As a Nutritionist and Naturopath I am passionate about educating others on the benefits of giving up sugar. I absolutely believe quitting sugar is one of the best things we can do for our health. I hope this post helps inspire you to reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet for a healthier and happier you.
15 Benefits of Giving Up Sugar:
• Increased energy.
• Healthy weight loss.
• Glowing and clearer skin.
• Better moods. (Too much sugar can make you cranky, contribute to anxiety, depression and mood swings).
• Enhance your overall health. (As well as the health benefits of giving up sugar you are more likely to nourish your body with a healthier whole food diet, helping to improve your overall vitality).
• Balanced blood sugar levels without sugar spikes.
• Look and feel younger. (Limiting sugar is a well-known secret to longevity as excess sugar can cause inflammation accelerating the ageing process).
• Improve your gut health. (Sugar can disrupt the balance of good bacteria in your gut and affect your overall digestive health).
• Boost your immune system. (Sugar suppresses your immune system by interfering with its immune responses).
• Balanced hormones. (Sugar interferes with the hormones responsible for a healthy metabolism, energy production and reproductive health).
• Improve your focus. (Sugar can cause a lack of clarity, foggy thinking and decreased concentration).
• No more 3pm slumps, feeling tired or sluggish in the afternoon.
• Reduce your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
• Lower your risk of cancer.
• Get back your zest and motivation for life. When removing refined sugar from your diet and fueling your body with whole foods you have more energy and feel more empowered and motivated to live at your best.
My expert tips to help curb sugar cravings:
• Add cinnamon to your recipes. Cinnamon is known to help balance sugar levels and reduce sweet cravings.
• Clean out your kitchen, remove any temptation and replace with healthier alternatives.
• Increase your protein intake at main meals.
• Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Take your focus away from food.
• Ensure you are eating enough good fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut and extra virgin olive oil.
• Make sure you're drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can often be confused with cravings.
• De-stress. Cravings are worse when you are stressed. Have a bath, go for a walk or get some fresh air.
• Make sure are getting plenty of good quality sleep. Not enough sleep increases the hunger hormone Ghrelin making your more likely to snack and reach for sweet treats.
• Boost your meals with fresh, natural flavours such as fresh herbs, spices, fresh lemon or lime juice, spring onions or chilli to help satisfy your palate.
• Avoid processed foods and stick to whole food choices that will nourish and satisfy.
• Embrace savoury foods! The more sweet foods you eat, the more you will look for them.
Natural sugar vs refined sugar:
• Natural sugars are those found naturally occurring in food, for example in fruit (which also contains nutritional value from fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Refined sugar is the extracted and processed sugar from sugar cane (with no nutritional value).
• Natural sugar alternatives include whole fruit, stevia, rice malt syrup, pure maple syrup, raw honey coconut sugar and dates.
• Sweetness is best enjoyed from whole fruits and the naturally sweet herb stevia. Natural sweeteners still have a sugar content and should be enjoyed on occasion and minimally for optimal health. I recommend tuning in to your body and listening to how your own body responds to sweeteners and which ones are best for you.
Healthy refined sugar free sweet treat options:
• Some of my favourite healthier desserts include peanut butter mousse, homemade banana bread (sweetened with banana only); coconut yoghurt with fresh fruit; nice cream (blended frozen banana and berries) and apple and cinnamon crumble parfaits (lightly sweetened with a hint of your choice of natural sweetener).
This article was written by nutritionist, naturopath and recipe developer Casey-Lee Lyons © Live Love Nourish™ 2017. All rights reserved.