Nutritionist Casey-Lee Lyons from Live Love Nourish is passionate about educating people on the positive changes a diet with benefits of limiting sugar and has seen these positive changes impact many lives. We chat with Casey-Lee for her top benefits of quitting sugar and how to curb cravings.
Top Benefits of Giving Up Sugar
- Increased energy.
- Glowing and clearer skin.
- Healthy and natural weight loss.
- Better moods – excessive sugar can make you cranky, contribute to anxiety, depression and mood swings.
- Enhanced overall health – as well as the health benefits of giving up sugar, you are more likely to nourish your body with a healthier whole food diet, helping to improve your overall vitality.
- Balanced blood sugar levels, without sugar spikes.
- Look and feel younger. Reducing refined sugars is a well-known secret to longevity, as excess sugar can cause inflammation and accelerate the aging process.
- Improved gut health – sugar can disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the gut and affect your overall digestive health.
- Boosted immune system.
- Balanced hormones.
- Improved focus, reduced foggy thinking and improved concentration.
- No more 3 pm energy slumps, feeling tired or sluggish in the afternoon.
- Reduced likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Lowered risk of cancer.
- Get back your zest and motivation for life. Removing refined sugar from your diet and fuelling your body with whole foods, gives you more energy and helps you feel more energised and motivated to live your best.
Nutritionist Tips to Help Curb Sugar Cravings
- Use cinnamon in your cooking. Cinnamon is known to help balance sugar levels and reduce sweet cravings.
- Clean out your kitchen – remove any temptation and replace with healthier alternatives.
- Increase your protein intake at main meals.
- Ensure you are eating enough good fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut and extra virgin olive oil.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water – dehydration can often be confused with cravings.
- De-stress. Cravings are worse when you are stressed. Have a bath, go for a walk or get some fresh air. Take your focus away from food.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of good quality sleep. Not enough sleep increases the hunger hormone Ghrelin, making you more likely to snack and reach for sweet treats.
- Boost your meals with fresh, natural flavours such as fresh herbs, spices, fresh lemon or lime juice, spring onions or chilli to help satisfy your palate.
- Avoid processed foods and stick to whole food choices that will nourish and satisfy.
- Embrace savoury foods! The more sweet foods you eat, the more you will look for them.
Natural sugar vs refined sugar
Natural sugars are those found naturally occurring in food, such as in fruit (which also contains nutritional value from fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Refined sugar is the extracted and processed sugar from sugar cane (with no nutritional value).
Natural sugar alternatives include options such as whole fruit, stevia, rice malt syrup, pure maple syrup, raw honey coconut sugar and dates.
Casey-Lee recommends sweetness is best enjoyed from whole fruits and the naturally sweet herb stevia. Natural sweeteners still have a sugar content and should be enjoyed on occasion and minimally for optimal health.
Healthy refined sugar free sweet treat options
Some of my favourite healthier desserts include peanut butter mousse, homemade banana bread (sweetened with banana only); coconut yoghurt with fresh fruit; nice cream (blended frozen banana and berries) and apple and cinnamon crumble parfaits (lightly sweetened with a hint of your choice of natural sweetener).
You can find lots of sugar free and healthy recipes on the Live Love Nourish website.
Casey-Lee Lyons is a naturopath, nutritionist, recipe developer and founder of Live Love Nourish. She is passionate about inspiring health and happiness through easy-to-understand nutritional and lifestyle advice. Casey-Lee’s refreshing approach to gluten, dairy and sugar-free nutrition has helped many people improve their health, increase energy, find their natural weight, improve gut and digestive health, balance hormones, heal cravings and more.