Limiting sugar in the diet is one of the most frequent dietary changes introduced to take care of health. The negative consequences of using sugar in excessive quantities are well known and confirmed by research. How to effectively reduce sugar while not giving up your favorite treats?
What is sugar?
Sugar belongs to the group of carbohydrates, the main role of which is to provide the body with the energy necessary for the proper functioning of organs, maintaining the appropriate body temperature or performing any actions. The nutritional quality of carbohydrates is evidenced, in particular, by the glycemic effect caused by them, that is, a change in blood glucose levels after their consumption.
In the case of complex carbohydrates, this change occurs gradually, while simple carbohydrates cause a sudden spike in insulin and therefore an increase in blood sugar.
From a chemical point of view, sugar is a disaccharide called sucrose. It consists of two simple sugars - glucose and fructose.
What products can we find sugar in?
A certain amount of sugar is naturally found in certain fruits and vegetables. However, its largest amount is found in processed foods - ready-made sweets and sweetened drinks. Sugar is also added for fruit yogurts, oatmeal, caramel bread or ketchup, among others.
If you want to sum up the amount of sugar consumed during the day, you should consider not only the sugar used to sweeten your drinks, but also the sugar in processed foods.
Benefits of reducing sugar in the diet
Over the past decade, Ukraine has seen changes in the food model characteristic of highly developed countries. These changes are accompanied by an increase in the consumption of highly processed foods and, therefore, the consumption of too many fats and simple sugars, a decrease in the proportion of fiber and an excess of calories.
This type of diet is known as the Western diet.
The popularity of Western diets and sedentary lifestyles mean we are dealing with an obesity epidemic.
There are many benefits to reducing simple sugars. A balanced diet with adequate calories allows you to control the correct body weight and reduces the risk of metabolic disorders - obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus and the consequences of these diseases. In addition, limiting sugar in the diet allows you to maintain the hormonal balance at the proper level, which has a positive effect on everyday well-being and quality of life.
5 most important diet principles for reducing sugar
- Changes begin in the head.
The way you think about forming healthy habits affects the effectiveness of your assumptions. Think of reducing sugar as a constant change, not just for the next 30 days.
- Act gradually, not overnight
Think of the change as a process, not something sudden and abrupt. A restrictive diet approach creates an unhealthy relationship with food. Banning sweets in general is a way to nowhere. As you know, the forbidden fruit tastes the best. Approach the diet more flexibly. Apply the 80/20 rule, in which 80% of the menu is a full-fledged basis consisting of healthy products, and 20% are recreational supplements to the diet. So, you reconcile the needs of physiology and psyche.
- Make hearty meals
To avoid reaching for processed snacks throughout the day, make sure your meals are properly formulated. Half of each plate should be vegetables and fruits. An important element is also a source of protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products) and whole grain products (cereals, cereals, pasta, etc.). Also, do not forget about a small amount of fat (vegetable oils, seeds, nuts). By composing each dish according to these principles, you will be able to create not only a healthy, but also a satisfying dish. Highly processed products and sweets are among those that are not able to saturate us for a long time.
- Find sugar substitutes
Many foods can successfully replace sugar. Even their taste is the same. Try xylitol, erythritol and stevia. Some sweeteners are not metabolized in the body, meaning they are calorie-free. Thus, you get rid of the negative effect of sugar on your hormones and well-being, without abandoning the sweet taste.
- Don't forget to hydrate
Did you know that the first symptoms of hunger and dehydration are similar? That is why an important point of reducing sugar in the diet is regular replenishment of fluid supplies throughout the day and monitoring your body in order to read its needs well.
Reducing the sugar in your diet has many benefits. As it turns out, you don't have to apply restrictions and sacrifices to succeed. You won't have to give up the sweet flavor - you can replace it with healthier counterparts. Don't make drastic changes, but stick to the 80/20 rule - your body and head will tell you thanks for that.
This article is extremely informative, in SovetPlus we have no right to prescribe any treatment or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
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