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Day 8: Bye, Bye, Sugar: Why give up?

posted on Friday, 5th September 2014 | find under Tamara
Healthy-eating expert and UK Vogue's contributing editor Calgary Avansino shares her passion for healthy living and explains why everyone should try a sugar-free life. Don't forget to join in with SB ambassador Hollie's Hundreds challenge today too. 

Few people know how much sugar they really consume each day. Cutting out chocolate, sweets and soda from your diet is a great way to start reducing how much of the sweet stuff you eat but your diet may be far higher in sugar than you realise; it’s hidden almost everywhere so eliminating it from meals is no easy task.
But reducing the amount of the sweetened food we consume is something we need to start doing soon now, before sugar (and all its sweet variations) sparks a nationwide health epidemic.
The sad reality is that our health has become severely impacted as a result of  excessive sugar consumption. It is causing an epidemic of expanding waistlines, constant cravings, binge eating, energy crashes, increased blood pressure, a heightened risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The average person consumes roughly 700g of sugar a week, which equates to 140 teaspoons. Experts have said that our bodies are designed to handle only half of that or less. New recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO) state that only 5% of our daily calorie intake should consist of added sugars. For women this is around 5-6 teaspoons (20-24 grams) per day and 35-43 teaspoons (140-172 grams) per week.
Unfortunately, sugar in all its forms can have a very negative effect on your vitality, your weight and your energy levels, so keeping the amount you eat in check is important. We all need to start making long-term changes to both diet and lifestyle in order to feel and look better. It doesn’t have to feel like a punishment and it doesn’t have to be hard; by implementing nutritious swaps within your diet, you will soon feel like it has always been this way.
Sugar-free shopping list:
Breakfast: Coconut oil, almond and peanut butter, apples, avocado, eggs, frozen spinach, plant-based protein powder, gluten-free bread, rolled oats, quinoa flakes, millet, coconut flakes, sliced almonds, plain full-fat and coconut yoghurts, unsweetened coconut and almond milks, blueberries and walnuts.
Lunch and dinner: Green vegetables, colourful vegetables, lean protein (such as chicken, salmon, eggs, tofu, feta and goat’s cheese), good grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat.
Snacks: Raw vegetables, hummus, pesto, guacamole, cheese, roast chickpeas, fresh coconut, coconut flakes, mixed nuts, kale chips, celery sticks, olives, flax crackers and rye toast.
Drinks: Green and herbal teas, green juices (no fruit), water

Easy swaps to try now
Cereal with milk. Food swap: Chia seed pudding made with almond milk
Toast with jam or marmite. Food swap: Wheat-free bread with avocado
Full English breakfast. Food swap: Omelette with spinach and courgette
Cow’s milk. Food swap: The Pressery’s almond milk
Butter. Food swap: Coconut oil or coconut butter
Cheese. Food swap: Nutritional yeast - sprinkle it on anything and it tastes like cheese
Crisps. Food swap: Kale chips
Chocolate. Food swap: Chocolate CoYo yogurt
Snack bars. Food swap: Punch Food Superseeds, almonds, and gluten-free oatcakes

White rice. Food swap: Quinoa, millet, amaranth or buckwheat
White bread. Food swap: Rye bread or gluten-free bread
White pasta. Food swap: Kamut pasta or spelt pasta
Morning coffee. Food swap: Matcha green tea
Concentrated cordial. Food swap: Cold pressed vegetable juice – no fruit
Fruit juice. Food swap: Coconut water 

Don't forget to do Hollie's hundreds challenge today, then it's time to move onto the day 9 challenge.
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