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How To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet
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How To Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

Are you ready to get sugar out of your diet? Great! You've decided that you don't want anything to do with sugar and you're going to do whatever it takes to eliminate it so you can improve and protect your physical and mental health? Fantastic! Were you right all along when you thought sugar was bad for you and now you're going to demonstrate your personal integrity by getting sugar out of your life? Go go go!

What are steps should you take to eliminate sugar from your diet? I'm going to show you. This is your Twelve-Step Program for eliminating sugar.

1. Do it cold turkey. That may sound extreme but it is really the best way. Did you know sugar was originally refined and kept under lock and key as a potent medicine? That's right. Sugar was originally considered to be strictly medicinal just like we would consider a controlled prescription drug. And sugar is addictive just like a drug too. "Tapering off" sugar is like saying you're tapering off heroin. No can do. It just doesn't work.

2. Right away, besides not dumping sugar into your coffee and onto your cereal, find out what alternative sweeteners there are that can be used. I will never recommend substitute fake sweeteners like the ones in the pink, blue and yellow packets. They are even more deadly than sugar! But there are whole grain sweeteners and herbal sweeteners made from stevia that you can start using.

3. As you are withdrawing from your sugar habit, you will probably feel the symptoms. To handle that get more exercise, drink more water and if things get really out of hand, you can use a little bit of organic, unpasteurized raw honey. This is not meant as a recommendation to start dumping honey, instead of sugar, in everything. Honey is still a sugar but not as refined. Consider it your "methadone" treatment but be aware that in the long run, honey will not get you where you want to go.

4. Learn what the different ingredients are that are essentially sugar. There is information about this on my other Street Articles and blogs as well as other sources.

5. Go through your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator and read those labels. Throw out everything that has sugar in it. You will likely be getting rid of a lot of food items including ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, bread and other baked goods, crackers, canned soups, fruit-flavored yogurt, low-fat and no-fat dairy products and much much more. Look at how much more room you have now!

6. Start shopping in a store that at least offers some non-sugar products. But beware! Even your so-called "natural food store" is jammed with products that have some form of sugar in them. You've got to be a regular Sherlock Holmes and read every label to be sure. One good way to be sure is to just buy real, whole food. There's no ingredient label on an apple or a stalk of broccoli. You only need to check that it is certified organic (preferred).

7. Eat less red meat. Red meat increases the craving for sugar. I know this from personal experience and observation.

8. Eat a lot more vegetables. Vegetables are naturally sweet and they have fiber, minerals and all kinds of phytochemicals (aka minute amounts of beneficial known and unknown nutrients) in them. In fact, to mitigate sugar cravings you can make what is called a "Sweet Vegetable Tea." Cut up pieces of sweet-tasting vegetables such as cabbage, onions, carrots, winter squash, parsnips, cauliflower and put them in a big pot of spring water with a pinch of sea salt. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer about an hour. Strain out the veggies and save them for soup. Chill the vegetable water and drink a half cup of that - chilled or warmed - whenever your sugar cravings are getting the best of you. What? Cabbage and onions are sweet tasting? Yes they are and you will appreciate their sweet taste once you've gotten sugar out of your system.

9. Reduce the amount of breads and baked goods that have refined flour in them. Look for the ones that have whole grains and whole grain flour (and of course, no sugar) in them. Your body responds to refined white flour products just like it does to sugar. So eating such things that are made with white flour is pretty much just like eating sugar.

10. Make it go right to cook your food at home more and more. Even the finest restaurant uses a multitude of ingredients that contain sugar (not to mention a lot of other ingredients that you would not include in home cooking.) For me, there is absolutely nothing like my own good home cooking. Not because I'm an amazing chef - I'm a pretty decent cook - but I use quality ingredients and I've learned how to make the most delicious whole food without sugar and chemicals. When you cook or prepare your own food, that is the only way to really be sure what is in it. Don't get me wrong, I do go to restaurants sometimes. But as much as I enjoy the experience of being served and spending time with my dear husband, more often than not I am at least slightly disappointed with the food because it is not as good as mine. Just saying.

