Join Our Newsletter

...and like us on Facebook

* indicates required

The less sweet side of artificial sweeteners

artificial sweeteners advice

I recently found a fantastic article outlining the effect of artificial sweeteners on our bodies and minds from the Food Junkie at Psychology Today.

I hope you enjoy reading it whilst sipping your unsweetened tea :)

“Excessive sugar intake has been linked to a range of maladies including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, accelerated aging, metabolic syndrome and obesity. It’s no wonder people are often looking for a “healthier” option to satisfy his or her sweet tooth. Currently there are 6 approved artificial sweeteners by the FDA; some of which are thousands of times sweeter than table sugar. Many are readily available, placed right next to the sugar packets on restaurant tables waiting to be sprinkled into coffee or tea, while others are incorporated into the processed “reduced sugar” and “diet” snacks foods that line the supermarket shelves.

Even though some people are hesitant to make the switch from sugar to artificial sweeteners due to other health concerns such as cancer and seizures, many people happily consume them on a daily basis. Artificial sweeteners sound great in theory- drinking diet soda, or eating “diet” snacks allows people to experience the sweet taste that he or she craves without the excess calories that come along with typical sugar laden foods. Even though they provide no calories or nutrients when ingested, there is mounting evidence linking artificial sweeteners to list of adverse effects when consuming them- including alterations in gut microflora, cognitive changes, as well as metabolic and endocrine disturbances- making them a less healthy alternative than originally thought.

While some studies have shown that they are helpful as a weight loss tool, the research is still mixed. In one study, people lost more weight and reported feeling less hungry when consuming artificial sweeteners compared to participants that did not. (1) Conversely, observational research shows that people who consume artificial sweeteners are more likely to be overweight or obese. (2) Making many question the utility of them as a diet aid in the first place (however, it is important to note that cause and effect cannot be determined in this type of study).

Logically, a food or beverage that provides no calories or nutrition should not have a physiological impact, however that does not seem to be the case. For one, the quantity needed to provide the perception of sweet taste is at a lower concentration than sugar. Therefore, repeated use may alter perception of sweet taste in some individuals, and the amount needed of dessert, like apple pie or a chocolate brownie is increased in order to get the same satisfaction. In addition, artificial sweeteners have been shown to alter levels of hormones that impact blood sugar control, similar to the effects observed after sugar ingestion.

Newer evidence also shows that artificial sweeteners can cross the blood brain barrier and may trick parts of the brain that control feelings of hunger and satiety. In one study, artificial sweeteners negatively impacted cognition and were associated with a poor future snack choice. This can sabotage weight loss goals and make dieting seem impossible when high calorie snacks are in sight. (3) (4)

Another area of interest is the affects it exerts over the microbiome. Although still in the early stages of research, the microbiome is emerging as a significant component of health. The bacterial stains that populate our intestine can be altered by a variety of factors, including comorbidities, weight status (some strains are more common in obese individuals versus lean) and what we eat- including artificial sweeteners. In one study, it took only 7 days for people consuming the upper acceptable limit of saccharin (set by the FDA) to show significant changes in gut flora. The bacterial strains found in their gut were strains that are associated with type 2-diabetes. Moreover, there was a decrease in glucose control (5)- having the opposite effect of what artificial sweeteners are intended to have.

Although more substantial research is needed and a “one size fits all” recommendation cannot be made, it’s becoming more apparent that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to the same problems that they were originally intended to alleviate, and more thought should be given to their use.”

References:

1. Peters JC, Wyatt HR, Foster GD, Pan Z, Wojtanowski AC, Vander Veur SS, Herring SJ, Brill C, Hill JO. The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12-week weight loss treatment program. Obesity. 2014 Jun;22:1415-21.

2. Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Vine S, Wang YC. Diet-beverage consumption and caloric intake among US adults, overall and by body weight. Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104:e72-8.

