Everyone knows that eating excessive amounts of sugar is not good for their health.
But keeping your sweet tooth in check is often easier said than done, as worrying statistics reveal that more than 100,000 Australians developed lifestyle related diabetes in the last year.
The World Health Organisation recommends that adult females eat no more than 25g or 6 teaspoons of add sugar per day. For men, this guideline is set at roughly 37g.
Speaking to Byrdie, celebrity nutritionist and holistic diet coach Elissa Goodman shared her tips for reducing sugar intake by making simple, realistic changes to your daily diet.
Making better dietary choices will improve quality of life in all aspects
Say no to processed food
Heavily processed products are laden down with added sugar, so Ms Goodman recommends making the switch to whole-grain, nutrient-dense food instead.
By cutting out sweets completely, the food expert explains that our bodies will quickly adjust to this new sugar-free life.
‘My clients notice that cravings begin to diminish on days four or five of their cleanse,’ the nutritionist says.
Added or refined sugars have serious negative implications for our health if consumed excessively. Experts advise switching to whole grain, natural food sources to ensure adequate nutrition for body and mind.
Substitute with a supplement
Sugar cravings can be overpowering, particularly when we are feeling tired or fatigued.
Elissa Goodman explains that often, this is caused by low blood sugar. When the body experiences this drop, the nutritionist recommends taking an L-Glutamine supplement, an amino acid that is easily converted into glucose.
‘This helps to curb sugar cravings without exposing your body to harmful sugar,’ Ms Goodman explains.
Nutritionist to the stars Elissa Goodman says that popping an L-Glutamine supplement (left) when we feel like munching on sweet treats will help to ease cravings and avoid dangerous sugar
Sweet or sour?
Ms Goodman says that when we are tempted to reach for the cookie jar, we should opt for a sour food source instead.
Eating something bitter will help to combat niggling urges, according to the expert, who also suggests trying fermented foods like sauerkraut to keep cravings at bay.
An easy way to get your sour-fix at all times is by adding slices of lemon to bottled water. Infusing lemon into homemade smoothies can also subtly counteract the desire for sugar.
Citrus-infused water is a practical way of keeping sugar cravings at bay
Rest is the best medicine
Research has shown that we crave sugar most intensely when we are run down or exhausted.
We lose control over the urge for sugary, high calorie foods when we are drowsy, Goodman explains, so if we do not get enough sleep we become ‘more prone to sugar addiction’.
Experts recommend an average of eight hours sleep every night for a healthy body and mind.
Getting enough rest makes us less likely to develop a sugar addiction
Be more ‘Zen’
Hand in hand with getting adequate rest is making sure that our bodies our relaxed and as stress free as possible.
‘When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, we often comfort ourselves with foods that tend to be high in sugar,’ says Ms Goodman.
This can kick start a vicious cycle of ill health, as foods rich in sugar can actually increase anxiety and stress levels.
Practicing yoga, meditation or mindfulness helps to keep the body and mind calm. Taking up an exercise class like Pilates can also benefit stress levels.