The three white no’s diet challenge is the first diet challenge that the team at treatitright.com is inviting you to do!
What is a diet challenge?
By our definition, a diet challenge is changing a week’s worth of food consuming habits. The challenges will require quite a lot of mental preparation, tons of willpower to overcome your old habits and the wish to experiment on your body. This diet challenge consists of saying no to three common, everyday foods that we don’t directly consume (unless you do?), but they are the bane of our health issues and problems. What are they? They are the “Three White Drugs of Food”! They are salt, sugar, and flour!
But why salt, sugar and flour?
In our modern society, we consume a lot more than we need. And as we do it, we may not understand what we are consuming. While that is being proved by many studies, we have to minimize the intake of these foods if we wish to lead a better, stronger lifestyle. To do this, we have to learn how to alter our food choices, so that our bodies wouldn’t feel horrible without the use of sugar, salt or flour. The question arises – what is the most difficult thing about this challenge? To say the least, the mental state of your well being is going to be challenged, but there’s nothing you can’t overcome with enough will and wish. Not convinced yet? Let me prove why should you get rid of “White Drugs of Food”, or atleast minimize it as possible.
Salt, chemically known as sodium chloride, is found everywhere, from a restaurant table to the basic need of life. And so the question appears, can we give it up it in our basic, everyday diet? No, it’s actually almost impossible not to get the minimum requirements for salt in any kind of food. You see, plants and animals alike need sodium to survive. Some plants need sodium for metabolism, while animals need a bigger amount of salt as it regulates blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic pressure and pH levels. That being said, to have a salt free diet means eating specific plants with no trace of sodium in them. Once again, we do not recommend such diet, but, we recommend to minimize it as possible.
How much sodium is there in salt itself? How much do we need it?
Classical table salt only contains about 40% of sodium, while the other half is chloride. The required salt amount is really small, it’s recommended to consume about 1500 to 2300 milligrams of salt each day (two thirds to a full teaspoon). It all depends on age, weight and possible health issues like diabetes or elevated blood pressure. But, for this challenge, we’re gonna kick out salt for a week, yeah?
Health risks caused by an overdose of sodium
We use too much salt in our diet everyday, to prove that, the World Health Organization’s investigation concluded, that people usually consume about 7 to 11 grams of salt everyday, while we only need 1 to 2 grams of it for a healthy lifestyle. Hearing the facts, you have to understand, that an overdose on salt leads to non-repairable kidney damage. As the kidney gets too much sodium, it can not pull the excess water from blood (in other words, it cannot perform osmosis), resulting in
- a bloating body
- unusual pulse activity
- weaker cognitive abilities
- higher risk of a stroke
- heart issues
How to reduce salt intake?
To reduce salt intake is a big step in a healthier life, and to do so, you have to understand, that adding a pinch of salt in home while cooking meat and/or vegetables does the smallest harm. The biggest problem is food producers adding too much salt, so us, the consumers, would want it more and more.
Also, constantly reading labels is tiring. But if you want to lead this kind of life, or simply try to do the diet challenge, we recommend checking them or opting out for greens or other good foods.
Tip – if you’re going out, read the menu beforehand, or ask the server what has smaller amount of salt for the best dining experience you could have.
Food won’t be too bland without salt
In a sense, it’s all in your head. We consume too much salt, which makes the food feel bland once we cut the salt out. Just don’t get scared by this, it will balance itself in a couple days. During that period, you can do things to improve the food quality, for example -use more dry spices, marinades which require onions or even pineapple, as they break down the proteins in the meat and vegetables, making them more tender and tastier! These kinds of change not only will make you eat your food easier, it will also make it a bit more healthy, you know.
- Health improvement
- No more bloated body
- A test on will not to eat what you want
- Minimal weight loss achievement
- Better cognitive abilities
- Really difficult not to consume salt
- Pretty much no way to eat out without encountering salt
- Lots of research to do to see what you can and can’t eat
What could I say about sugar that you wouldn’t know? Sugar is anywhere, everywhere and there’s a lot of it. Let’s look at the numbers, how much do you need it, and how much we actually consume it.
Let’s remember the fact, that we are talking about the added sugar such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup, and not the natural sugars occurring in vegetables and fruits, which are completely fine. The average male shouldn’t consume more than 9 tablespoons of sugar, while it’s recommended that females wouldn’t pass 6 tablespoons of sugar, as said by the American Heart Association. And how much sugar do we consume? An average of a whooping 19 tablespoons. That is too much, not only is it unhealthy, it also causes sugar crashes, which takes out the good sugar boost and turns parts off of both cognitive and physical requirements.
Minimize sugar in your drinks
Everyone loves coffee, but if we understand our habits of coffee consumption, we will find that there’s a lot of sugar there. While coffee itself only carries about 2 calories per cup, the added milk, syrups and whipped cream boosts the calorie count even up to 700 calories per cup. Drinking a 16 oz cup of iced coffee can have about 60 grams (4 tablespoons) of sugar. A latte with whole milk has about 1.2 tablespoons of sugar, and that’s coming from milk only. So do your math, if you drink a couple lattes, you’re almost going over the recommended count of sugar. That being said, I’d recommend to drink coffee with milk at the start of the day or to use almond milk. If you can, minimize it by drinking straight espresso or brewed black coffee.
Soft drinks are also a big issue. You can try to think, that a small coke bottle won’t do a lot of harm, but it has about 65 grams (4.3 tablespoons) of sugar. Other sodas aren’t anything better, racking up a similar amount of sugar in them. Opt out for water, and if you want something sweet, but not as sugary, grab yourself a coconut water or drink tea, it’s a lot better for you!
What about food?
The average cup of yogurt with fruit has about 18 grams of sugar. If you’re not into it, you should look into tomato sauce and other store bought sauces, as they are a secret sugar bomb. If you don’t use sauces, you may eat your food with a slice of white bread, no? That one slice of bread may about 2 grams of sugar, and if you eat 5 slices a day, you accumulate a lot of sugar. But that’s not the only harm of the white wheat bread, read about it down below!
How to reduce the sugar?
Check your labels and start making your own food, using more fruits and vegetables which won’t have any refined sugar.
- Great way to lose weight
- Less sugar, less health problems
- No jittery sugar crashes
- Label checking takes a lot of time
- Difficult to adjust the taste
- Hard time for a sweet tooth
Flour is finely finely cut wheat, nuts or seeds. While that may seem if it’s made from nuts and other healthy foods, it must be healthy? And so I thought myself, until I found out that flour doesn’t have any vitamins or almost anything good for you. So everything that you eat, a sandwich from a local shop or a cinnamon bun from a bakery, all it does is harm you.
For example, white flour, which products are everywhere, has similar effects as eating too much refined sugar :
- Fatigue, depression, hypoglycemia, anxiety and other
- A weaker immune system
- Higher blood pressure, increased risk of a stroke, heart attack, diabetes
- Increased weight gain
What substitutes wheat flour?
Whole wheat flour is a better substitute to the basic wheat flour, as it’s more diverse nutritionally than basic wheat flour. Other flours, like soy or brown rice flour adds a lot more nutritional value, despite it still being flour.
Let’s also not forget, that baked goods often use a lot of sugar and salt, cutting them out helps out a lot. But, as this challenge requires also cutting out flour, you should try to avoid breads, buns, sauces where flour is used to thicken the food.
- Less weight gain
- Quite easy to refuse
- Less food choices
- No pizza
Is it possible?
The question can be only answered by you. Are you strong enough to improve your life by giving up three basic, but popular parts of food? Tell us in the comments, are you going to do this, what do you think, and if you do it, tell us the results!