Reducing Your Sugar Intake.

Depending on your diet this can be a seriously hard task but the benefits of that decision are huge.  The impact of high added sugar in your diet links with various medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, & of course, dental health to name just a few.

Why is it hard to give up?  Sugar affects the brains reward system & that reward system helps us to survive but the downside is that same mechanism is linked with addictive behaviour.  Basically, it is a vicious circle – eat more sugar, want more sugar, need more sugar to get the same feeling, & repeat.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends 6 tspn/day for women & 9 tspn/day for men.  According the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) current consumption in Australia is sitting around 14 tspn/day.  OK, you can see it is not ideal but you may need some ideas to cut down that added sugar load?

Read the labels

Try doing a bit of detective work when you shop.  It is startling how much sugar is hidden in things.  The order the ingredients are listed starts with the highest amount & ends with the least amount, so if sugar is in the top 5 –  forget it!  Even better, choose products with no sugar listed in the ingredient list.

Another big tip for label reading is to remember that sugar goes by other names.  Some common ones are dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, malt, maltose, lactose, brown sugar, caster sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, sucrose.

This one is super important & I cannot stress this enough, sugar is often added to loads of manufactured products, seriously from bread to BBQ sauce & everything in between.  So, don’t just stop at removing sugar from your coffee, look at your whole day of eating.

Don’t drink your sugar

A great starting place for elimination as this can creep up pretty quick.  Cut out the fizzy drinks, processed fruit juices, & sports/energy drinks.  Also, take a look at what you add to your tea or coffee; & keep alcohol to 2-3 times a month.  All of these can push your total sugar intake up especially if it is happening on a daily basis.  If you are thirsty, opt for water.

Go for an anti inflammatory diet/lifestyle.

The most famous anti inflammatory diet of all, is the Mediterranean diet.  Loading up on the oily fish, loads of fruit & vege, & extra virgin olive oil, are a few key dietary points.  Another important part of the Mediterranean diet is exercise.  Try for regular & consistent exercise, even a 30 minute walk daily is a good thing!  The standard western diet is very high in inflammatory foods, so this type of lifestyle change can assist with reducing inflammation & sustaining that reduced level of inflammation.

Add in tummy loving ingredients.

Sugar wreaks havoc on the gut.  So, add in some foods that are rich in nutrients which great for healing the lining of the gut.  Look for foods high in zinc (THINK beef, capsicum, pumpkin & sunflower seeds); vitamin A (THINK sweet potato, green leafy vege & cod liver oil); & glutamine (THINK most proteins & dairy products, even rolled oats).  Your gut also loves fermented foods because they are rich in probiotics THINK kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, or yoghurt.

Reduce stress

Often when we are stressed we reach for something which is sugar laden (hello, chocolate) but that relief is only temporary.  Why?  Because it makes you more reliant on sugar & more at risk of obesity plus other related diseases.  Additionally, stress exacerbates symptoms of so many common issues THINK upset tummies, poor sleep habits, even your hormone can get out of whack, to name just a few.  The solution is to find a stress buster that YOU enjoy doing & do it regularly.  Maybe walking, yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or swimming.

Cold turkey vs taper down

OK, you have made the decision to cut the sugar – fabulous!  Go you!  I would advise you to also be prepared for the sugar detox because depending on your current sugar intake it can be brutal.  Symptoms can include bloating, headaches, nausea, cramps & fatigue.  Bottom line sugar is incredibly addictive, so be patient as it will take a couple of weeks to create this new sugar free lifestyle habit but it is totally worth it. 

#MovingForwards #YouCanDoThis #EatWell #LiveWell #Why #DidNotKnowThat #GetWise #FlipThePacket #GutHealing #ConsciouslyNutritious

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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