Twelve easy ways to quit refined sugar
We need to talk about your sugar intake! It’s not a secret that white sugar is pretty bad for your health. But just like quitting smoking it’s quite hard to cut sugar of your diet. Sugar comes in various forms and if you eat processed and ready-made food it’s almost impossible to avoid it. So, here’s a little overview and 12 easy ways to quit refined sugar.
Why Quit refined Sugar?
First of all you need to know why sugar is bad for your health. What exactly does sugar to your body?
There are many types of sugar, but not all of them are bad for you. In general try to avoid sucrose (plain table sugar) it’s made from up to 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Quit your fructose intake because it’s highly addictive and makes us eat more. It passes directly to our livers and promotes fat storage and is linked to loads of other diseases. Even some sweeteners contain more fructose than sucrose has! So you can see, mainly it’s about quitting fructose!
If you need a little sweetness in your recipe, sugars like glucose, maltose and lactose are safe to eat in moderation. Use the sweetness of fresh fruit for your recipes or clear rice syrup. Rice syrup is a blend of glucose and maltose. You can also use the plant based sweetener Stevia, which is 300 times sweeter than normal sugar. Or try corn sugar, which is perfect for baking. See, quitting refined sugar doesn’t mean you have to quit sweet treats!
How do I Quit Sugar?
- Stop buying processed and ready-made food
Your first step is to stop buying convenient food. Nearly every ready-made meal that comes in cans, bags, boxes hast added sugars, sometimes even different types of sugars. Worst example is ready-made tomato sauce and ketchup, it has an unbelievable high amount of sugar. Remember to check the ingredient list before you buy food!
- Stop buying packed fruit juice
If you like fruit juice buy fresh fruit and squeeze or press it yourself. Just like ready-made food, packed juice almost always has added sugar. Only a few organic juice companies produce juice without added sugar. Again, check the ingredient list but freshly squeezed is better anyway!
- Stop buying fruit yoghurt
Most of the fruit yoghurts have more added sugar than a candy bar. Instead of flavoured yoghurt buy plain yoghurt and add fresh or frozen fruit. So simple and so delicious.
- Don’t buy ready-made salad dressing
Make your own salad dressing and don’t ruin a healthy and yummy dinner with high sugar salad dressings.
- Don’t keep sweets in the house!
To avoid fallbacks don’t keep sweets in the house. Get rid of all the sugar stuff. Clear out your fridge, freezer and sweets cupboard. If you are really craving sweets try some of the bake recipes here.
- Try dark chocolate
If your sugar craving is really bad try dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a lot of health benefits and you will probably not eat a whole bar.
- Stop drinking sweet drinks
Instead of drinking sweet drinks like coke, sprite, iced tea, etc. drink water. Drink infused water or make your own iced tea with the alternative sugar listed above.
- Take your time!
Make a sugar-quit-plan and let your body get used to the new situation. Reduce sugar week by week and give yourself about 6 – 8 weeks to get sugarfree.
- Don’t buy alcohol mix drinks
If you do want to drink, then drink wine or straight spirits but don’t touch alcopops. Who drinks them anyway!?
- Skip balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze
I know balsamic vinegar is sort of an Italian heritage but contains so much sugar. The only thing worse than balsamic vinegar is that bloody balsamic glaze, ban both from your plates!
- Read the ingredient list
It’s really important that you read the ingredient list of the food you buy. Don’t buy food with artificial substances!
- Make your own granola
Ready-made granola and Müsli is full of added sugar, sometimes even different types of sugar. Here’s a recipe how you make your own granola with your favourite nuts and fruits.
My experience quitting sugar
I quit refined sugar more than a year ago. At the beginning it was pretty hard because I didn’t know anything about alternatives. Cutting off sugar from my diet made me grumpy, I got frustrated and I suffered from headache for a few days. And then suddenly it got better! I changed my diet and learned about all the sweet alternatives. You know I did not only change my diet because I got the feeling that refined sugar is bad for you. My body can absorb fructose really badly so quitting sugar became essential. After a few days of withdrawal my body felt better. I felt healthy and fresh. I’m glad I cut sugar out of my diet and I wouldn’t go back there. Have a look at all my recipes, you won’t miss that refined sugar!
I would love to hear your experience, share your quitting sugar story with us in the comments!