Adjusting to a Sugar Free or Almost Sugar Free Diet
The growing awareness around the dangers of a diet heavy in sugar consumption, combined with the growing rate of type 2 diabetes, means that many Americans are exploring a sugar free or almost sugar free diet. If you are one of the many people looking to say goodbye to sugar in 2020, here is what you need to know to prepare.
Benefits of a Sugar Free Diet
When weighing whether or not to cut out all or most of the sugar in your diet, you should consider a few questions, not the least of which is, why are you going sugar free in the first place? If you’re like many people, the answer is the myriad of health benefits. Most of us understand the more obvious benefits of cutting back on sugar in our diet, but there are a few you may not have thought of. What are the most notable benefits of a sugar free diet? Here's just a handful.
- Better Skin – Did you know that high blood sugar can lead to a process known as glycation? Glycation is when your body is unable to properly repair the collagen in your skin. When this occurs, your skin will not look as healthy and plump. If you eat too much sugar for a long period of time, you can also experience premature wrinkles and reduced elasticity. A sugar free diet may help to alleviate some of these issues.
- More Energy – How can you have more energy when you aren’t taking in the major energy-booster that is sugar? It’s simple! In many cases, sugar actually makes you have less energy. Once the initial burst of sugar you take in has been metabolized, you are set up for a huge sugar crash. Depending on what your diet is like, you could be riding a sugar roller coaster all day long. When you stop eating sugary foods and switch them for high protein foods with healthy fats, you will get a steady boost of energy all day.
- Lose Extra Weight – Are you holding onto extra weight, particularly in the belly area? High-sugar foods spike your blood sugar and flood insulin into your body, which in turn can contribute to high levels of belly fat. Belly fat can be very dangerous, as it can lead to inflammation and an elevated risk of serious conditions like heart disease and cancer. When you cut out high-sugar foods, it can help you reduce your belly fat and the chances that you’ll experience these conditions.
- Reduce Your Diabetes Risk – Beyond reducing your risk for everything listed above, you will dramatically reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. A diet with fast-digesting carbs including sugar makes your pancreas create and release a great deal of insulin. When these cells become worn out over time, you can develop diabetes. A sugar free diet can dramatically reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Better Dental Health – Of course, we can't leave this one out. We've been told all our lives, first by parents and later by dentists, that sugary foods will cause or exacerbate poor dental health; cavities, tooth decay and loss. Even if this is not your main reason for giving up sugar, it's not a bad side effect to have.
What Are The Alternatives?
Are you ready to finally say goodbye to sugar? There are lots of alternative foods available in a sugar free diet that can help you kick the habit. Here are some of the best naturally sweet and delicious foods that can aid in kicking your sugar habit without feeling completely deprived.
- Strong flavored teas (just make sure there is no sugar added!)
- Sweet potato
- Carrot sticks
- Nut butter (with no sugar added)
- 85% dark chocolate
- Fresh fruit
- Sugar free chewing gum and mints (these can sometimes stimulate your appetite, so be careful if you notice that side effect)
- Natural yogurts with fruit and without sugar added
- Dates and prunes
Is Going Sugar Free Worth It?
You are the only one who can ultimately make that determination. As your health care professional will, no doubt, point out, the known benefits of a low sugar or sugar free diet are almost too numerous to count. Some people feel like they just could not survive without pies, cakes, candy, sodas or (insert your favorite here). The truth is, you can. But the other truth is, if you can learn to eat those things in moderation, and only occasionally, you don't have to give them up entirely. A slice of cheesecake or a bottle of Coke once in a while will not be detrimental to most people. So, if you're one of those who can manage that kind of consumption while dramatically cutting down on your sugar intake, that would be the perfect place to start. You might eventually decide that you can live without sugar altogether. Stranger things have happened.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help You Make the Best Choices
If you have questions about your diet and how it connects to your fitness routine, and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works hundreds of nutritionists, personal trainers and professional coaches. We're happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget. And, for some great advice about equipment and accessories, don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.