You may have heard people talking about going on a sugar-free diet, and you may have heard this and just ignored it. You might be thinking that sugar is in everything, it seems ridiculous to cut it out, what will you be able to eat? But as more and more people adopt this way of eating the benefits are becoming very well known. If you’re someone who has tried everything when it comes to dieting, weight loss or general health, then perhaps giving up sugar is the way to go. It is about far more than just weight loss and could change many things about your life and other things that you suffer with in terms of your health. According to Snow Holistic Health who specialize in Chiropractic care, sugar is linked to estrogen and while estrogen is crucial to women and their health as too much estrogen can cause hair loss, depression or anxiety, trouble sleeping, and increased PMS symptoms. The first thing you can do to solve this problem is to cut sugar out of your diet.
On a no sugar diet, the first thought of it can be overwhelming, ‘how will I ever cope without a cake again or some chocolate?’ But the truth is that what happens when you go sugar-free is that you stop craving those things and if you do decide to have a little bit of something sweet eventually, chances are you probably won’t even like it. But you’ll have enjoyed so many benefits of the sugar-free life that you won’t even be bothered.
To begin with, you should spend a couple of days looking at your diet and what you normally eat. Read every label, check the ingredients in everything, look at all your regular recipes, and also note down how much fruit you consume.
You need to be prepared to cook your own foods, so if you’re someone who relies on ready-made foods or takeaways, then this is something that will have to change and could be one of the biggest challenges for you.
You will need to buy as many fresh vegetables and low-sugar fruits as you can, and if you are new to cooking, then you can keep it to simple meals. If you do have to buy anything that is already made such as houmous, yogurt or almond butter then have a look at the ingredients list and choose foods with a short ingredient list and zero added sugar.
If you’re cutting out sugar, then you need to make up for it with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and plenty of protein as well as unsweetened dairy because the natural sugars in these foods are paired with complementary nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
If you’re struggling without sugar, to begin with (which you probably will be) and if you have a real sweet tooth then you can satisfy your cravings with some fresh fruit with some protein or fat, so you could have an apple with some nut butter, some berries with unsweetened yogurt or some fruit and a handful of nuts or some cheese. Jelly with no added sugar is also a very useful thing to have in the fridge for when those cravings strike.
As well as cutting out the obvious sugar, so the sugar in your tea, the sweets, biscuits, chocolates and cakes, if you really want to cut out sugar then you should avoid simple carbs such as white flour, white pasta, and white rice as these foods are quickly broken down into sugar in the body, which may cause the blood sugar levels to spike, so if you do want to have carbs then look for wholegrain options.
You should also avoid artificial sugars as these can trick the body into thinking it is actually eating sugar which means that this doesn’t help your sugar cravings at all and can make it far more difficult to stick to a sugar-free diet. Artificial sugars include things like Splenda, Stevia, Nutrasweet, and Sweet’N Low. If you’re checking labels on things, then you should look out for the chemical names of these sweeteners which includes aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, acesulfame k or acesulfame potassium and neotame.
Finally, remember not to drink sugar. While people say you shouldn’t drink your calories as it’s a complete waste, then the same goes for sugar. Avoid sodas, specialty coffees, sweetened teas, and fruit juices. Replace these drinks with unsweetened herbal teas, coffee without sugar, sparkling mineral water, or just plain water to stay hydrated.