Dr. Trishala Chopra is an alternative medicine specialist commanding a decade of success in managing Diabetes, Obesity, PCOD/PCOS, Metabolic Disorders, Gut-health and Sleep-disorders. As a Health Coach, Dr. Trishala empowers your body’s potential to self-heal through a balanced ‘Gut-Mind-Body’ approach and achieve your wellness goals. [To connect: Call/Message: (+91) 9930831317 or Email ID: email@example.com]
As 14th November, 2022, marks World Diabetes Day, what better way to commemorate the occasion than sharing some real smart ways in which we can cut down the intake of sugar – the root of all (diabetic) evil – from our diet?
One of the best ways to tell if you need a ‘sugar reset’ is if you’re experiencing getting ‘hangry’ (hungry + angry) often. Being ‘hangry’ depends on your blood sugar level. Blood sugar problems are at an all-time high, as half of Indian adults and millions worldwide are pre-diabetic or suffer from full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that most blood sugar issues are surprisingly easy to reverse, prevent, and manage, whether your blood sugar issues are mild or diagnosable, because the foods you eat have fantastic power over your blood sugar!
Remember – Every bite you eat either fuels health or feeds disease. Which do you choose?
We often discuss about the harmful effects of sugar and that we need to cut out sugar from our diets. But have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to get off sugar? It’s not easy letting go of sugar – those who have stopped consuming sugar and opted for a real food plan or detox protocol, will relate to this. So, why does going off sugar leave some people feeling like an addict craving one more fix? Sugar and all its forms (not just white/table sugar) fill most foods. At times, its label sounds more exotic, i.e. ‘agave nectar’, ‘evaporated cane’, or ‘turbinado’, but it all boils down to and functions exactly like sugar.
Sugar has a specific effect on the brain – it triggers our pleasure and reward system when consumed. Over time, deeper neuronal pathways are created, and more sugar is needed to give the body the same old fix. When we cut out sugar, we detox naturally and encounter withdrawal symptoms. Sugar is at the core of these cravings. I’ve often seen patients struggle through this addictive pattern of behaviour.
Inflammation, caused by sugar, also plays a large role in stubborn weight. Those who are wondering, ‘Can we lose weight by cutting out sugar?’, the short answer is YES, but there’s a lot more to it than just getting your blood sugar levels down or losing weight. Cutting out sugar is beneficial to the overall health of your body systems, including more energy, improved mood, and reduced risk of serious illnesses.
For those considering a real ‘Sugar Detox’, here’s your go-to guide, featuring symptoms and actions to counteract those withdrawal pangs.
Here’s a list of foods that help reduce cravings and reset your blood sugar levels:
HEALTHY FATS: Your brain comprises 60% fat and your body functions best when it is burning fat instead of sugar. Fat is the longest-lasting source of energy for you and your brain, but you have to eat fat to burn fat. The body has been working on fat since you were a baby, relying on the fat from breast milk for optimal brain development and energy. While fat intake tends to wane over time, keep up the brain boost by eating more healthy fats in the form of coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, etc.
PROTEINS: help balance blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of the sugars from the starchy foods you eat. Aim for 0.8 grams per kg body weight protein per day.
LOW-FRUCTOSE FRUITS: Sometimes you just want a sweet treat, but you already know processed sugar is not a healthy food, and even high-fructose fruits can set you on a blood sugar rollercoaster. Instead, eat fruit that is low in fructose such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and kiwi for a nutrient-dense, blood-sugar-stable sweet treat.
LEAFY GREENS: Non-starchy vegetables should be an important part of your diet. These are among the world’s most nutrient-dense foods, which help balance your blood sugar levels. Dark, leafy greens are the stars of the non-starchy veggie world. These low-carb greens have been shown to actually lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
SPICES: Spices add taste and interest to your food, but they also boost your health. Regular consumption of cinnamon, even in small quantities, helps lower blood sugar. Additionally, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are essential for reducing inflammation, which helps reduce insulin resistance.
DEALING WITH WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:
Managing Sugar Cravings And Hunger: Eating healthy fats is the best way to control cravings. I’m a fan of fat-bomb treats – these dessert-like snacks are filled with good-for-you fats and are sweetened instead with natural sugar alternatives like stevia or erythritol or monk fruit sweeter. Soothe a carb craving with whole-food starchy tubers like sweet potatoes.
Managing Fatigue: Replace the sugar fuel you were consuming with healthy fats, which refuel your body with the energy needed to operate without feeling sluggish. Some sources of this fuel that are especially good for your brain and metabolism include coconut, olives, avocados and wild-caught fish.
Managing Headaches: 2 natural supplements that help calm headaches and migraines are Turmeric and Magnesium. Magnesium is nature’s chill pill and helps you calm down!
Managing Shakiness And Feeling Jittery: If you are susceptible to low blood sugar, make sure you are getting 15 to 25 grams of clean protein (and the accompanying healthy fat content) with each meal. If you find yourself ‘hangry’ before the next meal, this means your body needs more protein.
If it gets overwhelming to do everything yourself, reach out for help! It’s time to live better!!