There is a lot of talk at the moment about sugar free diets and how healthy they can be. Some people have been removing all sugar form their diets and resorting to a diet very low in carbohydrates and others have been replacing sugars in their diet. It is very important though, to make sure that you have a healthy balanced diet full of essential nutrients. It is also important to make sure that you are doing the diet correctly. Below are some mistakes that people are making when thinking that they are being healthier.
Replacing table sugar with other sugars
Some ‘sugar-free’ recipes just replace the white sugar with syrups or honey. This means that you will still get the same blood sugar spike and insulin response as with table sugar and so they are no good for diabetics or anyone hoping to control their insulin levels or prevent insulin resistance. They may also contain the same amount of calories so make no difference if trying to lose weight. They are also equally as sweet or sweeter which does nothing to help you to reduce your sweet tooth.
Using fruit instead
Although fruit has many more nutrients than sugar (as sugar has none), it is still not the perfect replacement for sugar. We all know that it is important to eat fruit but if we eat it in huge quantities it could still spike blood sugar and make us overweight. It is important therefore to eat fruit but to have it in controlled quantities, such as two to three portions a day. It is also worth remembering that fruit can be very bad for the teeth both because of the sugars and the acid, so having it between meals may not be wise. But also brushing teeth straight after consuming fruit or fruit juice will brush the acid into the teeth and rot the enamel.
If you give up all sugars, including those in fruit, vegetables, dairy and carbohydrates then you will have a very limited diet. You will only be able to eat meat, fish and some cheese perhaps with a few nuts and green vegetables (depending on how strict you are being) and this will mean that you could very easily become nutrient deficient and you will soon get bored of what you are eating. It is not something that can be sustainable in the long term and makes eating out extremely difficult as well.
If you suddenly cut out all sweet things form your diet you will get cravings for them. This can lead to bingeing on sweet things. It can be better to slowly replace sugars, so replace biscuits and sweets with fruit and try to buy lower sugar products. You will readjust your palette and be able to slowly cut down, which could be a much easier way of reducing your sugar intake.
Many people replace sugars with sweeteners, thinking that this will enable the m to get all the sweetness that they need without sugar. However, there are problems with this. With many sweeteners your body reacts as if you had eaten sugar, which means that you still get the spike in blood sugar which is so bad for you. You may have calories, but if the body tastes sweet and get no energy from what you consume it will demand you eat something because it was expecting an energy boost. Some people also feel that sweeteners are not healthy because they are not natural, but refined sugar is not natural either and is also not healthy so it is better to have neither than to try to choose between them.