No sugar : Foods high in sugar increase the risk of tooth decay, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. Dieting without sugar is therefore appropriate.
But not easy to escape the sugar! In this article, I will give you some tips to reduce your sugar intake drastically.
Here is a preview of what you will discover in this article:
What I mean by “sugar-free diet” Why being addicted to sugar is bad for your health 2 tips to overcome the pitfalls of supermarket products How many different names manufacturers use to designate sugar (more than you think) A full menu low in carbohydrates (no sugar!) A week 3 delicious sugar-free diet recipes
Why aim for a sugar-free diet?
If you’ve ever tried to stop sugar, you know how difficult it can be. Some days, following a diet without sugar, seems simply mission impossible. Why does our brain have so much trouble getting rid of sugar?
Sugar has an effect similar to that of opiates. It influences the activity of dopamine in the brain’s reward center. Sugar is not as addictive as drugs, but it is not very far.
Added sugars in foods are the most harmful ingredient in Western diets. Not less than half of the supermarkets’ food contains added sugars. Added sugars impair our metabolism and increase the risk of all kinds of diseases of civilization.
Different studies report different figures, but in all cases, our sugar consumption turns out to be excessive.
Various studies show that consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to serious metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders.
What I mean by “sugar-free diet“
sugar-free diet, Of course, dieting without any sugar would not make sense. The goal is to avoid as much as possible fast sugars.
So I’m not talking about a sugar-free diet at all, which would be virtually impossible.
The added sugars found in refined foods are simple carbohydrates. It is precisely these fast sugars that we will try to avoid. It would be absurd to demonize all foods that contain carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are rich in nutrients and fibre and help to supply the body and brain with energy.
In addition, they have a low glycemic index: their degradation is carried out gradually so that the blood sugar increases and falls gradually.
Foods rich in complex carbohydrates: vegetables, fresh fruits (high fiber), legumes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and oatmeal.
It is better not to abuse complex carbohydrates when you want to lose weight. For people who want to lose weight, following a low carb diet can be a solution. This diet promotes weight loss and provides many health benefits.
Fast sugars (also known as simple carbohydrates) are found in sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and so on. Daily consumption of large amounts of simple carbohydrates can lead to overweight and type 2 diabetes.
Fast sugars also cause large fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The blood sugar plays a rollercoaster. These fluctuations can lead you to be hungry again and eat earlier.
Refined products are almost always devoid of vitamins, fibre, and minerals. Simple carbohydrates only provide calories. In other words, they are empty calories. This is one of the reasons why they harm health.
Tip # 1: Read the nutritional information
How to follow a sugar-free diet without being aware of what is in the products we eat every day? Many supermarket products are presented as good for health. But few are really so.
Think about these mouth-watering packaging that evokes natural products and good for health, filled with beautiful promises on their vitamin content.
Refined products are often deliberately added to small amounts of ingredients considered healthy. For example, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. This addition is nothing more than a marketing technique (clean labelling) that displays these ingredients on the packaging.
In most cases, these nutrients are in negligible amounts and do not offset the harmful substances and sugar that these products are stuffed with.
This is how marketing is about making parents believe that they are making the right choices for themselves and their children.
We can only realize the sugar content of food when we look at the nutrition information on the back of the package. Unfortunately, most people do not even read the list of ingredients before buying a product. And for those who do, manufacturers have ways to hide what actually contains their products.
Some common products such as tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, and salad dressing may contain very large amounts of added sugars. Fortunately, manufacturers can not escape the requirements of food safety and are required to indicate the ingredient that appears in larger quantities first on the packaging.
If you see sugar at the top of the list, then you know it’s a high-sugar food.
However, be sure to take into account the different names under which the sugar appears on the labels (see tip # 2). Indeed, manufacturers can indicate the presence of sugars through different names. This allows to embellish the reality as to the total sugar content of the product. The consumer thinks he is dealing with a low-sugar product but when we add the hidden sugars under all these different names, we obtain a significant amount of sugar.
Tip # 2: Remember the different names of sugar
If you really want to limit your intake of added sugars or eat without sugar, you will need to be more careful when shopping. Manufacturers (especially of high-sugar products) are doing everything in their power to fool unsuspecting consumers.
When you want to follow a sugar-free diet, looking for the word “sugar” on product labels is no longer enough. Indeed, food products are often stuffed with different types of sugars.
A food may, for example, contain sugar, sucrose and glucose-fructose syrup. All are other than pseudonyms of sugar.
This allows to put at the top of the list an ingredient that seems more dietary. But if we add up the quantities of these three ingredients, it is the sugar that would appear at the top.
