5 Simple Ways To Bust Sugar From Your Diet
Sugar has become the most recent enemy in the health and wellness world. And — although we're all about balance and moderation — sugar really is one of those things that we try to avoid, as much as possible. Why? Because sugar not only increases inflammation in our bodies, but it wreaks havoc on your skin, causes a host of health problems (more on these below) and generally can make you feel, well, blah.
But, why has sugar become the latest food with a target on its back?
Wasn't it just a few years back when were told to avoid fat at all costs (lest we want to become fat)? Then there was the carb craze when protein became the villain. Then we were told that all carbs were evil. And now people are being advised to steer clear of gluten — even if you don’t have an allergy or sensitivity to it. So what's the deal? Is sugar really as bad as experts are saying, or are we just pointing fingers once again?
Well, we believe that protein, fat, carbs and even gluten — if you don't have an allergy or sensitivity to it, in which case you should avoid it — can all be incorporated into a healthy diet, along with your favourite indulgence every so often. But sugar (we're talking about the kind derived from candy, soda and pop, refined grains and highly processed foods here) is another story. This kind of sugar has been implicated in many debilitating health issues that we face today, including life-threatening illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer and other health problems like weight gain and obesity, poor memory and concentration and even skin problems.
So, if you're ready to kick your sugar habit to the curb and break those cravings, we're sharing 5 tips to bust it from your diet here.
Start your day off on the right foot
For many people, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It re-charges our batteries after an 8-10 hour hiatus from any food and it gives our metabolism a jump start. But what does a healthy breakfast look like? Well, it will look different for each person, because we are all different! For us, we like to start the day off with a glass of warm lemon water which helps detox and alkalize the body and gets our digestive juices flowing. Then, we whip up a breakfast that is nutritionally dense, loaded with vitamins and balanced. Our top picks? A hard-boiled egg with half a sliced avocado and some berries, ezekial toast with sliced avocado or almond butter, an omega packed chia and berry smoothie or steel cut oatmeal with nuts, seeds, berries and good quality (probiotic-rich) yogurt.
Breathe & meditate
When we are over-stressed, our bodies and our minds naturally feel out-of-whack, and we start to crave things that will give us a jolt in energy or a 'quick fix' (things like unrefined carbs and sugary snacks). But, when we take time in our days to breathe and even meditate, we start to calm down our bodies and minds and we can break free of that cycle. So, the next time you feel a sugar craving creeping in, spend 2 minutes breathing quietly with your eyes closes and see if that craving passes.
Eat healthy fats!
If you're looking to cut sugar cravings down to a minimum, it's important to make sure your body feels nourished from the other foods you're eating. Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, eating healthy fats can actually help you loose weight and potentially offset the harmful effects of sugar. Researchers in a new study found that a diet rich in the omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can reverse the damage from too much sugar (fructose) consumption. So what are the best sources of DHA? Wild salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts. We're big fans of avocados too!
Drink loads of liquids
If you're craving loads of sugar, it could be a sign that you're dehydrated. So, the next time you feel the urge to reach for that sugary snack at 3pm, instead drink a glass of lemon or sparkling water, herbal tea or even coconut water. And, be sure to boost your liquid intake overall (we recommend 6-8 glasses a day), as this can help keep those sugar cravings down to a minimum.
Eat cacao & dark chocolate
Cacao (not to be confused with cocoa), is any food product that comes naturally from the cocao bean, for example cacao nibs and cacao powder. This type of cacao, and even dark chocolate with at least 70% - 85% cacoa, is bursting with antioxidants and other good-for-you nutrients including iron, fiber, copper, magnesium and manganese. And, it's surprisingly low in sugar! Eating a square or two of dark chocolate everyday, or adding cocoa nibs or powder to your next smoothie, can give you a boost in antioxidants and help kick your sugar cravings to the curb.
→ If you loved this article, check out Berry Banana & Chia Smoothie Recipe