Today, more and more people are thinking about their health and good nutrition. One of the current trends is giving up sweets (or significantly reducing their consumption). What’s wrong with sugar and can we find a healthier alternative without depriving ourselves of our favorite dessert?
In moderate doses, sugar is useful and even necessary for our body. It is the excess sugar that is harmful: it causes obesity, tooth decay, as well as type 2 diabetes. In addition, sweet foods stimulate brain processes, which cause feelings of pleasure. This means it acts on our body as a kind of drug. When eating sweet food, blood glucose levels fluctuate: at first the concentration increases, and then it falls sharply. Such a process can cause fatigue and headaches. It can also cause an acute desire to eat another serving of sweet food to relieve unpleasant symptoms and improve your health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting sugar to 10% of the total calorie intake. For an average daily diet of 2,000 kcal, that’s 50 grams of sugar, or 2 cups of juice, or 4 small cans of sweet yogurt.
Don’t forget that sugar is not only found in desserts. It can even be found in unexpected foods such as bread, sauces, fast food and dairy products. To know for sure if a product contains sugar, you need to carefully study its label.
What to replace sugar with
It is best to get sugar from natural sources: fruits, vegetables and berries. In addition to sugars, they contain vegetable proteins, fiber, vitamins and trace elements. Cherries, grapefruit and carrots are ideal. But free sugar contains nothing but empty calories, so it is better to give it up.
Nutritionists will not discourage you from a piece of chocolate, because cocoa beans have a lot of benefits: they energize us and help us quickly recover. Today, manufacturers of confectionery products increasingly offer products for those who adhere to the principles of proper nutrition. For example, in the line of confectionery factory “Victory” there are truffles and chocolate without sugar: it is replaced in them with vegetable stevia.
Interestingly, stevia is 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, while its glycemic index is zero. And this is not the only advantage of stevia, which in Japan, the land of long-livers, accounts for 40% of the sweetener market. Stevia strengthens blood vessels and has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. It is also high in vitamins and amino acids, is hypoallergenic and suitable for diabetics. Consumers can choose from three types of chocolate with different cocoa content – 36%, 57%, 72% – or try truffles, in which sugar is also replaced with stevia.
How to reduce your sweet tooth:
- Completely eliminate fast food, convenience foods and any carbonated beverages (except mineral water) from your diet
- Choose fruits and berries for dessert
- Use wholemeal bread instead of regular bread.
- Add sugar to foods you prepare at home as little as possible.
- Consider alternative products, such as chocolate and candy, that replace sugar with vegetable sweeteners like stevia.
These simple steps can help you, if not completely eliminate sugar, then significantly reduce its presence in your diet. This means that you will feel better, and soon you will feel the positive changes in your body. If you notice that you always have a craving for sweets, try to consume more potassium: it prevents blood sugar from dropping too much. Leafy greens, beet tops, avocados, beans, spinach, zucchini, and salmon are all high in potassium. Include these foods in your diet: they will help you give up the sweet bun.