Your guide to giving up sugar
Post Date
23rd April 2014
Your guide to giving up sugar

Sugars are carbohydrates and like all carbohydrates, they provide a source of energy in your diet. Small amounts of sugars won’t do you any harm – but eat too much and you could come up against some health problems. Here’s what you need to know to keep on track with the sweet stuff.

Why is sugar bad for me?
Excess sugar consumption has been linked to obesity and tooth decay. Refined sugars, like ordinary white sugar, also provide a sharp increase in blood sugar levels that are followed by a slump, leaving you feeling flat and listless.

How much sugar is okay?
So, if sugar isn’t all bad, how much can you eat? The Australian Dietary Guidelines published in 2013 don’t offer a specific figure but do advise “limiting intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars”. Much of your sugar intake is likely to come from the added sugars that are hidden in processed foods that you don’t normally identify as sweet. One tablespoon of tomato sauce, for example, contains around 4g (about 1 teaspoon) of sugar, and a single can of soft drink has up to 40g (about 10 teaspoons) of sugar!

How can I avoid added sugars?

  • EAT FRESH Processed, packaged and pre-cooked foods are full of hidden sugars. Eat fresh fruit and veg to avoid them.
  • READ THE LABEL The ingredients listed on food packaging are always listed in order of volume, so if sugar appears in the first three items on the list, choose an alternative.
  • LEARN THE CODE Sugar can be found under a variety of different names including: sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, molasses, agave nectar, mannitol, sorbitol, lactose and erythritol.


Will I feel any side-effects from cutting out sugar?
If you cut out all sugar from your diet in one hit, you may experience some unpleasant side effects.

  • CRAVINGS There is some evidence to suggest that a dependency on sugar may encourage addictive behaviours in people. If you’re struggling, try eating a piece of fruit, which contains natural sugars.
  • HEADACHES It’s not unusual for people who stop sugar suddenly to experience headaches. Keep up your intake of water and relieve the headache pain with a pain killer such as Nurofen as necessary.
  • NAUSEA Similarly, some people can have tummy upsets as a side-effect of sudden sugar withdrawal. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day until things settle down. A cup of ginger tea might help.
  • DEPRESSION AND IRRITABILITY Eating sugar releases serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ chemical that causes a ‘high’, which is similar to the high caused by drugs or alcohol. If your body is used to a certain level of sugar intake and you cut that back to zero, you may feel flat or even depressed. The good news is that physical activity is a great protector against depression – so head out for a walk!

To avoid sugar-free side effects, Australian Government guidelines are to start slowly and gradually cut down on the amount of added sugar you have in your diet. For example, try decreasing the amount of sugar you take in your coffee, drink water instead of soft drinks and go for no-added-sugar varieties of different foods.

Should I swap sugar for an artificial sweetener?
Artificial sweeteners provide an intense sweet flavour without the associated energy of regular sugar – in other words, you get the sweetness without the kilojoule intake. Whether or not you choose to use sweeteners is really a matter of personal preference. Some people find they’re a useful product to use while adjusting to a low-sugar diet. Others find that using sweeteners just prolongs their desire for sweet foods in their diet.


LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS:

Nurofen Tablets
Nurofen is effective in the temporary relief of pain and/or inflammation associated with headache, muscular pain, cold & flu, period pain, dental pain and back pain. Reduces fever.  
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

Sugarine Artificial Sweetner
Sugarine gives you no calories... just great taste to sweeten your hot drinks.