3. Burke MV, Small DM. Physiological mechanisms by which non-nutritive sweeteners may impact body weight and metabolism. Physiol Behav. 2015 Jun 3

4. Hill SE, Prokosch ML, Morin A, Rodeheffer CD. The effect of non-caloric sweeteners on cognition, choice, and post-consumption satisfaction. Appetite. 2014 12/1/;83:82-8.

5. Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514:181-6.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food-junkie/201508/the-less-sweet-side-artificial-sweeteners

x DD

Low Carb Lamington Recipe

Lamington Recipe

These delicious looking and enticing coconut dusted cakes are an Australian tradition but have steadily gained popularity in South Africa. Unfortunately, whether bought or made, they are high in processed sugar and flour without beneficial nutrients.

Daily Dietitian’s Lamington recipe uses xylitol for sweeteness and almond flour instead of refined white flour. The xylitol-sugar swop ensure stable blood sugar levels and the almonds add healthy fats and decrease carbohydrate content.

DD SUGAR-FREE, LOW-CARB LAMINGTONS

Serves: 24 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (or coconut oil), at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp xylitol
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the Lamington Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream the butter and xylitol together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the mix. Add milk and vanilla slowly and whisk until you have a creamy texture.
  3. Next, place almond flour, baking powder and salt into a separate mixing bowl, and add the coconut. Add the wet ingredients gradually, mixing well.
  4. Pour this into a brownie pan. Bake for 18–20 mins. They are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Place on a wire rack and let cool, then cut into squares.

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 serving)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 594kJ
  • Protein (g): 4g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 5g

    — of which are sugars (g): 0g

  • Total fat (g): 12g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 54g

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per store-bought Lamington cake slice)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 782kJ
  • Protein (g): 2.3g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 23.0g

    — of which are sugars (g): 17.6g

  • Total fat (g): 9.1g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 127g

(Information taken from www.woolworths.co.za (Lamington Cake Slices 5pk))

Enjoy baking (or let us do it for you)

x DD

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 cup carrot slices
  • 1 Nori sheet

Instructions for Quinoa Sushi Recipe:

  • Spread 3 tbsp hummus over the nori sheet and cover evenly with quinoa. Leave outer edges of nori sheet free of topping.
  • Cut carrots and avo into slices and lay a line of both near edge of nori sheet (about 5cm from one end)
  • Roll nori sheet over carrots and avo and secure side of nori sheet with no topping with water if needed.
  • Cut roll into sushi size pieces.

Benefits of nori:

  • Made from dried seaweed.
  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
  • High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron,magnesium.
  • More vitamin C than oranges.
  • Natural iodine for healthy thyroid function.
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium.
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.

Benefits of quinoa:

  • Popular “superfood”, grain loaded with protein, fiber and minerals.
  • Gluten free.
  • Stems back to the ancient Inca empire they referred to it as the “mother of all grains” … even though it is actually a seed.
  • 100g cooked has 120 calories, 4gr protein, 21g carbs and 2 gr fat.
  • High in flavonoids which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
  • Higher in fiber than most grains.
  • High protein.
  • Low GI for blood sugar control.
  • High in magnesium which many people don’t get enough of and is important for a multitude of bodily functions.

Benefits of hummus:

  • Arabic and Mediterranean dish typically made from chickpeas, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste).
  • 100g has 166 calories, 10g fat, 14 gr carbs, 8g protein
  • Rich in essential minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Also rich in vitamins A, B’s and folate.
  • Low GI so helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Rich in amino acids for healthy muscles and tissues.
  • High fiber for healthy digestive system.
  • Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for inflammation.

Benefits of avocado:

  • Prized for high nutrient value.
  • 100 grams 160 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbs and 15 grams healthy fats.
  • Great source of Vitamin K, C, B, E, folate and potassium.
  • More potassium than bananas – beneficial for reduced blood pressure.
  • Loaded with heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Fats help you absorb fat soluble nutrients like Vit A, D, E, K.
  • High in anti ageing antioxidants
  • Have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber for gut health.
  • Fat and fiber make you feel full; increased saiety means you eat less.

