Should you go sugar free for 2017?

Should you go sugar free for 2017?

As we hail a new year, the diet and fitness trends continue with fads and advice bombarding us from all directions. Sugar free is very much at the forefront of diet trends for 2017.

So what's all the fuss about? Is sugar really that bad?

There certainly is a lot to be said for cutting out the white stuff. Benefits from a sugar-free diet include a boost in energy, brighter skin, weight loss, fewer hunger cravings and healthier food choices. You will find energy slumps and mood swings are a thing of the past.

Your body can process fats much faster if it isn't processing sugar. It will use the fat in your body to turn into energy, rather than the carbohydrate. So you'll probably lose weight.

Most importantly, sugar causes obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Cut it out and you will be a whole lot healthier on the inside.

I don't think I eat much sugar anyway

Hidden in most processed and tinned foods, sugar has a habit of hiding in plain sight. With as many as 50 different names for this common substance, is easy to overlook it when reading labels. The following are all names for sugar:

  • glucose
  • sucrose 
  • maltose
  • corn syrup
  • honey
  • hydrolysed starch 
  • invert sugar
  • fructose
  • molasses

An adult should have a maximum of 30g of sugar per day. Check out the label for carbohydrate - of which sugars. You'll be amazed how fast that adds up.

Aim for foods that are 5g of sugar per 100g. This is a low amount of sugar. Avoid anything with 20g of sugar per 100g. Think about it - this is 20% sugar!

How do I cut out sugar?

When going sugar free the best piece of advice to take on board is to try and make everything from scratch. This way you know exactly what is going in to your meals and that sugar isn’t creeping in.

Key to following this diet is preparing food ahead of time so you know what you are going to eat in advance.

Buy in plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and protein like fish, meat, and tofu.

Replace sugar with honey, agave or date syrup if you want to keep something sweet in your cupboard, and use dates as an alternative to sugar.

Remember there is plenty of sugar in alcohol so think about your consumption. Beer is better than wine when it comes to sugar content, so if you’re going to drink pick wisely.

 


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Lucy C.
31 January 2017

Lucy C.

chocolate before bed here - but just four squares of a cheap bar of plain choc. and of course teeth cleaned before bedtime!

Paula C.
31 January 2017

Paula C.

I am going to do Sugar Free February. Its a new thing this year and I eat too much sugar, am a bit of an addict. I think doing a month first is better than committing to a whole year!

Claire H.
30 January 2017

Claire H.

I find having sugar before going to bed makes me quite alert, so I am going to stop that habit. But I couldn't cut it out altogether, so will still have biscuits with tea etc, and the odd pudding.

Helen P.
30 January 2017

Helen P.

I probably eat loads of sugar but am slim and active, so I don't think it matters so much. But would like to know if it increases my risk of anything, even if I burn it all off.

Charlie M.
30 January 2017

Charlie M.

I'm all for avoiding the hidden sugars - why are baked beans sweetened anyway? But honey is still sugar, even though I think it tastes much nicer. The main message is to reduce the processed rubbish.

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