The average adult consumes much more sugar than necessary, so reducing the intake of sugar is a good idea for most people. Some people go a step further and even cut off their relationship with sugar.
Lately, the sugar-free diet has gained in popularity as people look for effective ways to stay healthy or lose weight. However, not everyone is convinced that the diet without sugar works.
Whether we eliminate sugar completely from the diet or simply reduce the amount we take, we offer you 8 practical tips:
1. Do it gradually
One of the most important things to keep in mind when changing your diet is to do it gradually. Going from a diet full of sugar to one that does not contain sugar should be a slow process. We can start by eliminating the most obvious sources of sugar: cakes, muffins … eliminating sweets and sugary drinks are an excellent way to start. Reducing the amount of sugar we put into coffee or tea is also essential.
2. Read the labels
Once you have managed to eliminate the most obvious sugar in the diet, you can focus on other products that contain sugar. Reading the labels can help identify the types of sugars that should be avoided. Sugar has many names (at least 61) and is found in many different syrups and concentrates. The most common include: cane sugar or brown sugar, corn syrup or corn syrup with high fructose content, beet sugar, coconut sugar, agave syrup, apple or grape juice concentrate, honey or brown sugar. In addition, anything that ends with the suffix “-osa” also makes up a type of sugar, such as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose or lactose.
Sugars are hidden in many different foods in the supermarket, so reading the label is an absolute necessity for those who want to follow a diet without sugar.
Salad dressings and condiments, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, milk and cereal bars often contain sugar in their ingredient list.
3. Avoid simple carbohydrates
Many sugar-free diets also recommend that people avoid simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include white flour, white pasta and white rice. The carbohydrates in these foods can quickly break down into sugar in the body, which can cause them to increase blood sugar levels to increase. The simplest thing is to replace them with integral versions.
4. Avoid artificial sugars
They are much sweeter than sugar, but they contain little or no calories. However, taking artificial sugars can deceive the body into believing that it is actually eating sugar. This can exacerbate a person’s sugar cravings, making it harder for them to follow a sugar-free diet. Avoid Splenda, Stevia… If you look for the chemical name of these sweeteners in the ingredient labels you will find: aspartame, sucralose or saccharin.
5. Do not drink sugar
Sugar can be easy to avoid in processed foods, but sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, sweetened teas and fruit juices, are one of the most important sources of added sugars in the diet. Replacing these drinks with sugar-free herbal teas, sugar-free coffee, carbonated mineral water or simply plain water can help reduce your sugar intake and keep you hydrated.
6. Focus on whole foods
Processed foods are more likely to contain refined ingredients or added sugars, so we should lean towards foods like: vegetables, fruits, lean meats, poultry or tofu, fish, whole grains, raw and legumes and nuts and seeds.
7. P lanifica meal
Following a diet without planning is difficult. When we are hungry, we are more likely to look for an unhealthy snack if we do not have nutritious meals and snacks on hand.
8. Season your meals
The palate often misses the sugar because it has no other flavors to replace it. Many sweet-tasting herbs and spices can easily be added to foods and beverages to replace sugar. We can use: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla… We can add them to coffee or sprinkle them on cereals or yogurt.
Risks and considerations
Before starting a diet without sugar, you should consider if you also want to eliminate natural sugars, that is, those found in fruits and some dairy products. While some diets without sugar say you should eliminate the fruit, it’s not a good idea. The fruit can provide us with many nutrients, fibers, antioxidants and other healthy compounds that help protect the body from disease. Including whole fruits on a sugar-free diet can be healthy, as long as the person drinks the fruit in moderation.