We’ve all heard about the benefits of giving up sugar. Better skin, mood, sleep, memory and, of course, weight loss… But how easy is it to do?
The weight loss expert and nutritionist, Amie Richmond has been filling us in on one of the most popular health trends in decades: low sugar. Here are her top five tricks to kick the sweet stuff:
It may sound obvious, but the only way to know for sure that you’re not eating foods with added sugar in them is to go for ‘real’ food. That means food that isn’t processed, so start by filling your fridge with fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meats, fish and eggs. Cooking from scratch ensures that you’re only be consuming natural sugars from the fructose in vegetables and fruits.
And if you’re not keen on being tied to the kitchen, why not get all your meals cooked for you? [link] At Bodychef, we provide freshly made meals delivered straight to your door, all calorie counted and nutritionally balanced.
The Bodychef Low Sugar plan was even recommended in the Daily Mail. It offers daily nutritious meals, snack and deserts without any of the empty calories found in refined sugar ensuring your blood sugar levels stay constant without the peaks and troughs of a high sugar diet.
Read ingredient labels to find out how much sugar has been added to the food you are eating… you’ll be surprised. NHS guidelines recommend no more than 30 grams of sugar per day, but there can be up to 24 in just one bowl of ‘healthy’ breakfast cereal. You might not be spooning it in yourself but plenty of sugar may have snuck into what you’re eating. Working out where your ‘hidden’ sugars come from is the first step to avoiding them.
Watch What You Drink
Fizzy drinks are made with an abundance of added sugar. A bottle of cola can contain the equivalent of 13 spoonfulls! But even more alarmingly, trendy flavoured waters can also contain large amounts of added sugars too. Don’t be fooled by the pictures of fruit on the bottle. When in doubt, stick to plain water, ideally at least 2 litres per day to keep you on track and avoid those sugar cravings.
Read up on our Seven Healthiest and Unhealthiest Drinks blog for more info.
If you add sugar to hot drinks, try swapping to Stevia, a plant based sweetener, or Zylitol. Alternatives tend to have a low glycaemic index (GI), meaning they don’t spike your blood sugar levels like refined sugars do. They also tend to have far fewer calories!
Good Fats Are Your Friend
Unhealthy carbs loaded with sugar can cause your blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and drop quickly, leaving you hungry and craving unhealthy snacks. To minimize such peaks and troughs, pair protein with healthy fats, and fibre in your meals to slow down the release of blood sugars and keep you feeling full for longer.
Opt for good fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds and heart-healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil. Still craving sugar? Add 1tsp of cinnamon to your daily diet to help regulate blood sugar levels and stop that afternoon biscuit craving!