Benefits of carrots:

  • Second most popular after potatoes.
  • 100g has 41 calories, 0.2g fat, 10g carbs, 0,9g protein.
  • Good source of beta carotene which converts into Vit A. Important for eye health.
  • Antioxidants for anti-aging
  • Carotenoids important for heart health
  • High fiber for digestion and gut health.

x DD

10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad For You

 

why sugar is bad for you

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Here are 10 disturbing reasons why sugar is bad for you and you should avoid it like the plague.

1. Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before… but it’s worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just pure energy.

When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth (1).

Bottom Line: Sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients. It also causes tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in the mouth.

2. Added Sugar is High in Fructose, Which Can Overload Your Liver

In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, then you need to understand what it is made of. Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.

Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts. This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it (3).

However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat (4). When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems (5). Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit.

There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.

Bottom Line: For people who are inactive and eat a Western diet, large amounts of fructose from added sugars get turned into fat in the liver. Another reason why sugar is bad for you.

3. Overloading The Liver With Fructose Can Cause Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, not all of the fat gets out, some of it can lodge in the liver.

This can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a growing problem in Western countries that is strongly associated with metabolic diseases (6).

Studies show that individuals with fatty liver consume up to 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person (7, 8).

Bottom Line: Excess fructose gets turned into fat, which can lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Another reason why sugar is bad for you.

4. Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness.

One feature of the metabolic dysfunction that is caused by the Western diet, is that insulin stops working as it should. The cells become “resistant” to it. This is also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases… including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes (9).

Many studies show that sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts (10, 11).

Bottom Line: When people eat a lot of sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can contribute to many diseases.

5. The Insulin Resistance Can Progress to Type II Diabetes

When our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it.

This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm.
Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down. At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of type II diabetes is made.

Given that sugar can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes (12, 13).

Bottom Line: Because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin, it is a leading driver of type II diabetes.

6. Sugar Can Give You Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterised by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.

Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer (14).

In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer (15).

Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer (16, 17, 18).

Bottom Line: There is considerable evidence that sugar, due to its harmful effects on metabolism, can contribute to cancer.

7. Due to its Effects on Hormones and the Brain, Sugar has Unique Fat-Promoting Effects

Not all calories are created equal. Different foods can have different effects on our brains and the hormones that control food intake (19). Studies show that fructose doesn’t have the same kind of effect on satiety as glucose.

In one study, people drank either a fructose-sweetened drink or a glucose-sweetened drink. Afterwards, the fructose drinkers had much less activity in the satiety centres of the brain and felt hungrier (20). There is also a study where fructose didn’t lower the hunger hormone gherkin nearly as much as glucose did (21). Over time, because the calories from sugar aren’t as fulfilling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake.

Bottom Line: Fructose doesn’t cause satiety in the brain or lower the hunger hormone gherkin nearly as much as glucose.

8. Because it Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Sugar is Highly Addictive

Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain (22). The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature (23).

For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods (24). The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food… because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

Bottom Line: Because sugar causes a large release of dopamine in the brain, it can cause addiction in a lot of people.

9. Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults

The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. It leads to decreased satiety… and can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption. Not surprisingly, people who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. This applies to all age groups.

Many studies have examined the link between sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association (25). The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity (26). One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

Bottom Line: Because of the effects of sugar on hormones and the brain, sugar dramatically increases the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

10. It Ain’t The Fat… It’s SUGAR That Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease

The last reason on why sugar is bad for you, is that for for many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease… which is the #1 killer in the world. However… new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless (27, 28).

The evidence is mounting that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism (29). Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidised LDL (very, very bad), raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity… in as little as 10 weeks (30).

These are all major risk factors for heart disease. Not surprisingly, many observational studies find a strong statistical association between sugar consumption and the risk of heart disease (31, 32, 33).

Take Home Message on Why Sugar is Bad for You

For people who can’t tolerate it, added sugar is incredibly harmful. Empty calories are just the tip of the iceberg.

