Posted on August 14 2017
We know it's good to cut back on eating too much sugar - but then why is it so damn difficult to do? Maybe it would help to list down the pros of a sugar free (or at least a reduced sugar diet)
Don't get us wrong - sugar is a great source of energy for the body. There is sugar in a lot of the things that we eat such as lactose in dairy products and fructose in fruit. These are the so called "good" sugars. The bad ones - the ones we are constantly told to avoid by our dentists, nutritionists and doctors - are the ones found in soda drinks, desserts, and other processed foods. This is basically sucrose, made by processing sugar cane.
Here are the benefits of a sugar free diet -
- Helps in reducing extra caloric intake: A sugar-free diet helps in cutting out extra calories that we receive from highly sweetened products. Thus, it makes our diet a lot simpler whereby we do not need to keep a constant track of calories or measurement of quantities.
- Lessens sugar craving: A sugar-free diet works at keeping your blood sugar normal which in turn reduces sugar cravings.
- Encourages healthy eating habit: You'll get closer to veggies and fruits once you stop the intake of sweetened products/ processed food or refined sugar on the whole. Plus, you'll get healthy calories from protein, fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains food items. This will ensure a diet rich in fibre, vitamins, nutrients, and phytonutrients.
- Improves the health of your skin: A diet high in sugar causes skin problems. High blood sugar levels damage your body’s tissue and triggers an inflammatory response. Inflammatory responses can range from acne to bloating to rashes to joint pain.
How to progress towards a sugar free - or reduced sugar - diet.
- Read food labels: Sugar sneaks into your diet in the most unexpected of ways. Think ketchup, crackers and even salad dressings. Look for products that say "no sugar added" or even "unsweetened"
- Go slow: Ease back on your sugar intake instead of cutting back to zero overnight. This will just stress your body out as well as make you feel deprived. If you have 2 spoons of sugar in your coffee or tea, reduce it by a quarter every week or so, for example. Instead of adding sugar to your yoghurt, try mixing in some fruit puree instead.
- Replace sugar with protein and healthy fats: High sugar carbs cause your blood sugar to rise very quickly, and then to crash which immediately leaves you craving for some more of the same! To break this cycle, replace sugary carbs with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, all of which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer