Without a doubt, one of the hardest times for avoiding sugary snacks is between meals. The most common time of day being about 3pm. This is a blood sugar problem. If your meals and snacks up to this time have been heavy on the carb front, your blood sugar levels will have been doing a little rollercoaster dance all day long. Get to the afternoon, and they’re doing more of a horizontal dance (and not in a good way).
Poor blood sugar management is one of the most common underlying causes of many of the symptoms that I see in my nutritional therapy practice. Fatigue, headaches, insomnia, irritability, PMS: correcting your blood sugar levels could go a long way to alleviating the majority of these.
So how can you get through the day without reaching that point where you’d run over a small child to get to a Snickers?
3 top tips for avoiding sugary snacks:
1) Protein for breakfast – this is the key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Do not, under any circumstances, skip breakfast! Be sure to include some eggs, nuts and seeds, nut butter, natural yoghurt, avocado or even go continental with a little cold meats and cheese platter.
2) Snack on savouries – you really just have to bin the high-sugar snacks and opt for savoury alternatives. Sugar is hidden in snacks even labelled as ‘healthy’. So all those fat-free cereal bars, fruit bites and breakfast biscuits all have one thing in common: sugar! Always combine fresh or dried fruit with some protein (nuts, seeds, yoghurt), or better still opt for lower GI raw vegetables dipped in houmous or tahini, spread some goat’s cheese on a couple of oatcakes or check out my tomato and avocado ‘burgers’ (pictured)
3) Ditch the white carbs – white bread, pasta and rice, biscuits, cakes, croissants, crumpets and muffins. I know, you’re salivating. But they got to go. These are for occasional treats only and should not form part of your daily diet. The highly refined nature of white flour means that it is absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly causing a spike in your blood sugar, swiftly followed by a big dipper, which only leaves you craving more. Swap these wholegrain alternatives such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, beans & legumes and the snacks mentioned above.
So there you go, some simple swaps that will have you singing ‘sayonara’ to sugar in no time!