For help in staying sugar free, contact us or go to the Daily Dietitian website and sign up to get your own personalised healthy meal plan and meal delivery.

x DD

6 Important Truths About Carbs & Which Ones You Should Eat

truths about carbs

It’s a common scenario: You’re out to lunch with co-workers, and you say no to the bread basket that’s passed around. Then an annoying co-worker across the table from you pipes up with, “Are you not eating carbs anymore? Are you on a diet?”

Au contraire, mon frère. You’re actually still eating carbs (carbohydrates, that is).

While you have an inquisitive co-worker, it’s easy to understand if their comments are guided under a common misunderstanding: “All carbs are bad!”

With so much information flying around from many emphatic sources, carbs are often relegated to doomed, definitive statements like:

  • “Carbs are bread and pasta!”
  • “Carbs make you fat!!!”
  • “Carbs aren’t healthy!!!”

First of all, there’s no need to use so many exclamation points. Second of all, this is only half the story… and a good opportunity to help you keep making healthy choices .

6 Important Truths About Carbs

  1. They are a nutrient: They’re one of three major nutrients your body needs to function, with the other two being fat and protein.
  2. They are found in food: Not just bread and pasta, like our restaurateur thinks. They’re also found in unprocessed whole foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables (more on that coming up).
  3. They are an energy source: There are several forms of carbohydrates, with the primary form your body uses called glucose. There are other less common types such as dextrose and fructose, with fructose becoming an increasing part of our diet over the last few decades, with a strong correlation to the worldwide increase in obesity.
  4. They increase insulin: Insulin is the body’s primary regulator of fat metabolism, so perhaps this is the piece of the puzzle as to why most associate carbs with gaining weight. When insulin levels go up, we store fat. When it falls, we use fat for fuels. It’s important to know that over time, due to many different factors – eating an excess of carbohydrates is one of them – the body can become more resistant to insulin, causing an increase in insulin production.
  5. They impact blood sugar: Insulin, as mentioned above, primarily works to lower blood sugar to healthier levels. When it comes to Insulin resistance, it leads to higher blood sugar. Persistently high blood sugar, otherwise known as diabetes, affects your metabolic health and can result in such diseases as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, or ulcers.
  6. Different carbs do different things: Not all carbs are created equal. When it comes to optimal and total health – metabolic, cardiovascular, liver, kidney, bone, and blood – there are health benefits from some, and little from others.

Slow digesting carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to rise

Fast to digest carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to spike

In general, slower blood sugar/insulin rises are healthier than frequent blood sugar/insulin spikes.

Fast Digesting vs. Slow Digesting

Fast digesting carbs are typically processed carbs, such as starches, liquid carbohydrates, and foods made of refined flours. Think breads, pastas, muffins, cereals, cake, chips, cookies, beer, wine, fruit juice, soda, corn, potatoes, and rice.

These refined, processed foods are not as nutrient dense and are known to increase inflammation, diabetes, and insulin resistance because of the insulin and blood sugar impact we talked about above. Less fiber in your food means you might not feel as full or satiated when you eat, causing you to overeat which can lead to weight gain.

When your body has fiber to digest, you benefit in multiple ways, such as gut protection, through your body’s creation of its own butyric acid. Fiber lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels and improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Increased fiber intake also benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

Slower digesting carbs are called complex carbs and, when consumed in healthy moderation, have the fiber to keep your gut healthy and you satiated. Think sweet potatoes, veggies (such as kale, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli), fruits in their whole form (berries and citrus fruits) and beans.

The micronutrients found in these foods also give you necessary vitamins and minerals that play an important role in keeping your body healthy and functioning.

Tying it all together:

If we revisit our lunch salad from earlier: A salad of mixed greens, some bell peppers, cucumber slices, kidney beans, and avocado, would contain carbs that give the necessary glucose and energy you need, but won’t make your blood sugar fly off the charts as it would if you ate the influx of carbs that processed foods bring.

Being mindful to have a daily diet comprised mainly of the beneficial kinds of carbs will help move you toward optimal health, maintain a healthy weight, and control your blood sugar.

