Many of us do not really realise how dependent we are on the sugar rush whether it is to properly wake us in the morning or to shake off drowsiness in the afternoon; the realisation hits when you try to wean yourself off it (and you begin to experience sugar withdrawal symptoms ).In the interest of our overall health in the long term, it is beneficial to note that apart from refined sugar playing ‘yoyo’ with your insulin levels ; the simple carbs ( e.g white flour products and packaged fruit juices) we eat also end up as sugar in our system with the impact on our system varying as a result of the kind of sugar. Take the steps below to wean yourself of Sugar addiction easily
Cut out Fizzy Drinks and packaged juice from your diet
The quantity of sugar in packaged soft drinks is quite alarming. When you guzzle down these drinks you consume in one sitting what you ordinarily CAN’T eat; a bottle of most fizzy drinks contain between 9-11 teaspoons of sugar. When you feel thirsty you can drink water, make lemonade, make chilled roselle (a.k.a zobo) tea from these leaves
which is said to have anti hypertensive properties, home made juices, healthy smoothies e.t.c. Avoid the sugar free, diet or low calorie options of these fizzy drinks as they contain other sweeteners that can lead to glucose intolerance with the exception of Stevia
Eliminate Processed Food
Most Processed food have among other chemicals added refined sugar to make it taste very good; most breakfast cereal for example are laden with sugar that cause an initial spike in your blood sugar in the morning only for it to crash again in a few short hours and you crave more sweets thus continuing the vicious cycle. The way out is to read food labels and know that sugar, high fructose corn syrup,Dextrose, maltose,fructose, isoglucose, molasses, malt syrup, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, isomerised sugar and so on all have the terrible ‘spike and crash’ effect on your blood sugar. Unrestricted high consumption of processed food can lead to sugar addiction which happens as a result of a high release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain which makes you feel euphoric (just like most drugs of abuse).
Use Healthier Alternative Sweeteners
- The top of the range of sugar alternatives is stevia which is a plant derivative from this plant
native to South America and was historically used to sweeten local teas and medicines.This wonder of nature is a non caloric additive to food and has up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar and is also heat stable. When buying Stevia, be careful to read the food label and go for 100% pure Stevia extract whether powdered or liquid( avoid the ones that contain alcohol.
2. Honey in its raw form is also a good alternative to sugar; although it also has a significant amount of calories it can be used in moderation as a healthy part of a weight loss diet. Raw honey is an alkaline forming food that contains enzymes chief of which is amylase which aids proper digestion of carbohydrates. Honey enzyme contents makes it more complex than other sweeteners which is a good bonus. To maximize the health benefits of honey however, desist from heating it as heat destroys some of these beneficial enzymes. Thus, unless honey is labelled raw, it means that it has been pasteurized by heating and also filtered.
Food as we have established should be fresh and simple….see how honey is made below.
Limit Your Intake of High Sugar fruits
Although fresh fruits should be a good part of a healthy diet, if you are seeking to loose weight ; there is a need to do portion control as regards fruits like grapes, bananas, figs, mangoes, pears and pineapples. One very good way of doing this is to make smoothies with more vegetables ( you can use their juices as a base) and low GI fruits like berries.