Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet isn’t just for losing weight but it’s also very healthy on your body. Sugar fuels inflammation and has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. It is highly addictive, even more than cocaine and cause you to binge eat.
As a family for the past year or so we have continually been cutting down on our refined sugar intake in the foods that we eat. We have been sticking to the natural sugars that you find in fruit. We have done lots of research over the months on what is best for our bodies and although we are still learning we can see a difference in our health. Cutting down on refined sugar was really for the children health at first, I want them to lose that yearning for sweetness. Not only is it good for their health but also their teeth and skin. It became a big part of my diet when I received my cancer diagnosis. It is known that Cancer cells thrive a lot more on the bad sugar in our bodies. It can also help with our emotional and mental health.
You don’t have to cut out the white stuff completely but cutting down on it will improve your health. You just have to make simple changes in the way that you eat. Take a gradual process and try reducing your sugar intake daily.
Cutting down on refined sugar means taking the processed foods out of your daily diet. You will be surprised on how many products contain sugar. It is becoming easier now to shop for sugar-free products, especially with health shops popping up all over and there are so many online shops that sell sugar-free too. Supermarkets are jumping onto the bandwagon now and have a good selection of sugar-free foods.
Here are some ideas that we put into place to cut down on the sugar intake
- Swap fruit juices for flavoured water. Add fresh fruit into your water to flavour it up. I like sliced lemons and limes. Try cucumber and mint, lemon and lime, ginger and organic honey. We have a water dispenser that we bought from Dunelm Mill. We fill up with filtered water, ice and add in the fruits in the morning then it is already to be poured out by all the family throughout the day. We also have a soda machine for the times that we fancy a carbonated drink, we add fruit to this too.
- Eat more fruit, fresh preferably. If you do buy canned try to stay away from the fruits that are in syrup and only buy tins that have fruit in water.
- Read through the list of ingredients on processed food. Sugar has many different names, normally ending in’ose’ like maltose and sucrose.
- Fructose and lactose are natural occurring sugars
- Try adding fruit to your cereal to get that sweetness. Bananas are ideal or strawberries.
- Don’t keep sugary drinks in the house, if they are not there then there will be no temptation. The same as chocolate and sweets
- Cut down on using sauces and condiments at dinner time, they are full of sugar especially sweet chilli sauce. You could try making your own or try to buy bottles that are sugar free.
- Snack on nuts, oatcakes, corn cakes, fruit and houmous.
- Buy dark chocolate the darker the better for that chocolate fix. I use cacao nibs and powder. We add the nibs into breakfast or cakes and the powder for smoothies and hot chocolate
- Avoid adding sugar to your meals by using spices and herbs instead.
- Substitute cakes with sugar-free jelly
- Replace the refined sugar in your cupboard with coconut sugar or maple syrup
- Make up your own treats for the children by using dates, oats and bananas, Try our raw date snack bars here
- Reduce or skip our using condiments such as ketchup and salad dressings. Try making them yourselves.
- Introduce more greens into your diet either by eating or drinking them. Green vegetables alkalizes your body and detoxes it of unwanted toxins. They are full of minerals and nutrients. Juice up your vegetables for a healthy alternative to a cup of coffee or tea.
- Buy wholefoods like nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, legumes, brown rice, quinoa and beans.
- Cut down on white bread and bagels.
Sugar Free Breakfast
Breakfast is an essential meal of the day and should not be missed. It provides protein and carbohydrates which are important for growth and energy, especially for children. Cereal doesn’t have to be the only option in the morning for breakfast, yes it is quicker just an extra 5 minutes for breakfast will do
- Eggs are packed with protein and ideal for breakfast. They are quick to make and can be made in many different variations, scrambled, poached, omelette and boiled. You can add so many things into to like avocado and salmon.
- Swap honey and sugar to maple syrup and agave nectar
- Mix up a smoothie. Experiment with the ingredients, there are so many different recipes to try. We like strawberry and coconut
- A fruit salad made up from a selection of fruit.
- Organic porridge oats instead of eating cereal from a box that has added sugar in them.
- Make up some breakfast pots made up from Natural organic yoghurt with oats, dates, agave nectar, flaxseed and chia seeds. These can be made the night before and stored in the fridge or taken into work with you.
- Coconut is a good alternative to refined sugar. We use coconut sugar and coconut flakes.
- After time you will feel the benefits of cutting down on sugar. Your taste buds will change and you will no longer crave the sweetness of food, instead you will choose healthier foods instead of junk. Your teeth will feel so much more cleaner, run your tongue over your teeth and feel how smooth they are, you won’t feel a build up or tartar.
You don’t need to stop baking either, just find a good replacement that suits your taste. Sugar replacement can be expensive. Sugar gives cakes the crumbly texture and it also prolongs the shelf life so when taking the sugar away remember to cover the cake in cling film to stop it from drying out. Replace the sugar content with:
- Fruits, especially banana. Apple puree, dates and pineapple
- A good sugar substitute for the cupboard is xylitol and stevia. They both have fewer calories. Both are produced from extracts of tree and plant leaves. When using stevia you don’t have to use as much as refined sugar as it is very sweet. Both do not cause tooth decay and both do not impact on your blood sugar levels
- Coconut Sugar and Agave Nectar. These are popular in my cupboard. In fact we use them in most of our cooking. We even use coconut oil for our cooking and making our own chocolate. Here is our recipe
- Try using sweet potato or pureed applesauce in recipes, you will get the sweetness with out the sugar rush
Since cutting down on sugar we have seen a big impact on the children’s behaviour and our own mental states. Our teeth are much cleaner and our general health is so much better. I find that cooking with organic fresh foods is an ideal way of cutting down on refined sugar. That way you know what ingredients are in your meals. We always have an ever flowing bowl of fruit and lots of raw and organic snack bars.
Are you ready to cut down on refined sugar?