There are times when too much of a good thing can be great and then there are times when it is simply excessive. The occasional Starbucks tea and ginger biscuit had become a daily habit. So it was that I found myself reaching for Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ book and started on the program. That was ten days ago.
Recent health reports have shown a marked increase in earlier onset of diabetes type 2 and heart disease. Research suggests that sugar may be the culprit and that it may be as addictive as cocaine whilst being as harmful as tobacco.
Sarah Wilson, a former editor of Australian Cosmopolitan, wrote about her research and personal experience on a low sugar program to treat her auto-immune disease. Her e-book turned into the New York Times bestseller ‘I Quit Sugar’.
Sarah says, “Quitting sugar is about eating the way we did before the age of industrial sugar. A hundred years ago we ate 1 kg of sugar a year – now we eat 60kg a year.”
One teaspoon of sugar = 4.2g. The World Health Organisation has recently updated guidelines for daily intake from 40g per day down to 20g (5 teaspoons). What you are actively looking to reduce is fructose, which converts directly to fat. It inhibits the immune system, upsets the mineral balance and is linked to early ageing and dementia.
Get started now:
1) replace sugar with healthy fats and protein
2) use the right oils and spreads – avoid all polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower oil and switch to organic butter and coconut oil instead
3) drink lots of water – at least two litres a day
4) do some exercise every day – 30 to 60 minutes
5) learn to read labels – choose foods with less that 5g of sugar per 100g.
Sarah devised an 8 week program to kick the sugar habit for good. Foods that are particularly helpful include coconut oil, cacao, cheese, chicken, chai tea, chia seeds, cinnamon, coconut water and coffee.
What to expect:
I went cold turkey and suffered withdrawal symptoms with flu-like muscle aches and headaches for the first 3 days. I persisted and less than two weeks into the program I am enjoying heightened energy levels, radiant skin and a better night’s sleep. I eat exactly what I want with an emphasis on organic vegetables and protein and am happy to say that I no longer crave the sweet stuff.
This is not a diet, it is a way of living without processed food. Three years from when she first started, Sarah’s new book ‘I Quit Sugar for Life’ is released in the UK this week.