Written by: Althea Burke
It’s fair to say that when it comes to diet and weight loss most people look to follow fad diets, celebrities and trending “superfoods.” In our minds, we reason that if it works for them, then it will work for us. The downfall to this mentality is that nutritionists and wellness experts agree that there is no one-size- fits-all in food and nutrition. Following someone else’s plan requires an abundance of willpower, and willpower is not reliable for a change as huge as cutting out sugar from your diet.
Here are some more tips on eliminating added sugars from your diet that keep YOU in mind:
1. Understand that IT IS WORTH IT to cut out sugar from your diet. It is scientifically proven that ingesting refined sugars (aka added sugars aka sugar found in processed foods) on a daily basis feeds cancer cells and, is directly linked to obesity, heart disease in addition to Type 2 Diabetes. Making healthy food choices now is a lot less expensive than paying for pace makers, knee replacement surgery, blood testing strips or long hospital stays after you’ve been damaged by refined sugars.
2. Sugar addiction exists. Researchers Lenoir, Serre and Ahmed constructed an eye-opening experiment titled Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward demonstrating that 94% of rats preferred the reward from intense sweetness over that of cocaine. The study concluded that the amount of sugar in the contemporary diet is historically unheard of, does not support humans metabolic (energy) requirements and results in addictive behaviours. Manufacturers want consumers to associate feeling good with its food items to increase the possibility of future sales.
3. Sugar has many names. Manufacturers are disguising refined sugar with other names to ensure consumers will buy their products. If we saw “sugar” written four times on an ingredient list, we might question that purchase. Here’s several other names sugar goes by: dextrose, agave, turbinado sugar, raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, sucrose, sorbitol, lactose, mannitol, maltodextrin, honey, molasses and the list goes on.
4. Limit naturally occurring sugars too. Drastic spikes and dips in the blood sugar leads to cravings. Foods that are high in naturally occurring sugars can cause these fluctuations, so sparingly eat: bananas, cherries, pomegranates, mangos, grapes, figs and watermelon.
5. Pray. The journey to cutting out sugar is a prime opportunity to improve your prayer life. Pray through cravings and encourage yourself with phrases like “I can do this just for today.” For more on this topic check out Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food.