Eliminating added sugars from your diet has become a popular trend in the world of nutrition, and for good reason.
Research shows that sugar is highly addictive and can lead to various health complications such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Sugar is being added to a variety of convenience foods for the sake of flavor enhancement.
Why Monitoring Sugar Intake is Important:
Sugary drinks and foods are a major contribution to the obesity epidemic which the World Health Organization has declared a public health crisis. Furthermore, research shows that significantly reducing daily sugar intake has a variety of health benefits, including a decreased chance in the development of chronic conditions and increased longevity.
Limiting one’s sugar intake to about 10 to 15 grams per day is beneficial to one’s health but not easily achievable. Most commonly frequented food that appears as healthy as a variety of yogurts, granolas, and oatmeals have a significant amount of sugar.One can start the day off with a cup of fruit, yogurt, and granola and already be past the recommended daily intake.
Cutting sugar from your diet is no easy feat. Here are some suggestions to help curb sugar cravings and make the transition easier:
Eat healthy fats:
Adding healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil, to every meal actually shuts down the receptors in your brain that stimulate sugar cravings. Coconut oil has been found to contain mid-chain triglycerides (MTCs) which are digested and used up by the brain similarly to sugar. Coconut oil is a good sugar substitute and also a great source of instant energy.
Increase protein and fiber intake:
Eating a healthy form of protein and fiber at every meal helps balance your blood sugar and helps you stay fuller longer, naturally curbing cravings. For example, oatmeal with almond butter or whole grain toast with eggs are both great options. Proteins are building block for many bodily structures and carry a variety of functions in biochemical reactions in the form of enzymes, therefore the body prefers the digestion of carbohydrates and fat before that of protein. Protein is also far more complex macromolecules and their digestion that longer, keeping you fuller.
<blockquote> Sugar is highly addictive and can lead to various health complications such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.</blockquote>
Add more flavor:
Utilize flavors that can simulate sweetness without the sugar, such as vanilla, cinnamon and citrus zest. These flavors can trick your brain into thinking it’s having something sweet since these flavors are often associated with sweet treats. Added bonus: cinnamon naturally regulates blood sugar! It is a good idea to also pick ingredients which stimulate different aspects of appetite and taste, like lemon and salt. There are different receptors on the tongue to detect different flavor if you keep them occupied you can avoid sugar cravings.
Infuse your water:
Increasing your water intake can curb your appetite and boost your metabolism, and if you infuse your water with natural sweeteners like strawberries you will get the satisfaction of a sweet drink without the blood sugar crash.This also ensures that the is a daily intake of fruit and the corresponding fibers. Insoluble fiber has also been found to have a very low glycemic index, which refers to the influx of blood sugar postprandial.