Sugar has been found out!
It is now the new fat. It’s like a dirty word. It managed to hide away while fat was getting the bad reputation, but now it has been exposed.
It hides in just about everything from yoghurts to ready-made meals to sauces to ‘health water’. Remove the fat and sugar has to be added to give it any flavour. And while the flavour is better, it’s not doing our bodies any good.
But don’t be scared of it as not all sugars are created equal. Fruit sugars are still good for us in the whole food form.
Sugar cane, where some of our sugar comes from, is really nutrient rich as it still has all its minerals, vitamins, intact. Once refined it turns into our white sugar that we add to cakes and chocolates and other goodies. It is so devoid of nutrients that our bodies don’t actually know what to do with it so it stores it as fat, or if there is an excess potentially causes illnesses.
Due to the sugar trend that’s going on people are now scared of fruit, but it has so many vitamins, minerals, fibre, anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients, enzymes and water, and by cutting this out completely it could cause major problems.
As a society, have we actually been eating that much fruit that it has caused obesity, diabetes and other related illnesses? Or has it been the refined cane sugars, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners and sugars, sauces and hidden sugars?
Our brains and muscles need glucose to function. The major fuel for our bodies is glucose, which we get a lot from fruit. Our cells use the glucose as energy to function properly. It keeps us alive. Our bodies turn the sugars from fruit into simple sugars which is used to fuel our bodies, our brains, central nervous system, muscles and cells.
If you are craving sugar or feel low in energy, have a piece of fruit. This is your body’s signal that you need glucose. But in this day and age we have been programmed to have a sugary drink or a chocolate bar, instead of a nourishing food that has natural sugars in as well as fibre and other nutrients that will help prevent sugar highs.
If you continue to do this your body will thank you for it!
There is a reason why there is that saying of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.
As with a lot of things, moderation is key. Try to find organic where possible. Berries are a wonderful low GI fruit so if you are still concerned about how much sugar is in fruit eat these.
Ways to curb sugar cravings:
Cutting out all sugar from your diet will cause your body to want you to ‘cheat’ and you end up reaching for the wrong form of sugar.
We create a blood sugar roller coaster by consuming chocolates, sweets, cakes, soft drinks and sports drinks etc so our bodies produce insulin to bring down the sugar levels in our blood. We then feel tired so we reach for these goodies again, thereby spiking our sugar levels again, and so the roller coaster continues.
- Consuming green foods such as broccoli, green leafy veg (Kale, spinach, coriander, parsley etc) can help to lessen the cravings for sugar.
- Eat in the morning before 10am. This way you are giving your body the fuel it needs and you are not starving and lightheaded by the time it comes to lunch time that you reach for the nearest thing to you and binge on it.
- Grazing throughout the day can work for some people, eg, having 3 smaller main meals and snacking in between these meals. By doing this you are maintaining your blood sugar levels and there is no dip and no craving to get your energy levels up again.
- Get adequate sleep. When your body is well rested you will minimise your need for sugar to give it energy to function throughout the day.
- And by exercising regularly this can help you sleep well.
I used to eat all sorts of foods with sugar in it and decided to cut it out a few years ago after reading about how bad it was for me. The cravings and withdrawal I had were incredible. I actually stuck my spoon in the honey jar and gulped down mouthfuls occasionally to get me through it. But after 2 weeks I was over it. Now when I eat anything with artificial sugar in it tastes just that, artificial and horrendously sweet. Thankfully my palate has adjusted. As a result of cutting out refined sugars my skin has cleared up, eczema went away and my joints are back to normal, but all the while I was still eating fruit.
Listen to your body and see how much fruit works for you. I work well on quite a lot of fruit, however I also have a lot of greens to balance my system.
I am grateful to have made the transition, give it a try, it’s worth it!
Here’s a recipe from my summer detox for you to try:
2 cups kale
1 cup frozen berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry)
1 ½ cups water or non-dairy milk (coconut, hemp or almond milk)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon shredded coconut flakes
3 Brazil nuts
Blend together and enjoy the nourishing goodness.