SUGAR ADDICTION IS REAL!
You start your day with a cup of coffee and bowl of cereal. By mid morning you're reaching for another cuppa and a handful of biscuits. Roll on lunch time!
Lunch comes and you reach for a quick sandwich, packet of crisps and can whilst you plough on through the work. The dreaded mid afternoon lull soon appears as does the need for a caffeine top up. Is it home time yet?
If this is you then you're not alone - far from it!
Sugar addiction is real! Sugar triggers the brains pleasure and reward centres – areas in the emotional centres of the brain responsible for the release of the “feel good” neurotransmitter called dopamine. The same brain areas are stimulated by cocaine, nicotine & opiates like heroin and morphine, as well as alcohol.
When you start the day with a bowl of cereal, in pretty much every case, you’re starting with a bowl of sugar. Even those cereals we supposed should be ‘good for you’ featuring bran and fibre are full of sugar. Breakfast cereals commonly aimed at children have the equivalent sugar content of two and a half chocolate biscuits.
Starting your day with a protein rich, lower sugar breakfast can make a HUGE difference to the rest of your day and how you feel. Here are some ideas to get you thinking...
Easy breakfast swaps - Boiled egg with wholemeal toast soldiers
- Scrambled egg on wholemeal or rye toast
- Overnight oats or Porridge Muffin frittata or Omelette - Greek yoghurt and berries - Stewed apples, with yoghurt and sugar-free granola. - Banana pancakes - (Make simply with 1 small banana and 2 eggs. Mash).
It’s easy to think that juices and smoothies are healthy options, but one glass of orange juice can contain the equivalent of 5 teaspoons of sugar and none of the fibre to slow its progress into your bloodstream. Fruit laden smoothies do just the same.
Ditch the biscuits and consider some alternative snacks:
Simple snacks - Cut up apple or pear with almond butter (unsweetened). - Oatcakes with smoked salmon or mackerel pate. - Small pot of natural yoghurt with pureed fruit (berries, apple, pear or plum)
- A handful of mixed nuts and seeds - Hard-boiled egg and a couple of cherry tomatoes - Carrot sticks, red pepper strips, celery, cucumber with hummus - Muffin frittatas (as before).
If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar (said without judgement), you might find the first few days of going sugar free tough – but don't let that be what stops you trying. It’s not uncommon to experience low levels of energy, low mood, or to feel shaky. Persevere. It will definitely be worth it.