Doctors don’t often spend much time considering what types of foods their patients eat and how these foods effect their bodies and overall health. In fact, many doctors and nurses themselves eat poorly as a result of having too little time to prepare healthy food and too much need of quick energy to get them through long, grueling hours.
And so, what many people do, healthcare providers and patients alike, is subsist on subpar food laden with additives, fat and high amounts of sugar! Sugar is hidden in almost all processed foods, from soups, to salad dressings, cereals, condiments, and even foods we believe are healthy like Greek-style yogurt with fruit.
And what does all of this sugar do to our bodies? It increases insulin resistance, contributes to hormonal imbalance, fatigue and mood swings – and can cause weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.
Here are some steps you can take to kick the sugar habit once and for all. And no, none of these steps is “GO COLD TURKEY.” A sugar addiction is powerful, and withdrawal symptoms can wreak havoc on your body. It’s best to come up with a plan and gently but firmly commit and implement it.
- Stock Up on Naturally Sweet Foods
Your best course of action is to indulge your sugar cravings, but this time do it with naturally sweet foods like berries, raisins, dates, and other fruits and whole foods. While these foods still have a high sugar content, they also contain beneficial nutrients and fiber.
- Read Labels
Most of us don’t have a ton of time when we go grocery shopping. We want to get in and get out and beat the traffic home. But the truth is, to really cut sugar out of our diet, we must read labels.
Far too many foods have hidden sugars, and once you start reading labels, you’ll be shocked at just how much you have been consuming. For example, 4 grams of sugar equals about 1 teaspoon, so when you read the label and see 28 grams of sugar in a yogurt, ask yourself if 7 teaspoons of sugar is a good choice for you. (it’s not)
- Examine Your Emotions
For many of us, sugar is a response to our emotions. We grab something out of a vending machine when we are tired, stressed, angry, irritable, frustrated, and on and on. If for lunch you find yourself in the cafeteria with a giant cookie and a box of Lucky Charms on your tray, check your emotions and see if eating that sugar is really going to help the situation. (it won’t)
- Be Prepared
In order to make healthier choices you’ve got to be prepared. This means taking your lunch to work and making it the night before if you have to. Make some hard-boiled eggs, chop up some carrots and celery for snacks. By having healthy alternatives on hand, you will have an easier time making better choices.
- Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods offer many health benefits, including diminishing sugar cravings. Whether it’s miso, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, fermented pickles or sauerkraut, adding more fermented foods to your diet will make the sugar you eat less damaging and will help to reduce your cravings for it over time.
No one said kicking the sugar habit would be easy, but it is very possible by following these five tips.
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