Following a holistic lifestyle encourages a healthy diet, so sugar is not on the menu. Right? Well, 75% of Americans eat more sugar than advised, so we should all eat a bit less. However, the truth is that sugar is not as evil as we’ve been taught. The problem isn’t eliminating sugar altogether. It lies in getting the right sugars.
This blog will explain why sugar isn’t the devil in our diets, but it does need to be managed. You don’t need to sacrifice all sugar to be lean or even lose weight. Plus, we’ll reveal healthy sugar sources to satisfy your sweet tooth while maintaining a holistic lifestyle.
Natural sugars vs. processed sugars
When experts say eat less sugar, they mean eat less added sugar. Added sugars are not the same as naturally occurring ones, like those in dairy or fruit. Natural sugars are perfectly okay for a balanced, holistic diet. That’s because natural sugars usually come with vitamins, fiber, minerals and nutrients that offset any negative effects. Embrace natural sugars and avoid processed ones.
What happens when you eat sugar?
To keep things basic, let’s look at your average table sugar. It’s made of two parts: glucose and fructose. Glucose is the form of sugar that’s used for energy. When your body gets too much glucose, it stores it for later use as fat. Fructose, on the other hand, isn’t converted into energy because it’s metabolized by the liver. Fructose is the sugar to stay away from.
So what happens when you sneak some Halloween candy (or something that contains processed sugar)? That spike affects your hormones by triggering a stress response and releasing cortisol. This mental state means your body pulls glucose from your muscles or liver, not from fat stores because it’s faster. Boo.
To keep your body pulling glucose, or energy, from your fat reserves, you have to stay out of this fight-or-flight mode. That means avoiding cupcakes and opting for natural sugar, like fruit whose sugar is absorbed slowly thanks to fiber.
Learn More: CBD helps regulate your biological responses to external and internal stressors, keeping you out of fight-or-flight mode
Is it best to cut all sugar from your diet?
In short, sure - but it’s not realistic. There are many benefits to cutting out sugar like fewer headaches, more energy, reduced inflammation, etc. But it’s extremely difficult to avoid sugar completely. Of the 600,000 common supermarket products, nearly 80% of them have added sugar. If you try to eat natural sugars and stay under the limit of 25g of fructose per day, you shouldn’t experience sugar’s negative effects at all.
To eat less sugar, focus on eating more protein like fish, lean meats, vegetables, seeds and nuts. The fiber in extra vegetables and beans will reduce hunger pains you might experience when weaning off a sugary diet. Also, drink lots of water and avoid artificial sweeteners. They actually encourage sugar cravings!
If you want a sweet treat, reach for a multi-vitamin gummy instead of a sugary snack, like VIVI’s Daily Vivant or C-Sweet CBD gummies.