Added sugar is the culprit for countless global epidemics of chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The antidote? Whole foods. Here are 3 reasons you should be ditching the ultra-processed aisle and heading straight for the real stuff.
First – let’s unpack what a whole-foods diet actually entails. Whole foods are essentially those which are fresh either unprocessed or minimally processed and free of preservatives and added sugars. While it can be hard to completely avoid processing – and sometimes a bit of processing is beneficial! – what’s most important is to ensure the processing is minimal and not completely altering the product. Potato chips, for instance, are a highly altered form of potatoes, but canned chickpeas from their fresh counterparts are barely distinguishable. There is some variance in what different people consider to be real food, though in general you’ll find agreement that whole, nutrient-dense foods are the priority. Here are some examples:
- Whole fruits and veggies
- Whole grains
- Legumes, nuts and seeds
- Beverages like water and tea
- Dairy and eggs
- Fermented foods
Whole foods combat addictive sugar-seeking behaviours
Deep fried, sugary foods are the first choice for so many of us when we’re stressed – and with hectic work days and family commitments, who isn’t? – but there is another way to enjoy your favourite comfort foods while still JERFing. Yep, it’s true, you can make highly nutritious comfort foods without all the consequences of excess sugar, which can leave us feeling fatigued and down. But before we get into that – why exactly does sugar leave us craving more? It’s all because it triggers the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, into the brain and so begins the reward-seeking cycle. Research has shown sugar triggers our brain’s reward system, even proving to evoke a stronger reward response than cocaine.
They lower your risk for chronic disease
We know sugar is one of the lead drivers of increasing obesity rates, with studies showing a direct link between obesity and sugar. Worse still, researchers have found excess fructose can cause leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that tells the brain that we’re full, without it we may still feel hungry even after a full meal. The result? Weight gain, obesity and even type 2 diabetes.
They taste delicious
It’s not all about boring steamed spinach and salad when you’re eating whole foods – quite the opposite! You’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of flavours from fragrant spices and herbs to hearty veggies, legumes, whole grains, fermented foods, nuts and seeds. think rich soups, curries and roasts – not to mention the desserts! Yep, you can still enjoy a good dessert when you’re eating nourishing food – and it doesn’t have to spike your blood-sugars. If you love brownies, cakes and muffins, our No Sugar Baking Cookbook is the answer to your dessert dreams.
If you haven’t already joined us, sign up for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!