Limiting your sugar intake is a great step towards a more balanced diet and a healthier lifestyle. Have you ever thought of how cutting back on sugar can change your life for the better? Here’s a list of some of the benefits of keeping your sweet-tooth at bay.
Haven’t we all reached out for that extra chocolate bar to combat the afternoon slump? We felt fantastic after the initial sugar rush only to become slightly moody afterwards.
Sugar influences our mood as it causes a chemical roller-coaster between our body and brain resulting in an emotional high, inevitably followed by a dip. This is why a whole host of studies link sugar to conditions such as depression. Reducing your sugar intake will help to keep your mood stable without unwanted swings.
Top Tip: You can boost those endorphin levels by opting for flavoursome food rather than sugary snacks. Think adding ginger, nutmeg or chilli peppers into your lunches and dinners and you’ll find your sugar cravings will pop up less often.
Sugar causes inflammation within our bodies, and this in turn triggers spots and blemishes. If you decide to cut back on sugar, you will see your skin clearing up, eliminating the need to buy expensive creams to zap those zits.
Top Tip: If you find yourself reaching out for a fizzy drink, simply throw in a few chunks of lemon or lime with some fresh mint into still or sparkling water and put it into the fridge for a few minutes. You will then have a wonderful and refreshing drink to enjoy with absolutely no added sugar.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to eat a few sugar-filled snacks when we are hungry. It gives us the illusion that we are full – but half an hour later – guess who’s back? Hunger.
Eating sweets or foods with added sugar may trick us into thinking that they’ve filled us up, but we end up craving them even more a few hours later. This can lead to weight gain, heart disease and contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle that may cause further health concerns.
If you have a balanced diet with loads of fruit and vegetables and skip the sugar-clad ready-meals, your waistline will thank you for it as will every organ in your body.
Top Tip: Try swapping your favourite sugary snacks for healthier alternatives such as bananas, yoghurt with fruit, berries or nuts. Also, if you do have sugar in the house, simply put it in a place where you can’t see it. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.
A Healthier Smile
Sugar contributes massively to the erosion of the tooth enamel. In other words, it makes your teeth weaker and more susceptible to cavities and even decay. Some of the biggest culprits of this are fizzy drinks as they not only have a lot of sugar and sweeteners in them, but also contain high levels of acid that dissolves the earlier mentioned tooth enamel.
By reducing your sugar intake you’ll help your pearly whites stay healthy for longer not to mention limit the frequency of those costly dental appointments.
Top Tip: If you really enjoy the occasional fizzy drink, make sure you drink it from a straw to minimise contact between the liquid and your teeth. Of course, where you can – opt for water, still or sparkling.
Other Ways to Limit Your Sugar Intake
The moment you start craving something sugary and calorific, try to make yourself busy. This will take your mind off that chocolate bar and surprisingly after a while you won’t feel the craving anymore. Instead, you’ll be keen on your normal lunch or dinner.
Another way of keeping your sweet-tooth at bay is simply brushing your teeth. Peppermint helps to deter cravings while leaving you feeling refreshed. If you don’t have your tooth paste and brush with you, try some sugar-free gum.
Still keen on something sweet? Try eating sweet vegetables. Roast some sweet potato, snack on those nutritious carrots or fresh podded peas that are both sweet and crunchy.