You may have decided earlier this year to get healthier by taking up an exercise routine and becoming more active. But did you know, that activity alone is only one aspect of good health?
Most experts claim that 80% of our health is attritbuted to nutrition, and only 20% attributed to exercise. Therefore, it stands to reason that we should pay attention to the foods we’re eating and how they may be contributing to the extra pounds we’re carrying, or the mood swings we may be experiencing.
Despite fat being demonised in the 80s and 90s, the major culprit being linked to chronic illness, and even mental health conditions, is sugar.
Sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies, causing increased belly fat, hormonal imbalances, low energy and fatigue, bad skin, Type 2 Diabetes and a whole host of other health conditions, which can all be avoided, if we became a little more mindful about what we’re eating!
We’ve outlined the 6 benefits of quitting sugar:
– Better mood
– Clearer skin
– Stronger immune system
– More energy
– Weight loss
– Reduced risk of chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease
Here are 6 simple ways to limit your sugar consumption:
1. Are you drinking your calories?
Skip the latte and put down the fruit juice! Instead, reach out for green vegetable juices, which will give you much more energy and nutrients than the fruit options.
Reduce your alcohol intake. In addition to ruining your sleep, alcohol is just empty calories, and causes your blood sugar to spike. Save alcohol for special occasions or once or twice a week, and enjoy in moderation.
2. Are you eating sugar for breakfast?
The average cereal contains about 24g of sugar per bowl, that’s almost your entire daily intake in one sitting!
Toast and sandwiches are also best avoided, despite what the marketing says about consuming whole grains. Brown and White bread both cause blood sugar spikes, as they are simple carbohydrates. Start your day instead with protein and good fat, like eggs and avocado. Enjoy with some greens like asparagus or spinach.
Many yogurts also contain added sugar, epecially the ones that say Low-Fat. Instead, opt for plain yogurt or dairy-free coconut yogurt. We ❤ natural Rebel Kitchen coconut yogurt, for its healthy fats and organic minimal ingredients.
Remember, the fewer the ingredients, the better!
3. Use cinnamon
Cinnamon can add a sweet taste without the sugar. It has also been shown in several studies to reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
4. Get saucy about sugar
Read your sauce labels. Many of us add sauces to our recipes, without realizing their added sugar content, due to the more savoury flavours.
Instead, you can flavour your foods with a little lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, some herbs like coriander, basil or parsley, and even some spices like sumac, or paprika! Adding garlic and onions, once you can tolerate them, are also beneficial.
5. Get more sleep
Studies have shown that when you are chronically deprived of less than 7 hours of sleep, your hunger hormone, grehlin, increases, while your ‘I’m full’ hormone, leptin, decreases. The better balanced these two hormones are, the less likely you’ll experience cravings.
We are big believers in Rest, Recovery and Relaxation as the foundation of wellbeing, and talk extensively about it on our blog.
6. Infuse your water
Infusing your water with lemon, lime, mint or cucumber will bring back some of that juicy zest to your life, without all the added fructose that is found in store-bought juices.
A fruity herbal tea will also do the trick, so you can enjoy all the benefits, without stressing out your poor liver and pancreas!
If you’re looking for sugar-free inspiration, have a look at the recipes section of our website!