How to break up with sugar

Good friends sometimes tell you the hard truth, and so as difficult as it is to say, we need to be honest: you’re in a bad relationship, and it’s time you break up. With sugar.

Good friends sometimes tell you the hard truth, and so as difficult as it is to say, we need to be honest: you’re in a bad relationship, and it’s time you break up. With sugar.

We’ve written about the negative toll fructose — the dangerous, addictive part of sugar — takes on your life here. From weight gain to acne to depression and anxiety to chronic illness, sugar impacts your mental, physical, and emotional health. Unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest habits to quit. We’ve compiled some of our favourite (and most delicious) ways to officially split up with the sweet stuff without feeling like you’re going cold turkey.

Create new rituals

Part of the power of dessert is the ritual around it: it signals the end of the day, a time to relax and indulge, a few moments where you can leave the stresses and worries behind.

We’re all about that personal time, so instead of giving it up, switch it up. Forego a sweet dessert and opt for some homemade golden milk (turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and your nut milk of choice), loose-leaf tea (licorice is a good bet), or, if you’re still feeling hunger pangs, a baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon or a handful of nuts.


We don’t think we could stick to any diet that tells us to cut out chocolate completely. Cacao, or the cocoa bean’s purest form, is packed with nutrients and minerals: it has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, more calcium than cow’s milk, loads of heart and brain-friendly magnesium, and it naturally elevates your mood and alleviates depression. And that’s just the start of the full list of benefits. Blend it into smoothies or chia seed pudding, or grab a few cacao chips to nibble on. Cadbury won’t be able to compete.

Our Ruby Sunrise Chia Pudding is sprinkled with cacao nibs to add some chocolatey crunch, and we love it for breakfast or dessert. You can even add some of your favourite fresh berries on top to create a treat so decadent, you won’t even miss that sugary chocolate pudding.

Find an ice cream substitute

There are few things as seductive as ice cream in the freezer, and after a long week, don’t you deserve to treat yourself? Instead of a late night with Ben and Jerry, try blending a frozen banana with almond milk for “nice” cream.

To mix it up, pop in some cacao, almond butter, or fresh fruit slices. Greek yogurt swirled with cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and almonds also makes for a decadent, delicious snack (and any dessert that’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast is a good one in our book.)

Stay positive

When taking on a big change, it’s easy to get upset over depriving yourself of a former staple or feeling like your new lifestyle is too limiting. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think of all that you’re gaining: healthier habits, a healthier diet, and a healthier lifestyle.

It doesn’t hurt that there are plenty of tasty alternatives to sugar, and most restaurants will be accommodating if you let them know you’re sugar-free. While alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation anyway, this doesn’t mean you have to skip happy hour with your mates — just opt for a dry red wine or vodka with lemon and water instead of a sugar-laden cocktail.

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Published: 04/08/17

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