Remember when all you saw on social media were smoothies packed with bananas, dates, pears, mangoes—and maybe a pinch of spinach? Those days are long gone if you carefully examine the feeds of food bloggers and influencers in the holistic living realm. Now smoothies are full of almond butter, kale, chlorophyll, turmeric, and adaptogens. But why the shift?
Why Low-Sugar Meals are Trending on Social
Knowledge. Yep, as more info about the impact of sugar on our health (many cite side effects like brain fog, decreased energy and slower metabolism) bubbles up, more doctors, dietitians and nutritionists are banging the low-sugar drum.
Influencers with ties to integrative and functional medicine are leading the charge, and spreading the message about sugars harmful effects including how it can trigger inflammation in the body. Low-grade, long-term inflammation is linked to lots of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even depression. Not only can sugar trigger inflammation, but it can be responsible for creating imbalances in your brain chemicals, disrupting gut function, feeding pathogens such as yeast and bacteria, as well as disrupting your hormonal function.
And sugar is lurking in everything from ketchup, yogurt, and soups to processed, refined grains, which your body treats like sugar as it breaks them down. So we’re pushing the limits of what our bodies can truly cope with when we’re not totally paying attention.
When starting to adapt to a low-sugar meal plan, take a second and reflect about what you’ve eaten over the past few days. Go back through all the ingredient lists (don’t forget about the ‘other ingredients’ list!) and determine what products you are using that contain sugar and formulate a plan to replace them with sugar-free options. The best way to fight inflammation, and lower sugar consumption? Eating whole foods.
How does fruit tie into this low-sugar living? It’s not the enemy, but with all things, moderation is key. The darker the fruit the better – if presented with a banana verses a blueberry, snag the berry! Dark fruits and berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that outweigh the sugar content. If you’re consuming smoothies as part of your daily routine, make sure you’re filling them with majority veggies, to keep your blood sugar stable and decrease inflammation.
Add These to Your Smoothie In Place of Fruit
- Frozen cauliflower, zucchini, or peas: You’ll get the creamy consistency that frozen fruit produces, with lots of nutrient-dense goodness.
- Avocado: Swap half an avocado for half a banana for a boost of healthy fat that’ll help keep you fuller longer.
- Almond butter: Another way to get a creamy consistency with a little extra nutty boost.
Are you ready to jump on this long-term, low-sugar bandwagon? We’re thinking anything is worth a healthy shot!
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.