Going sugar free is very much in the news right now, and in our minds too, as you can see by the story we did earlier in the week on Daisy Lowe, who is currently writing a sugarfree book called Sweetness And Light and making recipe videos exclusively for us. And although we are of the Everything in Moderation Camp here at Grazia HQ, we also want to know about what it's like to go sugar-free, and how you avoid the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. So we asked Henrietta Norton, founder of Food-State brand Wild Nutrition, what to look out for if you're thinking of cutting out sugar completely, or just if you simply want advice on how to cut down and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Henrietta and her team specialise in bespoke super-charged nutrients, supplements and nutritional advice - to aid everything from weightloss, to stress and sleep. And when it comes to eating well, they really know their stuff. Henrietta has narrowed the things you need to know about going sugarfree down to five R's, below….
High sugar diets damage cellular tissue (think ageing skin and increased inflammation) so boost your new low-sugar/sugar-free regime with zinc, vitamin C and selenium to support cellular repair. Pumpkin seeds, broccoli and whole-grains such as millet and brown rice are all excellent sources.
Do not replace sugar with sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, saccharin or sorbitol, as they have been shown to stimulate an insulin response similar to that of refined sugar. Don't be afraid of fructose but only have it if in the form of whole fruit (and even then have it in moderate amounts), not in juices.
If you are struggling with sugar cravings, particularly mid afternoon when energy levels tend to drop, you might wish to consider adding a supplement with the trace mineral Chromium to your diet. Research shows this important mineral can reduce the symptoms of 'sugar withdrawal' by stabilizing blood glucose, reducing cravings and sugar-induced fat gain.
Food-State GTF Chromium, £16, Wild Nutrition
High sugar diets can result in fatty deposits in the liver and can over time, can interrupt liver function leading to disease. To optimize your sugar ‘detox’ consider supporting your liver with a specific liver cleansing programme or supplement. With my clients I will often start here, and use my 28-Day Total Cleanse programme to support the process. In fact spring is a much better time of year to do this than January!
Total Cleanse Programme, £85, Wild Nutrition
Stabilize your blood glucose to reduce cravings by eating every 4 hours and adding a source of protein (nuts, pulses, seeds, lean meat) and fat (avocado, seeds oils, fresh oily fish) into each meal. This will help to reduce the lows and highs of energy and cognitive function often experienced with those removing sugar from the diet.
Find out more at wildnutrition.com