumed, on average, 152 pounds of sugar a year, compared to 6.3 pounds per year in 1822.
Part of that increase is due to lifestyle. Part is due to the amount of sugar included in basically all processed foods and drinks. And part is because a lot of people dont know how ubiquitous sugar is. Its included in products youd never imagine, like dressings and sauces. One brand of popular pasta sauce has more sugar in one serving than two Oreo cookies!
You May Like: Reduce Sugar Level Immediately
How To Measure Added Sugars
Sugars are listed under the âTotal Carbohydratesâ heading on nutrition labels. Until recently, you might have had to guess if those were added sugars. But the FDA now requires labels to list exactly how much of that sugar is added. Some smaller companies have until 2021 to comply. Total calorie count is also important to good health. Too many calories are bad for you whether from sugar or anywhere else.
Dont Miss: Is 116 Sugar Level High
Don’t Miss: Is There Sugar In Vodka
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.
What Happens If You Quit Sugar
Its thought that the sugar withdrawal stage passes after the first few weeks, so whilst you may experience symptoms like those listed above to begin with, they should have eased by around the 21-day mark.
After that? Theres not a lot of research on how the body responds to quitting sugar long-term, but studies on the ketogenic diet show mixed results. One study found that, after following a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks, participants had reduced body weight and BMI, and they also had reduced LDL cholesterol and blood glucose. Wed argue, though, that 24 weeks doesnt really count as long-term. Meanwhile, other research indicates that the high fat intake synonymous with the ketogenic diet isnt ideal for long-term heart health.
There are, of course, benefits to reducing your sugar intake so it falls within NHS guidelines. These include a reduced risk of illnesses including heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes, and it can also help to prevent tooth decay.
Again, there’s no knowing how your body will respond to quitting sugar. We’d reiterate, though, that it’s often not necessary to quit sugar entirely eaten in moderation and as part of a nutritious and balanced diet, sugar is both innocuous and enjoyable.
Recommended Reading: When Do You Take Blood Sugar Readings
Expert Shares Five Easy Tips To ‘slowly But Surely’ Cut Sugar Out In A Healthy Diet
From sleep to low-carb veggies, reducing your sugar intake doesn’t have to be torture.
When it comes to cutting back on sugar, you don’t need a sweet tooth to be having a difficult time.
It may come as a surprise that everyday foods we consume have sugar added to them, which can make eating a healthy diet all the more challenging.
Avoiding that instant ‘hit’ of deliciousness and energy from sweets and fizzy drinks is an incredible feat that’s complicated by added sugars.
Cutting back does not have to be a torturous process of self-denial, says healthy lifestyle campaigner Ruari Fairbains, CEO of One Year No Beer.
He told Metro that the best way to make that change is “slowly but surely”.
Everyday items like bread, pasta, or soup are regularly reinforced with the sweet stuff to improve their taste and shelf life – but there are a few simple ways to cut back on sugar in your diet, the Mirror reported.
Who Should Cut Out Sugarand How To Do A 3
Not just those at risk for diabetes, says Dr. Blum. Given the effect of sugar on everyone’s blood sugar levels and the breadth of illnesses it may trigger, way more people should consider kicking sugar to the curb, she suggests. Especially anyone who regularly struggles with feeling tired, moody, stiff, and/or achy .
There are a lot of different ways to go about cutting sugar, but Dr. Blum recommends a three-day detox for its simplicity and efficacy. Her general rule? For three days, dont eat any foods with more than 15 grams of sugar per serving. That means cutting out obvious sugar sources, like soda, alcohol, baked goods, and ice cream. But it also includes surprising sugar bombs, like most yogurts, juices, wheat bread, and, yes, even that acai berry bowl you whip up after the gym, Dr. Blum says.
“Dont go reaching for sugar substitutes. They can trick your body into gaining weight and continue to foster cravings for sweet stuff.”
To help you get through, replace sugar with healthy fats. Think avocado, nuts, healthy animal proteinswhatever works for you, Dr. Blum says. It feels like a wonderful, almost cheating thing to eat healthy fat, she adds, but its really notso go ahead and enjoy that guacamole.
You May Like: How Sugar Affects The Body
Check For Sugar In Canned Foods
Canned foods can be a useful and inexpensive addition to your diet, but they can also contain a lot of added sugar.
Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring sugars. However, these arent usually an issue since they dont affect your blood sugar the same way added sugar does.
Avoid canned foods that are packed in syrup or have sugar on the ingredient list. Fruit is sweet enough, so go for versions labeled packed in water or no added sugar.
If you buy canned fruits or vegetables that do have added sugar, you can remove some of it by rinsing them in water before you eat them.
