There’s no denying that there is an obesity epidemic in the US, and heart disease is currently the top killer of Americans. One common factor in many of the diseases and health problems plaguing our society is sugar consumption, which is higher than ever before. Because the consequences of eating sugar are so severe, one of the best investments you can make in your own health is to cut it out of your diet.
Some of the many benefits of eliminating sugar can include:
- Reducing your risk of heart disease
- Leaving more room in your diet for nutrient-rich foods
- Weight loss
- Healthier teeth
- Clearer skin
- Increased energy and ability to focus
- Better sleep
- Reduced risk of other diseases like diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, and chronic inflammation
How to Get Started
- Read the label. The best way to improve what you eat is to know what you eat. Buy foods without added sugars and start replacing your high-sugar snacks with sugar-free options.
o Know the names of added sugars. Common terms include sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, evaporated cane juice, malt syrup, maltose, and corn sweetener… and they all just mean “sugar.”
- Choose fewer pre-packaged foods for meals in favor of whole, fresh options. This gives you better control of the fuel you put into your body.
- Start small. Try cutting sugar out of one meal per day, swapping your usual fare with sugar-free alternatives. Decrease your sugar intake week by week, and over time you’ll be able to cut sugar out completely.
- Try simple swap-outs. Replace your sugar-laden granola with a keto-friendly version or start baking with sugar-free mixes.
- Eat regular meals. There’s no better way to sabotage your nutritional goals than to let yourself get too hungry.
Make Going Sugar-Free More Delicious Than Ever
Going sugar-free doesn’t mean resigning yourself to a life of kale and ice cubes for every meal. In fact, many people find that ditching the sugar in their diets allows them to explore more complex, rich flavors in their cooking. Find a sugar-free cookbook you love, explore recipes with rich flavors, try our baking guide, and play with satisfying flavors you truly enjoy. You won’t miss sugary drinks full of empty calories when you take the time to enjoy a warm, rich matcha latte, just like you won’t miss low-quality, pre-packaged baked goods when you take the time to make yourself a satisfying snack of rosemary parmesan scones. Learn to savor and enjoy your food instead of mindlessly snacking, and enjoy the numerous health benefits of a diet free from sugar at the same time.
How to Curb Cravings
At first, you may experience sugar cravings, especially if you’re hooked on sugar! Fortunately, these cravings will pass once your body works away from its dependence and your taste buds get retrained.
During the early stages, try one of these techniques for curbing sugar cravings:
- Try a sugar-free sweetener in your recipes to help kick a craving.
- Fill up on snacks high in fiber and protein.
- Drink more water. It will help curb cravings and can be spiced up by adding lemon slices, berries, ginger, or monkfruit sweetener.
- Distract yourself with non-food activities. Go on a walk, meditate for 5 minutes, or go outside to enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes.
- Chew on sugar-free gum.
Tips for Dealing with Relapse
The sugar-free lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle. Even after taking the steps to improve your well-being and cutting out sugar, you may relapse from time to time. Rather than beating yourself up, remember that one slip-up shouldn’t cost you all the progress you’ve made. Just like you wouldn’t give up on brushing your teeth forever just because you forgot to brush before bed one night, hop right back on the sugar-free horse and continue to prioritize your health, inside and out.