The BEST (and worst) foods to eat when you quit sugar

By Rachel O'Regan |

Keys2words - Protein Packed Pancakes

We don’t encourage you to think about foods as inherently “good” or “bad”.

But when you ditch the sweet stuff, choosing foods that satisfy and suppress your sugar cravings rather than foods that make them worse, will set you up for success. 

Read on to discover the best foods to stock up on (and some you should definitely avoid!).

The best foods to eat…

1. Cinnamon: This sweet spice may actually lower blood sugar. Sprinkle it over porridge, buttered toast or roast sweet potatoes when you have a sugar craving.

2. Probiotics: A poor diet can cause an imbalance of gut bacteria, so it’s important to rebuild the good bugs with probiotics. Supplement your diet with plain yoghurt, sauerkraut and, our personal favourite, (it’s a little sweet, too).

3. Nuts: A handful of nuts gives your body a shot of protein and healthy fats, to stamp out hunger and sugar cravings. Nuts are also great sources of vitamins and minerals to support your body through the detox.

4. Bitter greens: Speaking of detoxing, bitter foods (such as) have been shown to heal the liver. The liver is great at detoxing your body, but sometimes it needs a little love!

5. Haloumi: Honestly, a slice of grilled haloumi is the best cure for a raging craving. It’s something about the salty, fatty goodness – try it and see for yourself.

The worst foods to eat…

1. Honey/agave/dates/maple syrup: The so-called “healthy” sugars? They all contain moderate to high levels of fructose, the addictive, liver-straining sugar we’re trying to quit. In fact, agave can contain up to 90 per cent fructose.

2. Artificial sweeteners: Eating a bunch of artificial sweeteners while quitting sugar will not help you retrain your taste buds. Besides, artificial sweeteners have been shown to .

3. Fake fats: We’re talking about those “vegetable oils” and margarines which are highly refined, bleached, deodorised, coloured and flavoured. They’re inflammatory, taste bad and won’t keep you satisfied.

4. Pre-made sauces: Don’t get caught out by sauces and marinades – they’re often laden with sugar (we found one BBQ sauce with 3⅓ teaspoons of sugar per 30ml). Instead, make your own.

5. Sugar. It seems obvious, but try and resist the temptation to have “just a little bit” during the recalibration period. Fructose activates the brain’s reward system so that once you eat some, you’ll definitely want more!

But don’t worry – if you do fall off the wagon, try our and a little support from the IQS team will get you through.

We originally published this post in December 2016. We updated it in June 2017.

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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