It has been a few years since the general public has realized the effects that eating too much sugar can have. Some have been able to turn the other way and reduce their sugar intake, while others have been unable to let go and sugary treats have an iron grip on them. There has been a great deal of research that has gone into this, and the final verdict is that reducing your intake of sugar will not only reduce your body weight but also drastically lower the chances for you to get health problems like type 2 diabetes, digestive issues, cancer among many others.
If the physical benefits from letting go of sugar aren’t a big enough sell for you, then you can add plenty of psychological benefits ranging from sharper memory, elevated mood and behavior and even less oily, clear skin. Whatever way you look at it, it is a win-win to drop the refined sugars from your life. You literally have nothing to lose and only everything to gain!
For those who want to make the leap towards a no-sugar diet, plant-based recipes are a great way to ramp up the benefits.
What Is A Sugar-Free Diet?
As a matter of fact, there are more than 1 type of sugar-free diets. What separates one from the other is your willingness of how far you are ready to go to reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet.
On one hand, you have those who kick out all forms of sugar from their diets which includes the likes of grapes, certain vegetables and high-carb foods such as grains. So, in essence, even the natural sugars are given a no-pass. This is followed by only a select few- you needn’t put yourself through this if you don’t have to.
For others, the idea is to reduce the intake of added sugars by staying away from certain foods stuff, such as sweetened processed foods, carbonated fizzy drinks and cakes- all of which have plenty of empty calories. Simply putting a stop to these kinds of foods is sufficient to make a noticeable impact, health-wise.
Eliminate Any Of The Hidden Sugars
There are those sugars that you don’t actually know that you are having. These are called hidden sugars. They are written on the labeling of products, and won’t be written as sugar per se. Consumers should be aware of them because there are plenty of manufacturers who are able to by-pass the loophole in the labeling.
Here are some of the common ones:
- Ethyl Maltol Lactose
- Maltose Sucrose
- Fructose Dextrose
- Evaporated Cane Juice
This is only a slice of the big pie- there are plenty of others that may pass under your radar. The best advice would be to stick to whole foods only.
What Are Whole Foods?
These are the foods that are least processed and free from refined sugars that are added. This makes it a far healthier option to go with! Some examples of plant-based foods that fit the description best are vegetables, spices, nuts, seeds and herbs. If you feel the cravings, then the healthiest thing you can do is to grab a washed vegetable and crunch, crunch and crunch.
Read The Labelling
The same way how the eyes are the route to someone’s mind, the labeling on foodstuffs tells what is in it. Take a close look at the labeling and in some cases, you will be surprised to find sugars lurking. There are soy sauces, that are considered sugar-free plant-based, but there is sugar in the ingredient list! Go for the unsweetened version of all the plant-based foods. It is pointless if you are cutting out fizzy drinks and sweet stuff, to only make up for it unknowingly by having sugar ridden plant-based foods, right?
Stock Up On The Omegas
Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids help plenty in ensuring cellular health and ensuring that the blood sugar levels are under control. This will reduce your leanings towards sugars in general, and help you feel fuller as a result. Some of the foods you can add that are omega-3 rich include walnuts, chia, hemp and flax among others.
Don’t Go For ‘Low-Fat’ Options
People love to see the ‘low-fat’ option in their favorite foods. When you taste it, it is the same but at reduced fat levels. So what you end up doing is eating to your fill without having the guilt of eating sugar-rich foods weighing down on you.
But the truth will shock you!
The products that are lower in sugars are often marketed as ‘healthier options’ but in reality, they have more sugar than their fatty equivalent. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the labeling the next time you are at the shopping mall.
Drop the sugar and live a healthier and cleaner life!