There’s more to sugar than its seemingly innocent facade of pure crystal whiteness. It’s widely known to contribute to insulin spikes (food comas), hormonal imbalance, and the worst? Cancer cells love it. Sugar essentially turns into glucose, which is what cancer cells feed off for energy. Yeah, food for cancer is what it is.
This man-made horror is often unseen, invading your breakfast cereal behind misleading monikers, lurking in your favourite frappuccino under the disguise of flavour. Act now before you end up six feet under or sixty pounds over, whichever comes first.
So if you don’t want to die a slow, sugar-coated death, get on with these survival strategies:
#1 Know thy enemy
Losers have one thing in common: they never knew their opponents well enough. To win this battle, you need to unmask the many identities of sugar: fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose and maltose. Although the packaging says “sugar-free”, chances are you’ll find one of the above in the list of ingredients. So read the labels carefully before paying for cancer food (I just can’t drop that).
#2 Spot the fakes
There are conflicting opinions on whether artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame are safe. But one thing’s for sure, they are sweeter than natural sugars; if you do use them, use less. On the fence about using artificial sweeteners in your coffee or tea? Keep it real and use honey instead.
#3 Get adventurous with your tongue
Open your taste buds (and mind) to the tantalising world of natural flavours. Give sugar a miss and sprinkle some cinnamon on your cappuccino or add some ground ginger in your tea. If you have a sweet tooth, learn how to bake your own kurang manis version. Who knows, it could be the start of your new artisanal, handcrafted, sweet but sugarless, natural and wholesome, #bakeriesofinstagram business?
#4 Turn your back on the white stuff
We’re not talking about coke, but stuff like white bread and white rice. Actually, coke too, that is just terrible stuff and not to mention punishable by death. Anyway, aforementioned bread and rice do contain more sugar than their brown counterparts. If you absolutely must (every carb and fruit turns into glucose) go for wholemeal bread and brown rice whenever possible.
#5 Get chummy with nature
Rule of thumb is, the more processed the food is, the more unhealthy it gets. Consume fruit in their natural state instead of buying packaged fruit juices. If whatever you’re about to put in your mouth didn’t fall from a tree or grow from the ground, it’s probably a trojan horse for sugar. Having said that, keep in mind how much of fruits, smoothies, or seemingly natural yet sweet stuff you consume everyday. You’re really only meant to have 25 grams of sugar a day, any type of sugar. So it’s not only about what sweet stuff you take, but also how much you take in a day.
It’s not easy changing your diet and getting the sugar monster under control. Celebrate little milestones along way to stay motivated. Dropped a dress size? Treat yourself to a decadent massage (happy endings optional). Ditched soft drinks for good? Book a staycation! After a while, you’ll find yourself feeling lighter and healthier. Now isn’t that the best reward for escaping death?