We know it’s hard balancing nutrition with work, family and exercise – not to mention the hordes of conflicting dietary information coming from every which way.
Many of us end up throwing in the towel and settling for 2 minute-noodles after a long day. But there is a simpler way. Take a look at our top 3 eating tips that will save you time – and they'll save your health, too.
Keep sugar to a minimum.
Sugar is one of the major drivers of obesity, diabetes, liver disease and even autoimmune and mental health conditions. Its reach is far spread through our whole bodies and across the globe, too.
Obesity, for one, is rapidly increasing around the world with over 1.9 billion people living with the disease, and diabetes is also making its way up the ranks, affecting a whopping 8.5% of adults. It’s responsible for millions of deaths every year, with a 5% rise in diabetes-related premature death rates between 2000 and 2016. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is another condition that excess sugar leads to. Affecting a quarter of the population, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is projected to become the become the leading cause of cirrhosis within the next 10 years. So, even if you steer clear of Friday-night drinks, your sugar habit puts you square in the line of fire for this disease.
If you’re looking for more reasons to give sugar the slip, it’s worth noting this sweet stuff can also do a number on your mental health. Studies have shown the incidence of depression to be higher in people who consume more sugar, with many of us ending up in a cycle dopamine-seeking eating behaviours. The unfortunate result is drastically worsened mental health symptoms. Another study shows anxiety rates for people over 60 to be higher for those with greater sugar intakes, while further research drives home this link between anxiety and sugar, as it found that people who drank 2 soft drinks a day had cortisol levels 22% higher than those who didn’t. It’s plain as day – too much sugar is a whole-body disaster.
Remember the 3 Essentials.
While it’s vital to ensure you’re getting all your essential vitamins and minerals, along with hitting all your food groups, one of our simplest techniques for putting together a nutrition-packed meal when you’re in a rush is to remember the essential trifecta of nutrients – protein, carbs and fats. For instance, a wholemeal sandwich with chickpeas and avocado is guaranteed to provide you with energy that will tide you over until your next meal.
Protein sources: Legumes like chickpeas and lentils are great sources of protein, along with tofu, eggs and yoghurt.
Carbohydrates: Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, veggies, fruit and seeds. These will give you slow-release energy that will put an end to those 3 o’clock slumps and keep you powering through the day.
Fats: Healthy fats are essential for a healthy diet, along with ensuring your body can absorb essential nutrients like vitamin A, E and D. You can find these fats in avocado, eggs, coconuts, olive oil and flax seeds. According to research, healthy fats play a role in balancing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk for heart disease.
Moderation is key.
Just because you’re reducing your sugar intake, it doesn’t mean you can never enjoy the sweet stuff. It’s okay to have dessert now and then or enjoy some birthday cake at your friend’s party – just don’t splurge every day.
Having a balanced diet will also ensure your body is able to tolerate sugar better, and adding fibre into your diet will assist with the metabolising of sugar and keeping cravings to a minimum. Fibre also slows down sugar absorption and, as a result, lowers blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, only 5% of us are getting enough fibre – so don’t forget to load up on this with whole grains, veggies and whole fruit.
It’s worth noting that some people go cold turkey when it comes to quitting sugar, as they struggle with stopping at just one piece of chocolate. This is understandable when considering sugar triggers the same part of the brain as drugs, even provoking a stronger reward response than cocaine. Yikes. If this is sounding familiar to you, you’re not alone – and there is a solution.
We’re hosting the 8-Week Program here at I Quit Sugar, and if you’re in need of a little assistance in finally kicking that sugar addiction to the curb – we’d love to help. When you sign up to the program, you’ll have access to extensive plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of expert-crafted meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support from the I Quit Sugar team, plus our panel of experts.
- Mental and physical health benefits that last a lifetime.
If you’re ready to transform your health, now’s the time to make it happen. JOIN NOW!