Time and again, we have come across talks surrounding our sugar intake and its implications. But can we say that we have the exact knowledge, as to why, eliminating sugar from diet is so significant? Why nutritionists always stress upon following a strict sugar free diet plan? And why even after knowing all these it’s still a pretty monumental task to do?
Although these questions are indeed very important, what should stand out first is:
What are the Sources from Where We Knowingly or Unknowingly Import Sugar into Our Body?
These days, sugar is so abundant in our daily diets that it has literally become impossible to follow not just a completely sugar free eating but a sugar free cooking as well.
- The morning cup of coffee/tea.
- To sprinkle it all over the breakfast cereal for added “flavor”.
- While Baking pastries, cakes, and cookies which obviously requires it.
- Hidden in our beloved daily treats such as fruit juices, ice creams, sodas, etc.
- And forming the essence of almost all the processed foods including breads, meats, etc.
Why to Maintain a Strict Low Sugar Diet Plan?
There have been some major findings in this regard.
- According to The University of Waterloo, added sugar is found in two-thirds of all packaged foods wherein, half of all baby foods contain it in astonishing amounts, including even those products which are marketed as healthy alternatives.
- com has adjudged sugar as the one and only cause of tooth decay.
- A study by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that higher percentage of calories from added sugar is associated with significantly increased risk of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.
And apart from these, another major concern is that it is also very addictive. It makes our body prone to diseases in general as the amount of our average daily sugar intake is way more than what our body is capable of holding.
Let’s face it, a major chunk of us are unaware of its harmful effects, citing its wide acceptance as well as its inherent use in the food marketing and manufacturing processes.
No matter what you eat today, almost anything to everything comes stuffed with it which keeps enhancing our inclination towards it.
Case Study: The Sugar Controversy
In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) came together for a consultation on diet, nutrition and physical activity for the prevention of chronic diseases.
The aim of which was to produce a report that would concern the dietary as well as the physical activity determinants of major chronic diseases so as to establish the scientific basis for their prevention.
Citing the global epidemics regarding diabetes and obesity, which at that time was one of the major threats to the lives of populations across the globe — the recommendation set the benchmark, of reducing the average intake of added sugars, to 10 percent or less of total energy.
Because of this, sugar-exporting countries and producers raised alarms regarding its consequences on the future markets.
Challenged by evidence, scientific merit, and the assumptions made, the recommendation instantly became the focus of a much-publicized debate among the nutrition community, the industry and the agricultural law makers, giving it the status of a full-blown controversy.
However, the recommendation eventually led to 191 countries adopting the global strategy of WHO on physical activity and diet for chronic diseases, which included the need to restrict the intake of sugar to a maximum of 10 per cent.
A recent study by World Health Organization has also stated the sugar intake to be less than 10% of one’s total energy intake, wherein a further reduction to below 5% would provide additional health benefits.
To begin with, there are a number of ways to achieve this herculean of a task. The foremost of which, is to believe that we can survive on foods not just low but with zero sugar as well.
Given the fact that there are almost 10 teaspoons of it in one 12-ounce can of soda, it means that just one soft drink, could put you over the limit which is not to mention that about 75% of all packaged foods contain it, too. Limiting the intake to 6–9 teaspoons or 24–36 grams, a day has been recommended by The American Heart Association.
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So now that you know the absolute need of cutting it out from our daily diets, how to follow a no sugar diet plan or what are the foods with no added sugar?
The following can be done:
- Become a “wise label reader”. Try to get hold of all the aliases of sugar such as sucrose, fructose, lacrosse, etc. and don’t go for edibles whose label has any of these.
- Cut every source of added sugar in your diet to half. Like, adding only half of what you normally would to your morning coffee. Blending only half a serving than you normally would in your breakfast cereals and every time you want to eat something sugary.
- To avoid it, you need to “eat the fruit and drink the water”. You need to avoid fruit juices straightaway, and stick to high fiber fruits with low sugar such as apples, oranges and grapefruits.
- Consume more healthy fats, such asomega-3, saturated and monounsaturated fats which will come from animal and vegetable sources. Some of the best of these include organic butter from raw milk, raw nuts like pecans and macadamia, eggs, avocado, and salmon.
- And finally, you need to make yourself understand that you have to function this way only and from now on, sugar is going to be something which will be a straight no-no for you.
So now when it seems that each and every information regarding the hazards and call-to-action of sugar consumption has been put forward, there should be no delay in restricting it. After all, the talk is regarding our health which cannot be played with.