For some edible happiness, for others caloric horror with six letters: Opinions are divided on the subject of sugar! And similar to low carb and vegan, the discussion about sugar-free nutrition has long since arrived in the social media.
But is a sugar-free diet really a healthy and practical way to eat in everyday life? Or is sugar-free eating just the next big hype celebrated by nutrition gurus on Facebook and Instagram? Might it even be off the table faster than you can say "calories"? We reveal!
First of all, it can be stated that the term "sugar-free diet" does not always stand for one hundred percent abstinence. Because it is almost impossible to completely do without any form of sugar. Instead, a sugar-free diet often stands for abstaining from industrially produced sugar. More on this later! First, a little digression awaits you. Because if you're aiming for a sugar-free diet, you should understand basic facts about sugar.
Most of us associate sugar with the classic white sugar that everyone has at home. That is, the sugar that ends up in coffee and is used to bake cakes. This sugar is sucrose, a dual sugar made up of glucose and fructose - probably the best known types of sugar. Perhaps you are also familiar with the terms maltose, lactose and istomaltulose? These are also types of sugar. Have a look at the ingredients of different foods. Almost everything that ends in "-ose" is a type of sugar.
Sugar is a carbohydrate and is relatively high in calories: after all, one gram of sugar has four calories (or 100 g of sugar have about 400 kcal) - regardless of the type of sugar. Many types of sugar are also empty calories. They contain no valuable micronutrients and do not provide long-lasting satiety. Instead, they give you a quick, but not lasting, boost. After a short time, the energy is gone again.
Of course, there are many differences between the various types of sugar. The important thing to remember here is that they are found in quite a lot of foods - not just sweets, fizzy drinks and chocolate spreads. To go sugar-free, you'd have to cut out all carbohydrates, including fruits and vegetables, from your shopping list. Suddenly that doesn't sound so desirable, does it?
Completely on a sugar-free Nutrition Switching to sugar is feasible, but it should be very well thought out. Sugar is present in most foods, even those that provide your body with essential nutrients. In order to be able to implement a completely sugar-free diet permanently and prevent deficiency symptoms, you would have to supply your body with vitamin supplements and nutrient substitutes. Whether this is healthier in the long run remains to be seen. Therefore, a one hundred percent sugar-free diet is not recommended for the vast majority of us.
A sugar-reduced diet, on the other hand, is much more practical. In this case, you do not completely avoid sugar, but mainly certain types of sugar, and reduce sugar consumption. For example, you cut out sweets, ready meals and other foods that contain white or brown household sugar, but instead regularly eat fruit and vegetables. When cooking, you can use sugar substitutes such as stevia, xylitol, erythritol or saccharin. This way, you eat a balanced diet, but reduce sugar to the necessary minimum.
There are people who prefer a sugar-free or low-sugar diet. Nutrition swear as a magic bullet for beauty and youth. It is certain that excessive sugar consumption can lead to extra pounds and cause beauty flaws such as tooth decay. But is it also true that a completely sugar-free diet makes you beautiful?
No, I'm sure it doesn't. It has not been proven (at least not yet) that consistently avoiding sugar makes for better skin and a firmer body. There is no data, study or evidence that a sugar-free diet makes you more beautiful or even reduces and rejuvenates wrinkles. On the contrary, as mentioned above, a completely sugar-free diet can even lead to deficiency symptoms under certain circumstances. And that in turn makes itself felt negatively, for example with brittle nails and hair loss.
Please don't be fooled by statements claiming that a sugar-free diet makes you beautiful. Instead, reduce your sugar consumption - leave out sweets, convenience foods, white bread and soft drinks for a longer period of time and see what happens. Does your body change? Or how you feel about your body? At the end of the day, it's all about feeling good in your skin. After all, that is still the best guarantee for (inner and outer) beauty.
A one hundred percent sugar-free diet, in which you abstain from carbohydrates and therefore also from fruit and vegetables over a long period of time, is certainly not healthy. It becomes risky when your body lacks important vitamins and you have to fill up your nutrient depots with food supplements. This can never be the purpose of a healthy dietary change.
However, if you reduce your sugar consumption to the bare minimum and keep grains, fruits and vegetables on your diet, it makes a big difference. Then it is a responsible approach to your body - far away from media hypes on the subject of nutrition.
Despite everything, you should not categorically exclude or even demonize sugar in this case. A conscious approach is great, but eating a piece of chocolate every now and then is also perfectly fine. At the end of the day, it's all about feeling good in your body - after all, you only have the one.