Sugar is bad for you, right?
Whether it was your grandmother’s warning that your Halloween candy would rot your teeth, or your high school health class teacher explaining that processed sugar leads to health complications, we know you’ve heard it before.
Sugar is bad for you.
But, why? And more importantly, should we learn how to stop eating sugar indefinitely?
Here’s the lowdown on how and why we should learn how to stop eating sugar for optimal health.
Why Learn How to Cut Out Sugar?
Looking for a sure-fire health boost? Cut out sugar. Easy peasy, right? Not quite.
Learning how to cut out sugar from your diet is easier said than done. And if you truly want to embark on this quest for better health, it’s important that you understand the why behind not eating sugar before you learn how to stop eating sugar.
It will likely come as no surprise that sugar in excess isn’t great for the body or the brain. Numerous studies have been conducted on this subject, and the results paint processed sugar in quite an unflattering light.
Sugar in the wrong forms and quantities can lead to a host of health dilemmas, such as:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased risk of stroke
- Raised cholesterol
- Leptin resistance
- Weight gain
- Excess inflammation
- Damaged collagen production
- Dental cavities
We don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of it, but there’s no shortage of available research on this topic. There’s really not much good that excess amounts of sugar can do for the body.
Processed Sugar Versus Natural Sugar — What’s the Difference?
But, wait! Before you go and pitch everything sweet from your cupboards, there’s something else we need to address. Learning how to stop eating sugar is about a lot more than elimination. It’s about the right kind of elimination.
If you want to learn how to cut out sugar from your diet, you need to make sure you’re cutting the right stuff: the bad stuff and not the good stuff.
Good sugar, you say? Blasphemy! But it’s true. There’s a big difference between processed sugars and natural sugars.
Processed sugars are those you find in manufactured goods. It’s sugar that’s been chemically altered or modified to be easily combined with other foodstuffs. You’ll find the biggest offenders in the following products:
- Candy bars
- Flavored milks
- Cereals and granolas
- Protein bars
- BBQ sauce
- Flavored yogurts
- Pasta sauces
- Salad dressing
- Baked goods
On the other hand, natural sugars are just what they sound like: sugars found in natural food products, like fruits, vegetables, and honey.
So, are natural sugars better than processed sugars? You bet. Why? Well, believe it or not, the human body needs sugar to survive. Sugars are simply a form of carbohydrates. Something your body needs (in moderation) to stay awake, alert, and energized.
The problem with processed sugar? It’s often dumped into food in excess, and the foods it’s added to usually don’t have a great nutritional profile, to begin with.
Whereas the sugars we obtain from fruits and vegetables are accompanied by a wide array of nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which help assist our bodies in breaking down sugar and putting it to good use.
How to Cut Sugar Quick – the Elimination Approach
The American Heart Association suggests that women consume no more than 25 grams of sugar a day and that men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar a day.
The average can of Coca-Cola has a staggering 42 grams of sugar. 42 grams! One of the best ways you can truly learn how to stop eating sugar is simply to start reading nutritional labels.
Go ahead, try it now. Open your cupboard and take a peek. See if you can find some offenders. Processed sugar can lurk in the most insidious of places, so even if you’re sure something doesn’t have added sugar, pick up the item and read its nutritional profile anyway.
Ultimately, it’s your choice. You decide how much sugar you’re comfortable consuming. But if you really want to kick-start the sugar elimination process, you might want to try a sugar detox.
3-day sugar detox
Granted, the sugar detox isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a head start on sugar elimination, this is an approach you can try that has yielded powerful results.
For three days, do your best not to consume anything that contains sugar. This includes natural sugars, too, which means fruit juices, honey, coconut sugar, fruits, even some vegetables, like carrots, corn, and beetroot.
Steer clear of everything sweet for 72 hours. It’s going to be tough. This isn’t for the faint of heart. But after just three days, your body will have the opportunity to eliminate some of the accumulated toxins that result from excess sugar, and your palate will have reset itself.
After your three-day detox, take a bite of an apple. Don’t be surprised if it tastes like cotton candy. When we constantly bombard our taste buds with too much sugar, our palates grow numb, and we barely notice when something really is too sweet.
But when you give your body and mind a chance to rest and reset, you’ll be astonished by just how naturally sweet many fruits and vegetables are. And that can of Coke you were craving? It’ll probably be so sweet you may just want to spit it out.
How to Give Up Sugar – the Long-Term Reality
So, what? No more candy bars now? No pancakes with syrup? No M&Ms at the movies?
Learning how to stop eating sugar is about so much more than quitting sweet things cold turkey. The process of teaching your body and mind how to stop eating sugar is a complex one, and one that takes time.
A three-day sugar detox is a great place to start, but what about the week after that? And the month after that?
How do we learn how to stop eating sugar for good?
There’s no manual on avoiding sugar for the rest of your life. And it’s likely not a worthwhile pursuit. As we said, sugar is good for you, in the right quantities and from the right sources.
Giving up sugar might sound like a monolithic task, but it’s not as challenging as it seems. So long as you tweak your expectations.
You don’t need to learn how to stop eating sugar forever. You just need to learn how to scale it back. Let your body and mind take a breather. Give your taste buds a chance to reset.
You can still enjoy sweet treats in moderation. But that’s the key, really. Moderation. Learn to start picking up foods before you purchase them and learn more about what’s going on inside the box or can. Maybe a different brand offers a less sugary option. Or maybe you can try making it at home, to control how much sugar goes into the mix.
The process of teaching yourself how to stop eating sugar in large quantities is a challenging one, but one that’s well worth the journey. The food industry hasn’t made it easy for you. You’ve definitely got your work cut out.
But it’s possible. And it will lead to a better, healthier life for you and your family.
If you want to learn more about the toxic effects of excess sugar, listen to what Vishen, founder and CEO of Mindvalley has to say about Nestle products:
Breaking up with sugar is easier said than done. So, why not lend yourself a helping hand? Head over to Mindvalley and join Eric Edmeades in the WILDFIT Quest to help you understand your relationship with sugar, cut back on the excess, and find food freedom once and for all.