HAPPY EATING: Coming off sugar.

Day 21 of 30

The first step to having a clean, healthy diet is coming off sugar. Now don’t worry, I’m not talking zero sugar intake but it would surprise how much sugar you have a day vs. how much you’re supposed to.

Cravings
One of the first things I hear from people trying to eat healthier is ‘I’m craving chocolate,’ or ‘I’m craving sugar.’ Some food cravings can be linked to mineral deficiencies, and others lack of protein or even a bad night’s sleep. Generally, cravings will go away after the cause is addressed.

Additions
Additions are much different to cravings. Your body undergoes unpleasant phycological changes when you go without a substance it’s used to for a while – think of the headaches or stomach aches you get because you skipped your morning coffee. Sugar, however, is far worse; some studies show it’s even more addictive than hardcore drugs.

So how does it work?
When we eat something sweet, it hypes up our brain, making us buzzed and happy. Our body is actually wired to seek out sweet foods as our body needs a constant supply of glucose to the brain. But to keep everything balanced, the pancreas secretes insulin to mop up any excess gluten to store as glycogen in the liver and muscles. When the insulin has done it’s job, our blood levels drop (this is the mood crash we have after a sugar binge – feeling tired and weak) this makes us reach for the sugar again to hype our bodies up again, creating an endless cycle of sugar binging. These can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes and all the other health problems we are seeing in our society today.

Wait, so no sugar?
Definitely not! We just need to cut way, way back on our sugar intake. Australians are downing about 30 – 40 teaspoons of sugar a day through coffee, tea, fruit drinks soft drinks, etc. The World Health Organisation recommends 9 – 10 teaspoons of sugar a day, and cutting back to 5 – 6 will result in even greater health benefits.

Fruit
I believe that the only source of sugar we should be eating is through fruit. There are so many alternatives to sugar for baking and sweetening things up such as stevia and honey.

“Don’t add sugar, you’re sweet enough already.”

zd xx

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