Tips for Reducing Sugar with Endometriosis.

We are all guilty of it at times, who doesn’t love something sweet.  A cookie here and a piece of candy there. We often don’t think of the effects sugar has on our bodies or endometriosis. However, over time sugar can have a lot of negative effects.  Here are some great tips for reducing sugar with Endometriosis.

First, let’s discuss how sugar affects our bodies.  When we consume something that is sugary and sweet, it sends a signal to our brain to release Dopamine.  This is a type of neurotransmitter, which plays a role in making us feel happy.  So, when we eat sugar, we feel as though we have eaten something good for ourselves.  Our body then beings to crave the feeling more, which makes up crave more and more sugar.

Sugar can also affect our mood causing us to feel irritable, anxious, or even depressed.  The constant spikes and crashing of our blood sugar are the cause of this.

Not only does sugar have a negative effect on our brain but it also causes weight gain and inflammation. As we all know inflammation is something that we want to avoid with endometriosis.

Let’s look at some of the other names for sugar, that might cause some confusion.

Brown Sugar  • Corn Sweetener • Corn Syrup • Fruit Juice Concentrates • High Fructose Corn Syrup • Honey •  Malt Sugar • Molasses • Dextrose • Fructose • Glucose • Lactose • Maltose • Sucrose 

The AHA recommends women consume no more than 24 grams of sugar or 6 teaspoons per day.

Tips for Reducing Sugar

  1. Read Labels:  Learn what to look for in the labels.  Make sure that the above sugars aren’t hidden.  Check out the Added Sugars, Natural Sugars, and Total Sugars that are listed.  As well as the serving size.  Added sugar means the amount of sugar that has been added during the processing phase.   Natural sugars are what naturally occur in foods like fruit. Total sugars are all of the sugars together.
  2. Whole Foods:  Opt for whole foods when you can.  Also, try to minimize the number of ingredients in a food that you are choosing.
  3. Healthy Swap: Learn to make a healthy swap for recipes that call for sugar.  You can use unsweetened apple sauce or pitted dates.  You can swap out milk chocolate for some unsweetened dark chocolate.
  4. Snack Wisely:  When choosing a snack, try opting for fresh fruit & veggies.  Limit the number of processed snacks you consume in a day.
  5. Drink Smart: Most often we overlook what we are drinking throughout the day or on the weekends.  Did you know that a 12 oz Coca-Cola has 39 grams of sugar & most margaritas contain 55 grams of sugar? Make smart decisions when choosing what to drink.  Try adding lemon, lime, orange, mint, or cucumber to your water for some flavor.
  6. Unsweetened Milk Options: When choosing almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk, check the sugar.  You might find that the unsweetened option has less and doesn’t have much of a different taste.
  7. Fancy Coffee: Who doesn’t love all the fancy coffee options that are available these days.  However, most of these contain high sugar amounts. Choose low sugar milk, creamers, etc.  Add spices to your coffee for some added flavor.
  8. Spice it up: Use different spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice for oatmeal, pancakes, and coffee.
  9. Check the Labels: be aware of fat-free and low-fat options that contain higher amounts of sugar. This is usually found in peanut butter, salad dressing, yogurts, and prepackaged foods.
  10. Fresh or Frozen Fruit:  Opt for fresh or frozen fruits instead of dried or canned which contain heavy sugar.

When eating with endometriosis, there is no miracle cure. Our bodies can react differently to foods, but it is helpful to keep inflammation down when you can.  Make some small adjustments can help with this.  As an Endometriosis Coach, I am here to help you reach your wellness goals even when dealing with endometriosis.

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