Detox The Easter Sugar Binge
If you’ve indulged in Easter chocolate, hot cross buns and treats over the last week, you’re probably well aware that you’ve had a fair share of sugar. Feeding your sweet tooth may be enjoyable, but it’s not ideal for optimal health.
Many people are aware that consuming large amounts of added and refined sugars is associated with various health problems including cardiovascular disease and inflammation.
But these days, sugar is added in hard-to-understand amounts to seemingly innocent foods such as cereals, salad dressings, dips, breads, etc. So chocolate isn’t the only thing to blame!
Here’s a handy tip to keep added sugar in perspective: 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon. The recommended upper limit of sugar intake is 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Keep that in your back pocket for evaluating packaged foods at the shops!
Take the plunge?
Some nutrition experts recommend going cold turkey on sugar to nip the cravings--i.e. cutting out all processed sugars for at least three days. Though that can be a painful request, it may help your body and taste buds reset.
After a few days to a couple of weeks without added sugar, fruit (nature’s own lollies) will then taste a lot sweeter and satisfying. And remember: The sugar in fruit comes packaged with fibre and nutrients that help stem blood sugar spikes while providing a range of health benefits. No need to fear the fruit!
Even if you’re not keen on saying goodbye to a love affair with sugar, there are ways you can support your body after a particularly sweet holiday like Easter.
Sweet treats are easy to consume in large quantities which also makes it easy to load up on unhealthy calories. Exercising is a great way to use up this excess energy and help shift stored body fat.
Physical activity has also been shown to reduce low-grade inflammation that is linked to a growing list of chronic diseases.
Eat healthy and whole
Replace the processed sugar calories with healthy ones. Focus on whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. These foods are high in fibre and are slower to digest, keeping you fuller for longer. They can also help ease inflammation, benefit your microbiome, help stabilise your blood sugar and lower your risk of some chronic diseases.
Support your liver
The liver plays a large role in detoxifying the body and can be negatively impacted by sugar consumption. There is some evidence that lemon water can help the liver through an antioxidant effect. Drink some in warm water first thing in the morning before breakfast to rehydrate after sleep.
Hydration is important for every cell and organ in the body. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support kidney function while it filters out unwanted toxins from the body.
Practising healthy diet and lifestyle habits is a great way to support your body after high sugar intake. Sometimes solutions are simple, but tricky to implement. Just stick with it and give your body time to recover.