Do you know that average adult consumes more sugar than his body requirement? This added sugar is one of the biggest reasons for undesirable weight gain and health concerns.
You necessarily need to reduce this extra sugar from the diet. Some people go a step further and completely cut the sugar from their diet. This is called a no-sugar diet.
Lately, the no-sugar diet is getting popularity. It is one of the most effective ways to avoid extra calories and stay healthy. Contrary to this, not everyone believes that a low sugar diet is any good. However, health benefits of no-sugar diet are countless and you should know them.
Why should you cut out sugar?
As per the National Institute of Health (NIH), American adults get 15% of the required calories from added sugar alone. (Read more about it by clicking here)
Just to tell you, this sugar doesn’t include the natural sugar that is a part of products such as fruits. This extra sugar makes you gain weight like anything. Additionally, it is linked to so many health problems.
Some of these health problems are as follows.
- Metabolic disorders
- Heart problems
- Blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Dental cavities
Controlling this extra sugar from diet also helps to reduce the risks of these problems. moreover, it maintains a healthy weight. It is better to replace the extra sugary foods with natural and healthy food choices. All in all, a good health is what everyone desires.
Best tips to cut out added sugar from the diet
Following are the best tips that a person should know to cut sugar from the diet.
Start it slowly
Firstly, the most important thing to consider during a dietary shift is that “everything takes time”. You have to do it gradually. Switching from a diet full of sugar to no sugar has to be a slow process. Give sufficient time to your body to take up this new dietary change.
Focus on the most obvious sources of sugar. Some of the examples are cakes, brownies, muffins etc. You can avoid all of these as there is practically no nutrition in such foods. Additionally, eliminating soda and candy is also a good thing to start a no-sugar diet.
You may also consider reducing the amount of sugar and cream in your coffee/tea every day. Gradually reduce it to zero sugar. The gradual omission of sugar helps to control the hunger pangs. Consequently, the person does not crave added sugar anymore.
Always read the labels
Once you start to cut the sugar from the diet, it is easier to shortlist high sugar foods. Pay attention to other products that contain a high amount of sugar. While shopping, you may often ignore these foods.
That is why it is best to pay attention to the labels to identify different types of sugar. As you know, sugar has many names. It comes in various types, concentrate and forms. Do you know that there are at least 61 names for sugar that is a part of our daily food items? (Click here to read about it)
Some of the most common names of sugar in food items are
- Cane sugar
- beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- coconut sugar
- corn syrup
- high fructose syrup
- evaporated cane juice
- invert sugar
- maple syrup
- apple juice concentrate
- rice syrup
- grape juice concentrate
TIP- Beware of anything that ends with “-ose” on a food label. This suffix shows a sugar added.
Examples; glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, dextrose etc
There are many ways to hide the sugar content in differnet foods. One of the best way is to use alternate names of sugar that may deceive the buyser. That is why reading the label is an absolute must if you are considering a no-sugar diet.
Avoid taking carbs
Following a no-sugar diet also suggests people avoid carbohydrates. The simple carbs are found in white flour, white pasta, white rice and others.
Interestingly, the carbs of these foods break down easily into sugar. It makes the natural blood sugar levels to rise up. If you plan to ignore simple carbs, you may replace them with wholegrain products. One such food product is wholegrain bread.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Artificial sugars available in the form of sweeteners are of the highest controversy of weight loss industry. Usually, these sweeteners are much sweeter than actual sugar. But you will see them containing little calories or no calories at all.
However, if you are eating this artificial sugar, you can trick your body that you are actually eating sugar. It helps to overcome the sugar craving. Considering a person on a no-sugar diet, using sweeteners makes it more difficult to avoid sugar for once and for all.
A person on a sugar diet should avoid all brands of natural sweeteners. Also, check for the chemical names of these sweeteners in their ingredient list. Many times the product you see as low sugar, low calorie or diet product is actually sugar.
Avoid high sugary beverages
It is easy to avoid sugar in the form of food but often times we ignore sugary beverages. For example, soda, coffee, juice, tea all of these are a rich source of added sugar.
Mostly people restrict the sugar in diet but they don’t pay much attention to drinks. It is better to replace these sugary beverages with plain water or no-sugar drinks. It will make a person adopt a no-sugar diet easily.
Prefer whole foods
A no-sugar diet doesn’t only mean to restrict sugar. You should also aim to eat whole foods. All the processed food items use refined ingredients, another name for added sugar.
Try to focus on taking up a diet that comprises of whole and complete foods such as
- lean meats
- whole grains (unprocessed)
- whole legumes (unprocessed)
- nuts and seeds
A few people don’t prefer eating dairy products. They may keep a small number of dairy products in their meals such as plain yogurt, milk, simple cheese etc.
Design your meals carefully
No-sugar diet has no diet plan. Usually, it is followed to stick to a diet where there is no plan. In this case, when hunger strikes a person, he is much likely to eat an unhealthy snack. This unhealthy snack has lots of unwanted calories and also has zero nutrition.
Planning your grocery shopping and meal designing by spending good time on it, fewer chances are for cheat meals. When the food is already prepared, the person doesn’t pay attention to reach for candy or soda.
Compensate it with spice
A no-sugar diet sometimes becomes difficult because there is no other flavor to compensate. Do you know that there are so many sweet-tasting herbs and spices that you can use? So if you are avoiding sugar, try to replace it with these spices.
Some of the common choices are cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg etc. You may add them to your food or beverages, according to your taste.
Health benefits of no-sugar diet
Leaving sugar has numerous health benefits for a person. Only if you maintain a healthy, rich and nutritious diet along with zero sugar will give you benefits. Some of the best effects of a no-sugar diet are as follows.
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Energetic boost
- Clearer and better skin
- Prevents type-2 diabetes
- Mood stability
- Control on mood disorders
- Reduced inflammation
- Digestive support
Considerations for no-sugar diet
Before making efforts for a no-sugar diet, consider removing natural sugars firstly. The natural sugar is that sugar which is found in fruits, milk and other naturally sweet products.
Avoiding natural sugar may deprive you of certain nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and other healthy compounds that are necessary for the body. In this regard, try adding whole fruits in a no-sugar diet in a moderate way.
Reducing sugar is not the only way for weight loss. If weight loss is your only target, try following a restricted calorie diet with moderate exercise. Furthermore, a no-sugar diet should be a lifestyle change to improve the overall quality of health.