Sugar is an extraordinarily destructive substance that most people eat far too much of. The longer answer is that virtually every day, more studies are proving what we in the optimal health community have always believed: that sugar plays a pivotal role in the development of many of the devastating illnesses we fear most, namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s to name a few.
Granted the body does need trace amounts of sugar to function, but the average American is eating sugar by the pound, not the molecule. Some estimates put the average adult intake at close to 130 pounds of sugar a year – an astonishing amount of any substance, much less one which such disastrous health implications. So what do we do now? In a nutshell: kick sugar to the curb – your life absolutely depends on it.
Here are a few thoughts on how to break free and get sugar out of your life now – so you can live the sweet life for years to come:
Learn sugar’s aliases
When you read food labels, you’ll need to look for more than just the word “sugar.” Sugar hides under several sneaky names, including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in “-ose”), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup. These can be listed separately on ingredients lists, so many foods, even seemingly healthy ones like yogurt and cereal, may contain three or four different types of sweetener. If several sugars appear on the label, it’s an indication that the food is less healthy than you may think.
Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
Do a detox
My experience has been that when people do a proper detox, not only does it reset their appetites but it often decreases their sugar cravings. After the initial sugar cravings, which can be overwhelming, our bodies adjust and we won’t even want the sugar anymore and the desire will disappear.
Once you know where sugar hides, you can start making changes. One strategy: buy foods labeled “no added sugar” or “unsweetened.” You’ll find unsweetened versions of these common foods in most grocery stories: non-dairy milk like almond and soy, nut butters (look for those made with only nuts and salt), applesauce, oatmeal, and canned fruit (they should be packed in juice—not syrup).
Eat less salt
When you eat a lot of salt, your body naturally craves sugar to balance out the flavors. For example, if you add salt to a dish that’s already salty, like eggs with cheese, chances are you’ll be wishing you had a side of pancakes with syrup even though you’re not hungry anymore. If you’re trying to cut out sugar quickly, it’s best to avoid overly salty food for at least a week. Once you no longer crave sugar, you can gradually add saltier foods back into your diet.
Get more exercise
Working up a sweat helps take your mind off sugar. Exercise also helps balance out your body and brings it to a more alkaline state. By sweating out extra salt, your sugar craving is greatly reduced. Try to start your day off with a work out. If you do this, then you are more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to your food intake all day long.