In our world today, sugar makes up over 18% of the standard American Diet - sneaking into everyday foods from yogurt to spaghetti sauce. Our bodies aren't naturally equipped to deal with such a sugar overload, and it’s proven to be quite toxic and the cause for many health issues facing our world today.
But, kicking a sugar habit takes work. When removing it from your diet, you may even have withdrawal or flu-like symptoms. Don't let that stop you though. Sugar has been proven to have a direct impact on our mental health, energy levels and even risk for certain cancers.
I was addicted to sugar for many years and I think I’ve finally just freed myself from the addiction. How? I worked to become fat-adapted. And it didn’t happen overnight. It took me about 6 months. I slowly replaced a lot of the sugar and refined carbs I was eating daily (oatmeal, cereal, bread, popcorn, chips, sugary drinks, dressings) with healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, eggs, nut butters, butter, full-fat yogurt, and of course extra virgin olive oil).
Knowing how long it took me to make these changes, I recommend baby steps:
If you take your coffee with sugar, try using just cream. (Apparently full fat dairy or cream is ok!)
If you eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, try eating eggs a few days a week. Or try Bulletproof Coffee and attempt an intermittent fast.
If you eat sandwiches for lunch, swap to big salads a few days a week.
If you’re craving a burger, have it! Just make sure it’s grass-fed and ditch the bun. Add caramelized onions!
And more generally:
Read labels: Sugar is sneaky. Look for simple, natural ingredients that you can pronounce when purchasing foods (real foods - even better!). Shop the perimeter of the supermarket. Don’t venture into the center.
Drink more tea or water: Usually a sugar craving is a sign your body needs something else. Try sparkling waters or tea to keep you occupied.
Add more fat: When sugar cravings strike, go full fat! Fat fills you up in a healthy way; don't be afraid to go heavy on the EVOO!
Are you wondering just how much sugar is ok? I was wondering too, so I asked my nutritionist. She said to limit sugar intake to no more than 25-30g per day. (The average American consumes about 94g of sugar per day). I used to eat a Chobani Flips yogurt as a snack every day which in and of itself had 21g of sugar! The more you know…
Olive Oil Sommelier, Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean lifestyle and eating for health and longevity.
Some of my favorite moments in life are the times after a meal where conversations continue and a second drink is served. I often feel a ping of disappointment in that moment where someone gets up and starts to pick up the dishes. I try not to be that person.