Your Guide to a Low Sugar Diet
When your sweet tooth comes calling, it can be very challenging to make the right choices to stay on track with your healthy eating goals. Not only are sugary snacks sweet and tasty, but they also often strike a nostalgic chord by reminding us of our favorite childhood treats. So, before you know it, you are throwing caution to the wind and reaching for an unhealthy snack loaded with processed sugar that may taste good in the moment – but often leaves you feeling unsatisfied and guilty afterwards.
Since it is widely known that consuming too much sugar can wreak havoc on the body, more and more people are looking to low sugar diets to help keep things in check. In this article, we will explore the root causes of sugar cravings, explain the potential downfalls of eating too much processed sugar, and share a quick and easy guide to help you get started on living that low sugar life!
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
While some people are simply prone to crave sugar more than others, there are other things that can trigger the craving, such as:
Your diet. The foods we eat play a significant role in how much and how often we crave sugar. If your diet is lacking in critical elements that the body needs for energy, such as protein and healthy fat, then your body is more likely to crave a quick energy-fix from sugar.
Artificial sweeteners. This may seem contradictory since the whole point of artificial sweeteners is to replace the taste of sugar. This is because they are much, much sweeter than sugar, which conditions your taste buds to crave even more sweetness. And, once conditioned, you are far more likely to crave sugar-filled snacks when you are hungry versus something healthier.
Lack of Sleep. Have you ever noticed that your cookie, candy, and ice cream cravings increase when you don’t get a good night’s sleep? A recent study suggests that there is a link between sleep deprivation and high-calorie food cravings, especially sweet snacks. For those struggling with chronic sleep deprivation, this can lead to a vicious cycle of unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
What Happens When We Eat Too Much Sugar?
Most dietary guidelines suggest that sugar should account for no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake. However, with sugar-filled processed foods offering so much convenience for busy individuals, it’s easy to lose track of your actual sugar intake. Here are some of the things that can happen to your body when you regularly consume too much sugar:
- Weight gain
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Energy depletion
- Tooth decay
This is why it’s so important to carefully read the nutrition labels on all of the food and beverages you buy. Many people don’t think about “sleeper” foods like bread, sauces, and protein bars when it comes to sugar, either.
How to Follow a Low Sugar Diet
Even with all of the warnings around the overconsumption of sugar, it can be really difficult to cut back and still feel satisfied – especially if you have been indulging your sweet tooth regularly for some time. That said, there are some simple things you can start doing now to reduce your sugar cravings while also making better choices when your sweet tooth comes on strong:
- Eat more lean protein and healthy fats. As mentioned earlier, not getting enough protein and healthy fat may cause your body to crave sugar for a fast energy boost. By eating more lean proteins like fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, and eggs - along with healthy fats - you will feel full longer, which in turn will reduce your sugar cravings.
- Cut back on popular artificial sweeteners. While popular artificial sweeteners may help to cut back on the extra calories from sugary beverages, these can also trick your taste buds into wanting even more sweets. One healthy alternative gaining popularity right now is allulose, a “rare sugar” found naturally in foods like raisins and figs and has the same sweetness and texture as sugar – but with just 1/10th of the calories.
- Snack better. Healthy living is all about balance, so when you are craving something sweet you should indulge – but with better choices like Greek yogurt, fresh fruit (put it on top of your yogurt), or dates. Craving cookies? Our EVER BETTER™ Protein Cookie Bites are a great alternative because they are made with healthy ingredients – including allulose – to satisfy your taste buds without any of the guilt.
- Prioritize your sleep. Since sleep deprivation can increase your sugar cravings throughout the day, it’s important to make sleep a top priority. You can start by creating a relaxing nighttime ritual that helps prepare your body and mind for rest, such as a hot bath, journaling or meditation. Plan on going to bed 30 minutes to an hour before you want to fall asleep, and keep your smartphone out of arm’s reach!
Cutting back on your sugar intake does not have to leave you feeling miserable and deprived! By following our guidelines, you’ll be taking some important steps towards living a happier and healthier life. And don’t forget to make EVER BETTER™ Protein Cookie bites part of your low sugar diet plan. Remember – you deserve it!
Let’s live EVER BETTER™ together!