The disadvantages of eating refined sugar are becoming increasingly recognised by health conscious consumers. Far from being something that only causes problems for the dentist, people are now understanding that sugar is responsible for a lot of serious health problems.

Research has even shown that sugar can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. For this reason, and many more, it is imperative that we reduce our sugar intake or eradicate it from our diets altogether. Given that so many of the processed foods we eat are laden with sugar, this can prove to be difficult. However, by opting for a plant-based diet you’re much more likely to avoid such foods.

Sugar is a fairly addictive substance to the point where our bodies crave it if we suddenly stop consuming it. This is a temporary and completely manageable sensation and there are several things you can do to help prevent such cravings. Beginning your day with a high protein breakfast is one of the best things that you can do. Between 15 and 20 grams of protein will help to ensure that your blood sugar level stays steady throughout the day. Sugar cravings are much more likely to take hold when your blood sugar levels are fluctuating too high or too low.

By snacking on foods that are high in healthy fats throughout the day, such as an avocado or nuts, you are more likely to feel full. This in turn will prevent you from reaching for sugary snacks. Coconut oil is an especially good fat and you can even try swallowing a tablespoon or two during the day. This will not only leave you feeling full but also full of energy which is something we can all use at some point in the day!

Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is never a good idea. Although they are generally calorie free, they contain harmful chemicals which can be just as detrimental to health as sugar. When you use artificial sweeteners, the levels of dopamine in your brain are reduced. This will prompt a sugar craving as your body tries to balance itself. There are so many healthy natural sweeteners that can be used, such as cinnamon, date sugar or maple syrup that there really is no need to rely on the unhealthy alternatives.

Getting enough sleep is a simple way to tackle sugar cravings. When you deprive your body of an adequate amount of rest, you are causing chemical imbalances which increase hunger. When you’ve got a busy schedule and you’re hungrier than usual, it’s easy to eat junk food that was produced to be convenient. These products are generally full of sugar and other harmful chemicals. For this reason it is essential that you provide your body with the rest it needs and plan your meals in advance to avoid being caught short.

The first few days of a sugar detox can be difficult but after this initial period you will soon begin to feel happier, healthier and much more energetic. Your cravings will also quickly subside and you can enjoy a wholesome diet full of natural flavour!

BOE Magazine