As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I create a supportive environment that enables you to articulate and achieve your goals.
Quitting sugar is often suggested by doctors and other health care practitioners. Avoid or quit eating sugar and you will be healthier. What about fruit and natural sugar; how can they be bad for you? It kind of depends if you have major health issues. Yes, natural sugar or natural sweeteners like maple syrup is still sugar, so it can cause problems in your body if over consumed or for some eating it at all.
Table sugar has no nutritive value and in many ways is more like a drug than a food. So what will happen if we cut it out? Is there a benefit to taking this delicious treat out of our food? Here are a few benefits to stopping eating sugar.
1. You will have more energy. That sounds counterintuitive, but when you remove sugar your body doesn’t have to keep trying to balance your blood sugar. When you have a sugary drink or dessert your body has to work really hard to deal with the sugar and rebalance your body. That takes energy you could be using for other things.
2. Your weight could stabilize. This only happens if you don’t replace the sugary food and drink with over processed carbs and drinks. When you eat sugar your body craves more sugar. It uses it for energy right away since it’s the fastest source it can convert to energy so you end up storing more fat instead of burning fat for energy. Also, sugar usually comes in foods that are highly processed and full of “whites,” bad carbs – flour, pasta, bread. When you cut out sugar and other problem foods will not crave them as much.
3. Your gut will perform better. When you eat sugar your body needs to pull water from the colon to balance out the blood so you become constipated. Sugar also feeds the bad bacteria and cancer cells in your gut so they intern take over power and create disease and leaky gut. When we eat more vegetables and lean meat you are feeding the good bacteria who protect your body and help the gut perform as it should.
4. You will stabilize your emotions. When your gut is healthy the rest of you is healthy. We go for the sugary snack or treat when we are feeling stressed, bored, or lonely. Why is that?
Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter known as the “happiness molecule” for the important role it plays in maintaining a positive mood. Sugar and other processed carbs beckon when you’re feeling blue because they, too, give you a serotonin boost.
A smarter long-term strategy for increasing serotonin is to regularly eat healthy carbohydrates. Paradoxically, when carbs and protein are eaten together, the presence of protein blocks serotonin synthesis. You can eat carbs on their own without protein to increase serotonin naturally.
How do you quit sugar? Depending how much of a sugar-aholic you are, you may need to start by cutting back slowly. Sugar is like a drug. Start with the obvious items like desserts and sugary drinks. Then check what other things have one of the 50+ names for sugar in them unsuspectingly.
When you remove sugar from your diet, naturally sweat foods will actually taste sweater. You will get your taste buds back to their natural state. Here are a few to try to include into your diet when you want something sweat:
• Roasted sweet potatoes
• Butternut squash
Unless you have cancer, a major health issue or serious issues with depression and brain inflammation you don’t have to be perfect. It just makes it easier to stay off sugar if you limit it as much as you can. Keep a secret stash of nuts or protein to satisfy you when you feel that sugar craving coming on. Make sure you eat a good meal before attending an event you know will have bad food at it so you are full and won’t be tempted as much for the treats and bad carbs.