For those of you who don’t want to think about carbs, which ones you should be eating and how much of them, let us help you.

Sign up to get perfectly portioned, tailored meals and snacks delivered to your door.

x DD

How to manage your energy levels and decrease your sugar intake

Decrease Sugar
A steady, even blood sugar level is key to a healthy body. Unfortunately, many people ride the blood sugar rollercoaster. They have toast with jam for breakfast, need something sweet after lunch, and are gagging for a coffee when 3pm rolls around. These constant energy lifts and crashes are signs of imbalance. Here are some tips decreasesugar and still maintain your energy.

How blood sugar works

When we ingest high-GI foods (like processed and refined foods), we release glucose, causing a rapid spike in our blood sugar levels. Some of that glucose is used for energy; however, our body only needs a limited amount to function so the excess is stored as – yep, you guessed it – fat. After that glucose has been distributed (and after it spikes our blood sugar), we crash quickly, experiencing fatigue, hunger and irritation. It’s a fast rise, and an even faster come down. When our energy is low, we crave carbohydrates and sugar to pick us up. And the cycle starts over.

What about insulin?

Insulin is secreted by the pancreas, and is in charge of moving glucose into cells. The problem is, it’s a fat storage hormone. So when you regularly have excessive glucose, you’re left with insulin resistance, which is the precursor to diabetes. Insulin also blocks the effects of the leptin hormone, the one that signals to our brain that we’re full. That’s why people with a high-sugar diet tend to overeat – they literally don’t know when to stop. Thanks to the rise of processed foods (and very clever marketing!), there are record numbers of people with high insulin levels.

Here are the benefits of having a stable blood sugar levels:

  • Increased energy
  • Stable mood
  • Improved concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cravings
  • Hormonal balance
  • Minimised risk of disease

The balancing act to decrease sugar

Want to get off the rollercoaster for good?

  • Enjoy low-GI foods (like veggies, lean protein, wholegrains, and good fats) to allow for the slow release of energy.
  • Eat protein with each meal.
  • Switch to 5-6 small meals a day.
  • Add good fats to your meal, particularly at lunch. This should reduce sugar cravings.
  • Include a healthy, protein-rich snack in between meals.
  • Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up,and make sure it includes protein and a healthy fat.
  • Avoid sugar and refined carbs (e.g. white bread, pasta, lollies) – these are the worst offenders!
  • Limit yourself to 2 portions of fruit a day. Berries are the best choice.
  • Avoid soda, fruit juice and artificial sweeteners like the plague.
  • Manage your stress. Our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are directly linked to blood sugar. Stress does not do your body any favours.
  • Reduce stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
  • Have a teaspoon of cinnamon a day.

TOP TIP:

BRUSH YOUR TEETH AFTER DINNER TO STOP YOURSELF FROM EATING DESSERT :)

Supplements that help regulate blood sugar

Support yourself with chromium, magnesium, B complex and vitamin C. Chat to your nutritionist or naturopath for more information.

Curbing your sweet tooth

When your blood sugar is stable, you automatically crave less sugar. Then, start adding more dark, leafy greens to your plate. Think kale, spinach, broccoli, and rocket. This will trick your tastebuds into appreciating bitter foods over sweet ones. Greens are also loaded with magnesium, the nutrient that regulates blood sugar. Step it up a notch by squeezing lemon juice over rocket before your meals, and adding vanilla extract to smoothies and yoghurt.

Then, try to get to the root of your cravings. What are you really hungry for? Since sweet treats are associated with joy (like birthdays), many people crave sugar when they are unhappy about something. We think that cookie is going to make us feel better, when in fact it just makes us feel worse. Whenever I crave something sweet, I either make myself a delicious and wholesome alternative (like sweet potato brownies), or I do something else that makes me happy, such as reading a magazine, going for a walk with my dog, chatting to my friends, or having a bath.

If you need help getting on the right track, email us on hello@dailydietitian.co.za and we’ll be happy to help!

x DD