There Are Many Reasons To Quit Sugar
Ever wondered how to quit sugar for good? Or even why you should? If you are aiming for good health and an improvement in your chronic fatigue symptoms there are good reasons to quit sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere. Read labels on the food you buy at the supermarket and you’ll see how many foods unexpectedly contain sugar. Approximately a whopping 80% of packaged foods contain sugar.
Sugar comes in so many forms and may not be obviously named as ‘sugar’ in the ingredient list. If an ingredient listed ends in ‘ose’ it means it contains sugar. Sucrose and fructose for example are forms of sugar.
Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in our modern diet and is associated with many modern diseases e.g., diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity. It contains no vitamins or minerals, protein or essential fats. All in all, there is no reason to include it in your diet.
Consuming sugar also has a detrimental effect on your hormones and adrenal glands. For more information on the adrenal glands and the effects of sugar on them click here.
In addition to sugar’s effect on the adrenals, when we consume sugar, insulin is released by the pancreas to transport the glucose from the blood. With constant sugar consumption eventually the pancreas is less able to produce the same amount of insulin which leads to insulin resistance and this is known to be a precursor of diabetes.
Why Quit Sugar To Help With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
I quit sugar whilst suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome for a few reasons. After comprehensive stool testing showed I had gut dysbiosis, candida overgrowth, and a parasite called Blastocystis Hominis it was really important to cut out sugar completely to rid myself of my gut problems and help with resolving my chronic fatigue syndrome.
Knowing there was an adrenal component to my chronic fatigue syndrome it was critical to de-stress my adrenals and stop thrashing them with sugar and caffeine in a vain attempt to feel more energetic.
Both Candida Albicans and Blastocystis Hominis feed on sugar. I was determined to kill both of these organisms and starving them of the food they loved and stopping their growth was the first step in getting rid of them.
So How Do You Quit Sugar For Good ?
It does take some considerable willpower, determination and effort in the beginning to quit sugar, particularly when you are in a fatigued state and your body is craving carbohydrates and sugar for energy. In my case I not only quit refined sugar, but ALL forms of sugar. I had never eaten packaged food, so cutting that out luckily wasn’t a consideration for me.
However I also cut out all fruit and juice, potatoes, chocolate, sweets, honey, jams,cakes, grains etc. Cutting out fruit was particularly difficult for me at first, but I did get used to it over time.
Amazingly, I did find that the longer I stayed away from refined sugar the less I craved it. I find that sugar is definitely addictive and once it’s in your system you seem to crave even more.
Sugar causes dopamine to be released in the reward centre of the brain which leads to these cravings. However after a while being sugar free, if you do eat some sugary food, it will tastes overly sweet.
If you also have gut issues like candida or blasto, the creatures in your gut cause you to crave sugar as they need it to feed on and grow. Once you get control of your candida overgrowth or blasto infection your cravings for sugar will start to decrease.
In the early stages of going cold turkey it can be useful to take a chromium supplement which really helps take the edge off the sugar cravings.
Find Alternatives When Sugar Cravings Hit
There are many great ways to still have treats without using sugar to provide some sweetness. Many so called ‘sugar free’ recipes rely on dried fruit or honey to provide some form of sweetness in recipes. I like to avoid these too as they also have quite an effect on raising blood sugar.
In general, I like to use stevia which provides sweetness without having any effect on blood sugar. A few drops is all you need to sweeten foods slightly. I’ve used it in making desserts, muffins, fruit coulis and jellies with great success.
Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of a South American shrub, Stevia Rebaudiana, and is considered safe. It does not have the effect of raising blood sugar and insulin levels. Coming in powder or liquid drops it is recommended to experiment with different types to find the one that best suits your needs.
My recipe for Chocolate Orange Chia Pudding using stevia to add a little sweetness provides a creamy chocolaty hit.
With raw organic cacao and chia seeds making the pudding base, it’s a yummy healthy dessert. If you can have fruit in your diet, try it served with some fresh orange segments and add a dollop of natural yoghurt.
Putting It All Together
Understand the detrimental effects consuming refined sugar has on overall health. Carry out comprehensive stool testing to find if there is some additional reason why you might be experiencing sugar cravings.
Remove all refined sugar and packaged food products from your diet.
Please feel free to leave any comments or queries you have.