11. Tell your family and friends about your new adventure. Let them know you are getting sugar out of your life and ask them to help you. No whining about how you can't eat that doughnut they have at work! Stay positive! Share your successes and if they pooh pooh it - well just fuhgeddaboudit and talk to someone else who can be more supportive.

12. And finally, use this article as a forum to share your wins, ask your questions and express your concerns. This is a very friendly group here on Street Articles and you will be surprised how many like-minded people there are who are also trying to eliminate sugar from their lives. Believe me I know it is not always easy. In fact, I know that many people struggle and struggle with sugar cravings. But if you follow these steps, you will not have such a hard time.


Street Talk

Hey Patty, love your article. Recently I too got in the fight against sugar and will certainly use some of your recommendations

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Amanda! Stevia is a workable substitute but beware some stevia products have other sugars in them. As far as belly fat goes, not only does sugar contribute to belly fat, it contributes to a higher risk of intestinal cancer.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Totally agree with what you said. The more I read about info to get rid of belly fat, the more I aware of how bad the sugar is. One of the best way to substitue sugar is using stevia.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes I think stevia is a good substitute but you have to watch the quality of it. I was in a natural food restaurant the other day and was happy to find they had stevia in little packets for coffee. But when I read the ingredients it had dextrose in it. :(

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks to your note on the quality of stevia...

  
  about 7 years ago

It will be an eye opener if a person can accomplish this. I also cut my sodium down to recommended amounts and wow, it was amazing. The first thing I noticed is how salty everything in a can is. Good one Patty.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you Shawn! Cutting back on salt is a great strategy.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

That's a great "cold turkey" story. It is hard to get all sugar out and I too have difficulty. But since I've been writing about sugar I've been much more alert about the hidden ones. Thanks for checking in and commenting!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Another great article Patty. I can attest to everything you say. I must admit some sugar has crept back into my diet but I feel much better now I'm eating with awareness. When I originally went 'cold turkey' the cravings were horrific! I paced the house dreaming of chocolate. I then hit an energy slump and for a day or two dragged myself around by sheer will power. After that the feeling fantastic kicked in! The benefits to energy, feeling great, mental clarity and the list goes on is so worthwhile. You're right, some of the most unlikely foods now taste better and even, surprisingly, sweet!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Andrew B  

Heather, had you tried dark chocolate, at least as a way to wean yourself off? Dark chocolate has a lot less fat and sugar compared to milk and white chocolate, and contains natural compounds called "flavinoids" which may have antioxitave benefits, among other things. There's an article on WebMD that's pretty decent about this issue. Patty, what do you know about more exotic plant-derived sugars like Palm sugar? Some people say it's a less-bad alternative to refined beet sugar, but the science I've seen on this is mixed at best.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Andrew, I love dark chocolate. If I could list weaknesses that would be one of them. The interesting thing is that I didn't care for it before but as my tastes changed it began to honestly be a better alternative that I enjoyed more. I also eat less of it when I do enjoy chocolate as it's richer or more satisfying somehow. Regarding sugars, I stick to ones closer to the source (less refined) and at least halve any sugar content in recipes I make for my kids. Once our taste buds are re-educated it seems right to eat this way anyway. I wanted a treat when I was out for coffee today and couldn't cope with the serving sizes on display. I honestly wonder how people get through a piece of rich sickly decadence in such proportions. A quarter of it would have been about perfect. Maybe Patty can enlighten us both about the palm sugar?! Isn't one of the minefields of good health the conflicting information 'out there'?

  
  about 7 years ago
Andrew B  

I've read that maple sugar is supposed to be "less bad" because it has minerals like iron and thiamin in it. Most of this info came from industry sources, so I'd want to see it independently verified before completely buying into that story.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Isn't "less bad" a great concept! lol. Yes, maple sugar, or syrup, is supposed to be better. You could also look into Rapadura sugar. It's the dried whole natural juice of the sugar cane but it's never separated from it's molasses content and it therefore retains all the vitamins and minerals available from this source.

  
  about 7 years ago
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