In the past years of study, sugar had seen to be one of the most disastrous substances to our health. Excessive intake of sugar can cause a lot of health issues like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and other lifestyle diseases. That is why that sugar-free diets are being promoted worldwide.
What is sugar? Sugar is typically a combination of glucose and fructose. Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food.
The most common sources of added sugars include soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsp of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsp.
The fact that our body actually needs a certain amount of glucose to function - primarily the brain - which is the biggest consumer of glucose. All fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of sugar in the form of natural fructose, so aiming to be 100%, or close to, sugar-free, is not only near impossible but actually unhealthy, as this would mean avoiding all fruits and vegetables.
And according to MedicalNewstoday "Cutting all sugar from your diet would be very difficult to achieve. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and dairy replacements, eggs, alcohol and nuts all contain sugar, which would leave you with little other than meat and fats to eat - definitely not very healthy."
So what would be the best thing to do?
AHA provide some tips to reduce sugar intake:
- Cut back on the amount of sugar you may regularly add to foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, cereal and pancakes
- Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with sugar-free or low-calorie drinks
- Compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars
- When baking cakes, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by a third
- Try replacing sugar in recipes with extracts or spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, almond or vanilla
- Replace sugar on cereal or oatmeal with fruit.
According to Dr. Alison Boyd director of Sugar Nutrition UK "Like all sources of calories, sugars can be consumed within a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle," and "Sugars can often help to make certain nutritious foods more palatable, which can promote variety in a healthy, balanced diet."
So, in short, having a balanced diet and active lifestyle could be the most appropriate method to be healthy even if we include sugar(reduce intake, avoid added sugar and focus on sugar from fruits and vegetables) to our diet.