There are many diets and eating plans around these days and, more namely, a lot of those are for a sugar free diet. A sugar free diet can be defined by a couple of ways;
Restricting all sugar, good or bad – this is where you cut out anything sweet, from the usually good guys like fruit and vegetables to the usual bad guys like chocolates and cakes. This is often due to the mindset that all sugar is addictive and needs to be cut out completely to cure the sugar addiction.
Restricting added sugar and sweeteners – cutting out any refined sugar, honey, fruit juice (the actual fruit that still contains its fibre is permitted), processed foods like fizzy soft drinks, sweet snacks, ice cream, confectionery, a lot of breakfast cereals, yoghurts that have been flavoured or sweetened, marinades, soups and sauces.
Kilojoules per gram, broken down:
Sugar and starches contribute 17 kilojoules per gram
Proteins contain an equal level of kilojoules at 17 per gram also
Alcohol comes in at 29 kilojoules per gram
Fats weigh in the most, contributing 37 kilojoules per gram
A diet with no sugar will cut out kilojoules from eliminating the sugar, as well as from cutting out foods that contain starch and fat. Confectionery, cakes and desserts, ice cream, biscuits, etc. all contain starch and fat. An effective diet can usually be a result of removing these such foods from your eating plan.
According to The World Health Organization, you should limit added sugars to less than 10% of your total energy intake to prevent dental caries, obesity, and other illnesses such as chronic disease.
Sugar simply adds kilojoules with no real nutritional value. However, there is no definitive research or evidence to state that it should be removed from your diet completely, and this includes the removal of fruits and vegetables. It is really necessary?
Fruits and vegetables are a source of important dietary fibre, and they contain many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your health.
There is some research to suggest that fructose is problematic only when consumed in excess. Studies have also proven that regular exercise will help keep any fructose issues at bay, particularly in pre-menopausal women.
Following are some basic tips on how to cut down on your sugar intake.
Avoid empty foods with no nutritional value; soft drinks, processed foods and snacks like confectionery, biscuits, cakes, and pastries. Water, or a simple cup of green tea, is always good for a refresher.
Check over the ingredients on your favourite breakfast cereals, and look at the actual ingredient list instead of the total sugars. Total sugar breakdown will include any naturally occurring sugars found in dried fruits. Oats are a good option or wholegrain products with less than 3% total sugar value.
Check the ingredients on marinades and sauces. If sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients, you’re better off looking for another option. Alternatively, try making your own healthy sauces!
Go for natural Greek yoghurt which you can add your own fruit and berries for extra flavour.
I believe sugar is not addictive. Instead, it is a leading factor for overconsumption of foods that “taste good”. A little bit of willpower, and a trained eye, will help with your healthy eating plan every time.
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