Sugar Awareness Week is just around the corner — the 20th to the 26th of January 2020, to be exact!
However, if you have never heard of this week before, you may not know what it is. But don't fret, we are going to divulge everything, including some tips you can integrate into your life right now to decrease your sugar intake.
What Is Sugar Awareness Week
This week is organised by Action on Sugar to raise awareness of the harmful effects that consuming too much sugar can have on our health.
It comes around once a year and is this organisation's time to speak to the public, congratulate the food industry and talk about plans to reduce sugar and calorie intake further and how to implement this into the government's Childhood Obesity Plan.
Action on Sugar designs posters, factsheets and leaflets which are then distributed to local events happening throughout the week or are put up for the whole year in doctor's surgeries and pharmacies. Due to the technological world we live in, these handouts are also available for download!
Why Do I Crave Sugar?
Craving sugar is very common and can usually be down to simple things like programmed bad habits or as a natural reaction to specific foods that you are including in your diet. For example, eating a low protein diet will trigger this response, as will consuming a high carbohydrate meal plan.
However, sometimes you will have the urge to tuck into a sweet delicacy because you have a nutrient deficiency like iron, magnesium, zinc or calcium for instance.
Although, be mindful that another main reason for craving sugar is depression or an overall bad mood so be sure to 'Q;A' yourself before thinking that it could only be a physical lacking!
How to Stop Sugar Cravings
There are many ways, both large and small, to stop sugar cravings, some of these methods are:
- Realise that if you are hungry, you would be happy eating a meal that comprises components of a healthy diet and not just a doughnut
- Drink a glass of water
- Eat more protein
- Talk to someone
- Get enough sleep
- Try to avoid unnecessary stress
- Don't allow yourself to become too hungry between meal times
In no way is this an exhaustive list, but it is a great starting point for you to kick the sweet cravings!
Simple Sugar-Free Swaps to Try
Luckily, there are sugar-free versions of some of your favourite foods if you look hard enough for them. But, in more generic terms, there are two main aspects of your diet that you can easily change:
A lot of breakfast foods are packed full of sugar — including some of the cereals deemed as 'healthy' — but nowadays, there are a lot of sugar-free breakfast choices out there that you can make ahead of time, like:
- Berry antioxidant smoothie
- Paleo and raspberry loaf
- Vegan banana bread
Similarly, there are numerous sugar-free sauces that taste almost identical to the original versions — and yes, they are widely available in many supermarkets!
So, all you need to do now is keep an eye out for your local Sugar Awareness Week news as the event continues to come ever closer.