Are you trying to break up with sugar but sugar won’t break up with you?
Sugar is sticky. It’s literally in every food at the supermarket. Juices. Tomato sauce. Ready-made dishes… Even “healthy” foods are loaded with agave nectar, high-fructose corn syrup and sugar alternatives that are worse than the white stuff. Is nothing safe anymore?
Yes - you just need to know where to look. Here are the best go-to ingredients to put on your groceries list so you can fill your pantry with everything you need to create delicious, low-sugar meals every time:
Berries are a sweet treat that satisfies your sweet tooth without sending your insulin levels on a rollercoaster ride. Plus, they’re loaded with antioxidants, the little free radicals scavengers that keep wrinkles off your face. And they’re so delicious, they make the perfect snack food. Or, you can add a bunch to your salad, stir them into an oatmeal and drop them into a smoothie. It’s up to you!
P.S. Frozen berries work too!
Eggs are a kitchen staple. They’re quick to cook and you can do so much with them. Boiled eggs. Poached eggs. Frittatas. You can whip up a different breakfast every day in less than 5 minutes. Plus, they’re so nutritious, they’re nicknamed “nature’s multivitamin.” They’re literally loaded with proteins and other goodies that fill you up and curb your sugar cravings.
3. Plain Greek Yogurt
Most yogurts out there have a trackload of sugar in them. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning treat. Avoid the sugary-laden stuff and opt for plain Greek yogurt instead. It’s full of proteins that keep you full and have their fair share of good bacteria to rebalance the gut flora sugar decimated. Once it’s back in full force, you’ll notice your acne clear up so much faster!
If you really don’t like plain yogurt, why not flavor it with some berries and nuts? Add a bit of raw honey. Or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime (I like mine with lemon and a pinch of salt). A good quality yogurt is important. My personal favorite brand in the US is FAGE 2%. Not being paid to say that, it's just honestly my fav.
Go nuts on nuts! Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans have plenty of healthy fats and fibers to slow down digestion and keep you feeling full for hours. Buy in bulk from the bins at your market. Not only is it way cheaper, but they’re also in their natural, raw form - the healthiest and tastiest. Raw nuts are the perfect snack to reach for throughout the day. You can even drop them in your food processor to make your own nut butter! It’s delicious with a few apple slices.
Did you know that when your brain is low on serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter), it starts to crave sugar? That’s why you’re binging on ice creams and chocolate chip cookies when you’re sad. Next time, why not eat a bruschetta instead? Tomatoes are high in serotonin, giving your brain the “happy feel” without making your insulin level spike. While you’re at it, why not make your own pasta sauce, too (the store-boughts one almost always have extra sugar)? Just take a few whole canned tomatoes, cut them to pieces, put them in a saucepan with basil and garlic and let it simmer for 20 minutes. To add natural sweetness, add a bit of finely chopped onion and/or grate in some carrot. Pro Tip: make a big batch and freeze small, individual portions for future uses.
6. Raw Honey
Who said that all sugar alternatives are bad? If you need to sweeten your tea or cake, just add a spoonful of raw honey. This natural sweetener is full of antioxidants, minerals and enzymes that fight off wrinkles, soothe your gut and delight your palate. Just go for the raw, unrefined type. It’s a little more expensive but worth it since you’re reaping the full health benefits.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is the perfect alternative to sodas. While sodas make your blood sugar levels spike, green tea brings them back down and regulates them. It also suppresses your appetite so you don’t feel the craving for something sweet anytime soon. The best part? It’s loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals, soothe irritations and boost your body’s natural sun protection. Goodbye wrinkles!
It’s not just sodas that are loaded with sugar. “Healthy” drinks like coconut water can have their fair share of the white stuff too. Why not switch them up for the healthiest drink on earth: water? If you don’t fancy the idea of drinking plain old water, stock up your pantry with lemons and add a little fresh juice to your glass. It tastes great and helps you detoxify.
Making a smoothie? Swap bananas for avocados. Bananas can be a healthy part of your diet but their high sugar content puts them firmly in the occasional treat category. For everyday smoothies, avocados are a better option. They don't contain a drop of sugar, and they’re plum full of healthy fats that boost your mood, feed your brain and keep you full for longer. They also help create a creamy texture for your smoothie and the fat content tells your brain you're full so you stay satisfied longer.
10. Dark Chocolate
Good news: a sugar-free life is not a chocolate-free life. Phew! A bite of dark chocolate is the perfect dinner dessert. Dark chocolate is almost sugar-free and full of antioxidants that keep premature aging, metabolic diseases and wrinkles away. The key is to opt for 80% or darker. As a rule, the lightest the chocolate, the higher the sugar.
Ready to go grocery shopping?