Many of us consume too much sugar. This can have a negative impact on our body and our mind. Eliminating sugar from your diet could be an effective form of self-improvement. The following post explains exactly why you should consider cutting back on sugar and how to do it.
How much sugar is too much?
The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day and that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons. Consuming more than this can lead to various health problems such as excess weight gain (the excess sugar we consume gets stored as fat), diabetes, tooth decay, poor gut health, acne and heart disease. There are even links between excess sugar consumption and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
How much sugar does the average American consume? Shockingly, about 17 teaspoons! That’s almost double the recommended amount for men and almost three times the recommended amount for women.
It’s important to note that added sugars are much more harmful than natural sugars found in fruit, nuts and vegetables. The body is much better at processing natural sugars than it is at processing added sugars found in processed foods and drinks. When using food as medicine, the key is therefore to remove added sugars from your diet and not natural sugars.
Where can I find added sugars?
Unfortunately, added sugars are everywhere. They’re often added to supposedly healthy processed foods such as cereal bars, yoghurts and fruit juices. They’re even put into foods we wouldn’t consider to be sweet such as bread and spaghetti sauce.
Some sources are obvious and can be easily avoided such as soda drinks (did you know that a single can of coke contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar?). Others are more difficult to identify and avoid, often requiring you to check the packaging.
Some products will advertise the fact that they have no added sugar. These are usually a safe bet if you’re looking to take up a no sugar diet. Of course, the best way to avoid added sugars is to stick to natural raw foods. When you cook a meal from scratch using raw ingredients, you know exactly what is going into it.
How can I eliminate sugar from my diet?
Quitting sugar isn’t easy. Sugar is much like a drug - the taste is addictive and it gives us a ‘high’ in the form of increased energy levels. When the effects wear off we experience a comedown, which results in low energy levels. We then crave more sugar in order to pick up our energy levels again.
As already mentioned, it’s very difficult to eat no added sugar unless you’re sticking to raw ingredients or reading the packaging every time. Instead of trying to go cold turkey straight away, it could be worth simply cutting out the worst offenders (such as sugary soda drinks).
Either that, or you could attempt to take a three day challenge - no added sugar for three days. In this time, you could try to see what positive effects it has on your health and wellbeing (is your sleep quality better? Have your energy levels improved? Has your skin improved?) and whether this motivates you to make more permanent changes.
Break bad habits with New Level Method
The best way to stick to a new habit is to have an accountability partner. At Next Level Method, our private online community will provide you with the tools and team needed for you to reach your self improvement goals. Learn more about upcoming courses and our private community here: https://www.nextlevelmethod.com/course