Here are some examples of sugar nicknames:
galactose treacle Lactose Beet syrup Agave syrup
Do you know them all? Probably not.
Read this article to know the 68 (!) Different names of sugar.
The use of so many sugar pseudonyms is a trick that aims to mask the true amount of refined sugar present in processed foods. So be sure to check if a given product contains more than one type of sugar.
The presence of several types of sugar on the label is an indication that the product is not as good for one’s health as one might think.
Tip # 3: Avoid sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners
Sugar substitutes When we want to stop sugar, we often turn to artificial sweeteners.
Sugar substitution with sweeteners is a common practice among major soft drink manufacturers.
Artificial sweeteners contain fewer calories and provide a sweet taste. One would think they are ideal when you want to follow a diet without sugar.
Unfortunately, sugar substitutes and low-calorie sweeteners found in light products are not a good solution for health. Sweet to taste but without calories. they completely confuse the body.
When you eat a sweet-tasting food, the body expects to be able to get calories out of it (energy). However, artificial sugars contain few calories, let alone essential nutrients that the body needs to function.
This may mean that even after eating a good meal with a drink, you are still hungry. You think you can deceive your body with light or zero soda, but in reality, it’s the opposite!
Here are some amazing results highlighted by studies on sweeteners and sugar substitutes:
A study shows that daily consumption of soda light increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 67 %. Women who consume light sodas drink larger amounts of soda than women who consume sweet sodas. According to the researchers, this is due to the fact that artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes have an addictive effect.
Would sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners also be an obstacle to weight loss? For the moment, scientific research does not make it possible to know it.
Several randomized controlled trials (the standard meter in terms of clinical trials) conclude, however, that artificial sweeteners can actually promote weight loss, fat loss, and waist circumference.
Artificial sweeteners can replace regular sodas for people who drink liters every day and want to reduce their consumption of sugar. However, opting for light sodas will not necessarily lead to weight loss if you compensate by eating larger portions.
If you notice that light sodas increase your appetite, better stick to the water.
Tip # 4: Focus on Protein and Good Fats
Protein In the last fifty years, consumption of refined/processed carbohydrates has increased alarmingly.
Natural sources of carbohydrates (such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds) are less and less present in the western diet.
Too bad: refined sugars cause the body to go from the fat-burning mode to the sugar combustion mode. These simple sugars cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, followed by a very rapid fallout that will trigger hunger.
The higher the blood glucose level, the more the body secretes insulin. Insulin stimulates fat storage.
To follow a diet without sugar and to stimulate the burning of fats, it is important to follow a diet low in carbohydrates and rich in proteins. This diet provides a greater intake of protein and good fats and drastically limits carbohydrate intake.
It is scientifically proven that proteins promote the fight against obesity.
A diet rich in protein provides greater satiety and makes you think less about eating (source). Good fats are also important for the balance of the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial and have an appetite suppressant effect.
Tip 5: Pay attention to what you drink
sweet sodas Eating without sugar is one thing. But do not forget the drinks!
It is obviously wise to avoid soft drinks when you want to stop the added sugar. But sodas are not the only drinks that contain a lot of sugars.
Even beverages that are often considered healthful (for example, vitaminized water or fruit juices) can contain many more sugars than the maximum daily allowance of 25 grams recommended by the World Health organization.
To give you an idea of the sugar content of some drinks:
Sodas (Coca, Fanta) – 10 pieces of sugar Semi-skimmed chocolate milk – 10 pieces of sugar Orange juice – 10 pieces of sugar Vitamin water – 8 pieces of sugar Natural soy milk – 2.5 pieces of sugar
A piece of sugar corresponds to some 4 g of sugar. As you can see, these “dietetic” drinks are very high in sugar.
Tip # 6: Turn to Low Glycemic Load (CG) Foods
Glycemic Load A good way to see the effect of carbohydrate foods on the body is to observe the rate at which carbohydrates pass into the bloodstream.
The effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose depends on the amount of carbohydrate and type of carbohydrate (simple or complex).
The glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (CG) can give an indication of the effect of food on blood glucose.
Low GI foods pass more slowly through the blood and cause a gradual increase in blood glucose rather than high peaks.
The GI of sugar is 100.
Thus, the glycemic index of quinoa is much lower than that of brown rice and the sweet potato GI is lower than that of potatoes, etc. Quinoa also wins over brown rice and sweet potatoes on potatoes in terms of nutrient intake.
It has been shown that diet menus composed for the most part of low GI foods are beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.
