Five steps to cut sugar from your diet (Step five includes wine!)

The idea of cutting sugar out of your diet completely can seem a bit scary. It’s such a big step! Not to mention that sugar comes in so many forms, how can you be sure what does and doesn’t contain sugar? Our Nutritional Therapist Catherine Jeans shares simple steps for cutting sugar from your diet.

1. All sugars are not created equal…

Sugars from natural sources such a fruit and honey aren’t as bad for you as processed  sugars, but it’s still possible to overdo it. That’s why I recommend that people split their five a day into two fruit portions and three vegetable.  Choosing fresh, whole fruits over dried fruits and fruit juices ensures that you get the added benefit of fibre too.

2.  Go cold turkey!

People often ask me if they should gradually reduce sugar, or just go for it and cut it out. In my experience, the second option is always more successful. If you decide to have no sugar just for 1 week, your tastebuds will change dramatically.  Trust me… It WILL happen!  You may feel really rough around day 3, but after a week you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s like a fog lifts.
food choices

3.  Make sure you include plenty of protein to reduce the cravings.  

Protein helps you to feel fuller for longer, so if you’re going sugar free, keep your cravings at bay with lean protein with every meal and snack. That’s some chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, prawns, plain yoghurt, a handful nuts or seeds or some hummus, beans or pulses.

Sugar Detox workshop

4. Replace refined sugar with Xylitol

Unlike sugar, Xylitol, which has very little effect on your blood sugar. It’s low in fructose and actually helps to prevent teeth cavities (by helping to create an alkaline environment in your mouth,) which helps to prevent the overgrowth of the bacteria which damage your teeth. Xylitol has the same consistency as sugar, and the great news is you can substitute it like for like as sugar in any recipe.  (I do still advise cutting the sweetness content down a little bit in any recipe, because natural sweeteners can stimulate a sweet tooth – the more you have, the more you want).

“Xylitol may be the biggest advance against cavities since fluoride” - Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation

5.  Consider how much sugar are you drinking!

It may sound obvious, but some people don’t realize that throughout the day they might be drinking teaspoons and teaspoons of sugar without even realizing it.  Did you know that some juices have more sugar than a can of coke?  Or that every time you add a sugar to your tea you’re adding to your daily intake, by the time you’ve had 5 cups of tea you’ve actually had 5 teaspoons of sugar! Red wine is definitely the way forwards, as it’s the wine that’s lowest in sugar.  Plus do it the Spanish summer way, and add in some very cold soda water and some ice cubes… Think of a less sweet sangria… Put your feet up, and imagine the sun’s shining!

Are you ready to go sugar-free? Sign up for the next 30 Day Sugar Detox (we start on Saturday 24th September) and you’ll be supported by two- guided workshops, cooking demonstrations, recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and support via a private Facebook Group.

V2 - 30 Day Sugar Detox event cover