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 Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
This time of year, there's always a lot of pressure to implement quick-fixes around our health to reach certain goals. But, my purpose in starting Kosterina was always to help more people create accessible, healthy habits for themselves and their families over the long-term.
We've been spending more time at home than ever this year because of the pandemic, and because of that many of us have been engaging in old pastimes like playing board games or even making crafts. But, none of those activities beat how much we've been experimenting with cooking at home over the past 8 months.