Sugar is just legal crack!
It’s been 2 years since I’ve cut sugar out of my life. I’ve never felt better and my body has thanked me in many ways. Sugar is the most dangerous food you are giving your body. It’s strongly linked to obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, candida, immune deficiencies, food allergies and intolerance, eczema, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, skin infections, acne, strokes and even feeding cancer cells! I can list you a million and one reasons as to why sugar is toxic to our health. At the moment, sugar is a major focus in cancer research and it’s been said to be highly addictive just like cocaine. This sweet drug slowly killing us and that’s the bitter truth about it.
You’re probably wondering how the heck I can live without sugar or wondering how difficult it must be to avoid it. It’s possible. And no, you don’t need “will power”. You just need to know that there are better options out there; your body is A temple that needs to be nourished not damaged.
Here are some simple ways you can cut down on your sugar intake:
Stop drinking soda pops and fruit juices. This is probably one of the worst ways to consume sugar and damage your insides. Drinking the liquid form of sugar just makes it easier to go straight into your bloodstream thus spikes your insulin way up! Don’t just stop at sodas and juices though – also think coffee drinks, lattes, milk, sports drinks, etc. Don’t even think about substituting with “sugar free” alternatives. Those are just as bad and contain no nutrition. There are even some marketed health beverages out there that you should also avoid. I can stress enough how important it is to read the ingredient label. For instance, Kombucha (iced) tea is very good for you but if you turn the bottle around and read that there’s added sugar in the ingredient list or it’s been sweetened in one way shape or form – don’t bother. The goal is to avoid the sugar but replace with wholesome food and liquids. Instead, drink lots of water, green tea, lemon water, unsweetened almond milk, pure coconut milk, and homemade/fresh juices (cucumber, green juice, etc.)
Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, candy bars, chocolates, ice cream, donuts, pastries, etc. Sorry guys! But you knew this was a big no-no! This will be hard at first especially if you have the sweet tooth of Willy Wonka but your body will thank you. Don’t be fooled; your body may trick you into thinking that it needs it or craves it but that’s one of the biggest effects of sugar is the addiction. Your body doesn’t need it to function and don’t try and justify it. Listen, I love carbs too. And there are ways to do it sugar free. You can make your own desserts and chocolates with natural sweeteners like stevia that doesn’t send your blood sugar rocketing. This will also get you in the kitchen to practice your baking! Of course, there are products that are specifically made gluten free and sugar free/refined sugar free/no added sugar at your local health stores or even some health conscious bakeries. Just make sure to read the labels.
Don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you say? Here are a few more sugary notables: Condiments, jam, jellies, granola bars, most protein bars, cereals, salad dressings, sugar coated snacks like honey roasted peanuts, yogurt, store bought smoothies, peanut or other nut butters, mayonnaise, bread, pasta sauces (I was actually shocked to see lot of products with added sugar), dried fruit, BBQ sauces, canned products and even some meat products (I’m a vegan though) – just to name a few. Seems like a lot, but it just means you need to start buying more real food and less processed ones that almost always contain this sneaky drug.
Have patience with yourself. We’ve been conditioned and used to eating sweetened foods for most of our lives that when we don’t have it, we feel deprived. But that’s not the case. You can train your body to break the resilience on them. Over time, your body will learn to reject it and eventually crave healthy, fresh food. Of course, you will have days that you will want something a little sweet.
“I’ll just eat a lot of fruit then!” “Fruits and veggies are good for you!” I’m not fruit prejudice (haha!) but alternatively you want to establish a plant based diet focusing on yes, fruits and veggies, but emphasizing more on the veggies. Veggies first and foremost. Some fruits need to be eaten in moderation too. Try eating a bowl of fresh berries instead. Low in sugar compared to mangoes and bananas which are super sugary but it’ll hit the sweet spot.
I will stress this again: READ THE PESKY LABELS. You will be surprised as to how many products have sugar in them. I picked up a pack of “healthy gluten free tortilla wrap” the other day where there were five different forms of sugar on the ingredient list. These were “healthy snap pea chips” I picked up at my local store only to find sugar as one of its unnatural ingredients. Cancels out the healthy big time!
Don’t get sucked in by those “natural sugars” as well. I’m talking about you posers: agave, honey, evaporated cane juice, barley malt, rice syrup, brown sugar, sorghum syrup, and palm sugar. At the end of the day, they are all refined from some plant or other and they all come down to sugar. Beware of the fake sugars as well that can be found in a lot of “low cal, sugar free” products. So that’s you: aspartame, maltodextrin, malitol, sucralose, sorbitol, sucrose and the other ones I probably can’t pronounce.
If you want the most natural of sugar substitutes, I suggest learning about stevia, xylitol and erythritol. Both -tol substitutes should be taken in moderation. Make sure they contain no additives and other funky ingredients.
At the end of the day, stick to fresh whole foods and products as your body will much prefer them. Think about how much good you are doing for your body and what quality of life you are about to lead for yourself. Stay naturally sweet, my friends.
Say no to sugar!