We are all living in a fast changing world, where we are all falling short of time to exercise and pay adequate attention to our health. Our work style and environment today are becoming more and more sedentary. Complement this state of affairs with easy access to fast food and changing food habits—and we definitely have a problem on our hands. We, as a generation, are becoming more obese than ever before and living an unhealthy lifestyle. To stay healthy, one needs to make just small alterations to our food habits and lifestyle. One of the biggest contributors to our increasing waist lines is eating excessive of sugar.
What is Sugar?
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that provides energy to the human body. There are two types of sugars that are available to us. There are the Monosaccharides that we know as simple sugars—these include glucose and provide instant energy. The second form of sugar in our daily diet is the disaccharide—these include the granulated sugar we use at home. The difference basically lies in the way our body responds and uses these two forms of sugar. While the monosaccharides are instantly decomposed to provide energy, the second form is stored by the body to be used later causing us to gain weight.
Are All Sugars Bad?
Before we go on to say that one should go on a sugar free diet plan, it is important to mention here that as humans we need all forms of sugar for normal functioning of the human body. But excess of everything is bad and so is excessive consumption of sugar and its associated products. So, while some forms of sugar are good to have, others can be a cause of concern and worry for our health.
When Should You Go On A Sugar Free Diet?
Our bodies complain every day, thanks to our increasing waist lines and that extra layer of fat we call obesity. While we know that moderation and balance in our daily consumption of foods is the key to staying healthy, we still end up overeating. Our body does what it is programmed to do—storing the excess food for times of trouble. Yes, that bulging waistline is actually a storehouse of fat, which the body is holding onto! Unfortunately, the process of fat storage is slow and by the time we notice the fat accumulation, it is too late. So, if anyone out there is gaining weight and wants to start looking towards a healthy lifestyle, cutting down on sugar would be a great way to start. Even otherwise, on a day to day basis, one should avoid unnecessary consumption of sugar.
What are the Options Available to Us?
Sugar is found in almost everything we consume in one form of another. It is there in milk, in fruits and in vegetables. Add to this the excessive levels of sugar we consume when we eat cakes, pastries, doughnuts, caramel toffees and confectionery. We consume way more than the required and recommended level of sugar each day. There is a whole range of good quality and naturally existing sugars that we should consume to stay healthy. There are many options wide open to us today.
While an extreme form of sugar free diet restricts all forms of sugar intake, from their natural occurring forms to the artificial flavors, a balanced diet approach ensures we consume the required amount of sugar every day.
Say No and Avoid:
Here is a list of foods that one must definitely avoid when on a sugar free diet to be on a healthier way of life:
- Say no to all kinds of Processed or packaged foods that you find in supermarkets or shopping malls. Just because one can afford it, does not mean one should buy it. Go ahead and buy some more fruits or vegetables instead!
- You don’t need to visit the café everyday. All those confectionery items with added and extra sugar like doughnuts, pastries, candies, cakes can add unnecessary kilojoules to your diet. Sugar has no real contribution to the working or nutritive value as such. So, avoid all those cakes, pastries, and brownies that make your mouth water as soon as you see them in the display window!
- Ice creams and biscuits are highly processed foods that contain extra glucose and sugar to bind them together. You might love the way they taste the old adage “one time on the lips, life time on the hips.” Avoid all those bakery and confectionery shops that lure you with their beautiful and artistic display of food.
- Desserts and sweetened yoghurt form a part of our everyday life. However, reserve the consumption of desserts to special occasions or once a week. Yoghurt is healthy as long as one does not mix it with added preservatives and processed sugars and flavors. While the packaging might make one feel that one is about to make a healthy choice by picking yoghurt, it could be quite misleading and be packed with all the extra packs of energy you have been trying to avoid all along.
- Another way to stop yourself from eating sugary foods and giving in to your craving is to add cinnamon to food. It is believed that adding this simple herb can help one cut down the craving for sugar. This is a great way to avoid those sugary foods.
All these foods contain extra amount of sugar that would only add to one’s waist line and not be in any way good for the body.
Simple Ways to Identify the Unnatural Sugars:
There are a few easy and simple ways to find out about the sugar content in the food you are about to consume. Make sure that you read the label and glance through the ingredients before you make a buy. This would help you understand these things:-
- You’ll have a better idea about what is there in the food you are about to pick.
- It would also help you understand better the relative content of your daily groceries and food packed with extra sugar.
- To improve your understanding of sugary foods, keep an eye out and read as much as possible. If you are unable to give up your love for sugary foods, cut down on one thing at a time and gradually ease out all the unhealthy foods.
- Treat all forms of sugary eateries as a treat for some achievement or maintain it as once a month eating habit to be able to relish and enjoy.
Giving up something we are used to consuming on a daily basis is not easy. One needs willpower to say no to foods that naturally attract us with their smell, look and presentation everywhere. However, it is important to realize that health is paramount, and your body is a temple, not a dustbin—so treat it with respect and keep it well so that one can lead a healthy life till the very end.
Everyday, we consume more calories than we burn and that is affecting our health. When you do have to eat, eat sensible portions and pay attention to the signals your body is giving. The trick is to eat slowly and let your brain register. So, when your body says stop, STOP!
Hope you found this article helpful. Do share your views with us in the comments section below!