Struggling To Cook Healthy Well Help You Prep
Cooking Lights Food and Nutrition Director, Brierley Horton, MS, RD, explains: When you binge on the sweet stuff, your body breaks sugar into glucose, which is released into your bloodstream. As a response, your body then releases insulin to help bring your sugar levels back down and help your cells mop it up. Whatever sugar your body doesnt use gets stored as fat.
Horton also adds that eating too much sugar can make your blood sugar levels spikemaking you feel hungry and craving more sugary foodsso ending the cycle is key. If youve hit the candy a little hard today, heres what to do.
Read Also: Does Almond Milk Have Less Sugar
Gentle Ways To Slowly Remove Sugar In Your Diet
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
You say sugar to refer to your loved ones, but theres nothing affectionate about what too much of the sweet stuff will do to your body. You do well to cut back on this substance considering the rising rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
However, it isnt easy to remove this stuff from your diet. After all, humans have a sweet tooth of sorts in tastebud form, and manufacturers know this, adding more to sell their products. Here are eight gentle ways to slowly remove sugar from your diet.
Avoid Blood Sugar Crashes
‘If you experience a dip in your blood sugar levels, youre more likely to crave simple sugars for their instant energy hit,’ says Nutracheck nutritionist Emma Brown.
‘To avoid this, include high-fibre wholegrains such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, quinoa, wholemeal couscous, and wholegrain rice and oats into your diet as these release their energy more slowly.’
You May Like: How To Control Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals
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.
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.
Read Also: Why Do Blood Sugar Levels Drop
Track Your Symptoms And Progress
As youre going through the sugar detox process, it might be beneficial to track your symptoms before and during the sugar cleanse. Pay specific attention to your mood, digestion, and energy. Are you less sluggish when you eliminate more sugary or carb-heavy foods? Do you notice a difference in symptoms of GI irritation? Keep track in a journal, with as much detail as possible, as you remove sugar from the body. Then, you can discuss the changes you notice in your body and your mental state and energy with your health coach to better understand the progress youve made. Parsleys health coaches can help use the information to develop a long-term nutrition plan that works for you.
Ways To Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet
Sugar is everywhere. It boosts the flavor of our food and drinks, it’s in our beauty products and even finds its way into some medications. Let’s face it: Sugar really does make life a little sweeter.
We all know how much kids love sugar, and honestly, many adults do, too. The truth is that sugar is not just something that tantalizes the taste buds our brains actually need it to fuel vital functions. That’s why having low blood sugar can cause shakiness, dizziness, confusion and unconsciousness.
You May Like: Does Wine Lower Blood Sugar
Reduce The Added Sugar
Check the nutrition label for added sugar. Processed foods typically have added sugar to enhance the flavor, especially in reduced-fat foods. In fact, low-fat foods often contain more sugar, even though they may have fewer calories. Instead, try foods with no sugar added and make the switch. On food labels, look for sugar alcohols, which are used to sweeten, but don’t contain the calories. However, because they are not fully absorbed by the small intestines, sugar alcohols can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, gas and bloating.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
‘Research has shown that a lack of sleep not only impairs you from making complex decisions, it also activates the part of the brain responsible for sweet cravings,’ says Goodwin.
‘How much sleep is enough? Aim to get an amount that means you wake up naturally, rather than being shaken awake by your alarm.’
Don’t Miss: What Is The Blood Sugar Chart
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 doesnt 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 arent doing your body any favors. Or better yet, make a low-sugar dressing yourself!
Also Check: Can You Eat Sugar Free Gum With Braces
Look For Hidden Sugar In Foods
Sugar is hiding in all sorts of processed foods.
If you’ve never paid attention to food labels, now is the time. You may be surprised that most foods, even those you may not expect — like salad dressing, sauces and soups — contain added sugar. It’s important to read labels on everything you eat and cook with. If one of the first few ingredients is sugar, that’s a clue that the food contains more sugar than it should.
This also includes “healthy” foods like protein bars, granola bars and cereals — these products are often loaded with sugar. Don’t let marketing messages about foods being “healthy” or “natural” keep you from checking the label before you buy or eat it.
Read Also: How To Stop My Sugar Addiction
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check
Nutrition labels vary in how they flag up added sugars. Sometimes, theyll group natural and added sugars together, while others have an added sugars section.
However, come January 2021 , nutrition labels will start showing the percentage of total sugars that are added.
Especially for people with diabetes and metabolic diseases, knowing how foods will cause a blood sugar spike is central to maintaining daily health.
Its important to understand how a food will affect your blood sugar because maintaining healthy blood sugar control is crucial for overall health. Plus, foods high in added sugar negatively impact blood sugar control and may increase cravings for sweet foods.
I recommend high-fiber foods to keep your blood sugar balanced. Its also good to add fat or protein to meals that contain more than 25 grams of net carbohydrates. The extra fat/protein can help support your bodys blood sugar balance.
Find out more about reducing blood sugar here.