The glycemic index, however, has a major disadvantage: it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food.
Obviously, the carbohydrate content varies from one food to another.
Imagine that you choose the foods you consume according to their GI. According to this reasoning, you would prefer a Twix (IG of 44) to watermelon (IG of 75). Clearly, that makes no sense. After all, per serving, watermelon is much lower in calories and richer in essential nutrients than a Twix.
How is it possible? The answer is quite simple: the glycemic index compares portions that have nothing to do with each other. The glycemic index of foods is determined by giving to human subjects a quantity of food that contains 50 g of carbohydrates (starch and sugar included).
This is the amount of carbohydrate present in about three-quarters of a Twix. However, you should eat 5 servings of watermelon to reach this amount.
So, while eating a lot of large amounts of watermelon can actually boost blood sugar, a single serving of watermelon brings much less sugar than a bar of chocolate.
The glycemic load
Since the glycemic index does not take into account the size of the portions, the glycemic load has been developed. The glycemic index is a measure of the hyperglycaemic power of foods and the glycemic load indicates how much. In this respect, the glycemic load is a better indicator than the glycemic index.
CG is a measure of the GI and carbohydrate content of a serving.
Here is the formula for the glycemic load:
Glycemic Index X amount of carbohydrate per serving / 100 Take the example of an average apple: GI = 38; carbohydrates per serving = 15 g. GL = 38 X 15/100 The glycemic load of an average apple is 6 A GC less than 10 is considered low, 11 to 19, average, and greater than 20, high.
Tip # 7: Reduce your sugar intake gradually
You want to limit or stop sugar? It is very good! That said, do not go too fast. Stopping the sugar at once is not realistic for most people who are addicted to sugars. Indeed, sugar is everywhere and it is very addictive. Stopping the sugar overnight would only have the effect of whetting your appetite for sweets.
To stop the sugar, better go little by little. First, take stock of the average amount of sugar you consume each week and start making small changes.
For example, if you put two pieces of sugar in your cup of coffee, go to a piece of sugar. The following week, use a sweetener. With two cups of coffee a day, it’s 28 less sugar at the end of the week.
Tip # 8: Get enough sleep
sleep wellNo simple to follow a diet without sugar when you do not sleep enough! Yes, a lack of sleep can interfere with the regulation of appetite and favor the consumption of foods rich in sugar.
When we are tired, we are more inclined to turn to sweets.
For example, we will empty a can of Red Bull to stay awake. The appetite is largely influenced by hormones, which fluctuate throughout the day.
A lack of sleep confuses these hormones and impairs the regulation of appetite. It can also lead to cravings.
Several scientific studies show that people who suffer from sleep disorders are 55% more likely to be obese than people who sleep sufficiently.
That’s why it’s important that you get enough rest and that you sleep at least 7 hours a night. For most people, this is enough to work properly.
Of course, the amount of sleep you need varies from person to person. It depends mainly on age. On average, babies, children, and teenagers need more sleep than adults.
Do you have any other good tips that help you consume less sugar? Share them in the comments below!
3 delicious sugar-free diet recipes
Recipe # 1 – Breakfast: Hard Egg, Avocado and Buckwheat
Hard egg, avocado, and buckwheat
1 egg 1 lawyer 1 handful of germs 1 C. fresh basil 60 g buckwheat Black sesame seeds
Prepare buckwheat according to the instructions on the package. Cook the egg. Cut half of the avocado into slices. Fill the bottom of a bowl of buckwheat. Arrange the egg, avocado, basil, and sprouts. Garnish with black sesame seeds.
Recipe # 2 – Lunch: Mushrooms and spinach with mozzarella
mushrooms spinach mozzarella
3 eggs 50 g mushrooms 25 g light mozzarella 200 g fresh spinach finely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 C. tablespoon parsley
In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add mushrooms, spinach, and cheese. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and pour in the mixture. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Decorate with parsley.
Recipe # 3 – Dinner: Turkey and Quinoa Thai Style
turkey quinoa thai
300 g of turkey 400 g zucchini, sliced 1 medium onion 1 can (200 ml) of coconut milk 2-3 c. Thai curry powder 1 chopped fresh pepper 1 clove, ground 80 g of quinoa (raw) 30 g ground almonds
Heat an oil skillet and add the turkey, onions, and garlic. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes until turkey is golden brown. Add the zucchini and the coconut milk, then the curry powder and chili. Adjust the quantities according to your preferences. Mix everything. Add the dry quinoa than the almonds. Stir again and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. Add water if necessary to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry.
Good luck in pursuing a sugar-free diet!
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