I used to eat a large chocolate bar every night. One night I realised my habit, so I decided to give up sugar. It changed my life.
Giving up unnatural sugar will improve your energy levels, help you lose weight and decrease the risk of type two diabetes. You do not need to reduce the amount of natural sugar you eat because the vitamins and minerals counteract the bad effects of sugars naturally found in foods.
Why is sugar bad for you?
Too much added sugar can lead to different health issues:
Type 2 diabetes
How much sugar is too much?
Adults should eat no more than 30g or 10% of you daily celeries in added sugar per day.
Added sugar is used to make foods taste sweeter and more addictive. This is done by large food corporations because people buy more sugary foods. This means it is difficult to find readymade foods without added sugar.
Jody Stanislaw says Inside your pancreas there are cells called beta cells which release insulin into the blood to catch the sugar and use it for energy or store as fat.
If you eat too much sugar it can overwork your beta cells leading to type two diabetes.
What is Type two diabetes?
Type two diabetes is a disease caused by high blood sugar levels. This is because high blood sugar levels overwork your beta cells and stop you from producing enough insulin to use up the sugar.
Is natural sugar bad for you?
Health professionals such as the NHS say natural sugar is not bad for us.
Naturally sugary foods contain vitamins and minerals that counteract the bad effects of natural sugars, for example, fiber which lowers the blood sugar and hunger levels.
What happens when you give up sugar?
When you give up sugar you are likely going to have withdrawal effects. This is the experience I had when I first gave up sugar.
On the first day of giving up sugar I felt normal up until lunch time which is when I would normally eat a chocolate bar. Not eating the chocolate bar led to:
The second day, I started to eat snacks such as fruit and nuts when I previously would have eaten sugar. I was happy to find out it helped a lot by lowering my hunger levels and reducing sugar cravings. I believe this helped because I was replacing the surgery snack instead of stopping snacking at that time completely.
My energy levels started to return to normal after a week or two but, my sugar cravings lasted for three to four years, this led to me having regular snacks such as fruit and nuts throughout the day which I still do now even though the cravings have stopped almost completely.
I still ate natural sugars such as sugars found in fruit because I wanted to stay healthy by eating my five a day. At that time, I did not know the bad effects of natural sugars were counteracted by the vitamins and minerals found in this food which means eating natural sugar is not bad for us.
What happens if you eat sugar after giving it up
Eating sugar after you have given it up can have some unwanted and strange effects.
When I was at work the fridge broke so I was offered a savory waffle. Little did I know it was packed with sugar. After my first bite my mouth was filled with sugary sensations. Almost too much to handle. I didn't want to be rude and stop eating so I took another bite.
After eating unnatural sugar for the first time in years I began to feel sick. My third bite, I was struggling. I said thank you after finishing the waffle and went on my way. The sickness didn't go away. For the whole day I felt unwell and I didn't even get a sugar rush.
What are the benefits of not eating sugar?
No spikes or dips in energy levels
Decreased risk of type two diabetes
Reduced risk of heart attacks by about 40%
How to give up sugar?
If you want to try a sugar free diet, or give it up completely I recommend: replacing sugary snacks with healthy alternatives such as fruit and nuts.
This helps but it isn't enough because the cravings can tempt you to have a small chocolate biscuit. One small bite can be a big mistake as that small bite can increase your cravings even more. To remedy this issue, you need to be disciplined or remove the temptation and get rid of all the sugar in your house.
What can you eat to replace sugary snacks?
Some people like myself like special treats such as flapjacks and cake, you can find lots of sugar free recopies which are healthy and most of the time I prefer the taste to the sugary alternative.
Too much sugar is bad for us but, we can do things to reduce the amount we eat and live a healthier lifestyle. Doing so requires discipline and experimenting with snack replacements to find what works for you to help you on your sugar free journey.