Sugar is inherently addictive, and it’s not totally your fault if you feel like it’s just one of those things you can never say no to, despite how hard you try.
It’s a complex addiction, but diet plays a huge role in your ability to give up sugar, and it’s an easy one to address a first step toward a life without sugar. The others include psychological health and habits, which play an important part, but for today we’ll be discussing some of the simple food choices to help you on your way.
Eat less sugar by eating more real food
Starting with the easy ones, avoid consuming your classic sugar offenders like cakes, cookies, lollies and soft drinks.
There are also some unlikely culprits like packaged snacks (even those marketed as healthy) and condiments such as pre-packaged dressings, spreads and sauces including tomato and BBQ sauce.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to cook at home, make things from scratch and celebrate the flavors of natural food like herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables, olive oils and basic salt and pepper.
Eat a variety of micronutrients
A growing number of people believe that cravings may be partly rooted in nutrient deficiencies, although research is required to confirm this.
Regardless, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are incredibly important for human body function and feeling good. And without healthy body function, we will inevitably run into a long list of potential health problems.
Ensure your diet is rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and good quality animal foods to ensure you are eating a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. And consider supplementing your intake with an added boost such as Melrose Health Organic Essential Greens or Essential Reds.
I take Organic Essential Greens daily in the morning as I know it’s packed with powerful superfoods and provides me some added confidence knowing that I’m hitting my daily nutritional targets.
Eat a balance of macronutrients
We spoke about the micronutrients, and now we move to the macronutrients which is the combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates that sits on our plate.
All of these elements are important. Complex carbohydrates like rice, buckwheat, quinoa, potatoes and sweet potatoes provide slow releasing energy. Proteins like fish, chicken, eggs, tofu or legumes keep you satisfied. And fats like avocado, olive oil, nut butters, seeds and flaxseed oil help to regulate hormones. The combination of these macronutrients helps to prevent hunger and cravings throughout the day.
And fibre is not to be forgotten. Although fibre doesn’t provide us with caloric energy, it’s a type of carbohydrate that is great for the gut, keeping us satisfied, therefore helping us to eat less sugar overall.
Take it up a notch
Over and above the basics, there are a few extra things you can do to take it up a notch if you are really dedicated to giving up sugar. Trialling a low carbohydrate diet or even just a low carbohydrate breakfast may help you even more. This dietary intervention can stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing them from going too high and then too low, therefore leaving you more satisfied and less likely to crave sugar.
Personally, changing to this approach has had a profound effect on my cravings and hunger levels for the better.
If you are trialling this way of eating, or if you do it already, supplementing with an MCT oil may help with energy and focus, as well as boosting cognitive function, increasing satiety levels and aiding in weight management. Due to the size of the MCT molecule, they are rapidly absorbed and transported to the liver where they can be converted to ketones to be used for energy.
If that sounds good to you, try adding between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of Melrose MCT oil to your morning coffee and you’ll be amazed at how you feel, and how easy it is to say no to sugar.