Going sugar free is easy, though sometimes easier said than done. Sugar is a major part of the American diet, popping up in the most unsuspecting places. With various names as disguises, sugar can appear in almost any food. In fact, read the nutrition label on most grocery store bought processed foods and find sugar or a similar ingredient. Sugar, Cane Juice, Fructose, Dextrose, High Fructose Corn Syrup...it is all the same thing. For years American culture has largely ignored the blanketed presence of sugar. Recent documentaries like Fed Up, That Sugar Film, and Sugar Coated reveal the “dark” side of sugar.
Sugar is addicting.
Scientific research has proven that sugar is not only highly addicting but acts identically to cocaine once it enters the bloodstream. Sugar changes the way our bodies and brains act on their own, as well as interact with each other. Too much sugar is known to lead to poor dental health. Sugar can cause a wide array of health problems, largely because sugar damages the immune system.
Choosing to go sugar free is no easy choice.
The experience of taking sugar out of the diet is similar to detoxing from drugs like cocaine. There are mood swings, irritability, changes in appetite, and even obsessive cravings for sugar. Overtime, the symptoms of sugar withdrawal lessen and, like sobriety, the benefits take over. Getting there takes time.
Here are some tips for starting the journey toward going sugar free:
Clean: Do a sweep of your refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry. Help you help yourself by getting rid of all the sugary foods in the house, as well as things with added sugar.
Read: While cleaning out your house and grocery shopping read the labels. Looking at the ingredients and nutrition facts will show you just how much sugar is in your ketchup.
DIY: Instead of buying pre-sweetened food sources, opt to make food and food additions yourself. If you don’t have time to prepare everything at home, look for sugar-free or unsweetened varieties.
Snacks: Eating multiple small “meals” throughout the way staves off hunger which can cause craving for sugar. People tend to snack on candy and sugary items during the day. Reach for any whole, real food instead. Fruits and vegetables are great snacks.
Spices: While you’re learning to eat without added sweetness, you might find yourself lacking in flavor. Spice everything up using herbs and spices.
Soda: A great tool for reducing sugar is cutting out soda. If you’re desperate for a fizzy drink try natural sodas sweetened with agave or sparkling flavored water.
Enlightened Solutions is proud to offer comprehensive education in food, cooking, and nutrition as part of our holistic program of healing from addiction. Call us today for more information on our programs of treatment for men and women seeking recovery 844-234-LIVE.