Dealing with a sugar addiction is never easy, but it's not impossible. The Low-Sugar diet has become popular in recent years because of the many benefits that come with following this eating regimen.
It can help you lose weight, improve your mood and energy levels, and even manage diabetes or high blood pressure!
Pantry Pal's Low-Sugar Diet Guide is here to provide everything you need to know about the Low-Sugar diet: from what foods you might look for while on the diet plan and how to shop for those items at your local grocery store.
What is the Low-Sugar Diet?
Sugars are a natural and necessary part of any diet and are found in most fruits and vegetables. Unnatural and refined sugars, however, are common in processed foods and snacks and have been linked to numerous health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and obesity.
As such, low-sugar diets that cut out these unhealthy foods have been gaining mainstream traction in the western world where those unnatural additives are common in many products.
Eating a Low-Sugar Diet
A low-sugar diet does not seek to eliminate sugar from one's diet entirely but rather centers their diet around whole, unprocessed foods that contain healthy levels of natural sugars as well as other necessary nutrients.
These foods may include:
- Fruits and vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables, citrus, and berries)
- Beans and legumes
- Whole Grains
- Seafood and lean meats
- Nuts and seeds
Foods to avoid on a low-sugar diet include those that are processed and contain refined sugars, such as:
- Fruits high in sugar such as mangoes and pineapple
- White bread and flour
- Processed foods and snacks
- Refined sugar
- Sugary beverages
While it's one thing to eat dessert once in a while, it is advisable for anyone to avoid those high-sugar foods that have become commonplace in the western diet and many products we find on grocery store shelves.
Sticking to whole, unprocessed foods can prevent many health problems, increase energy, and can lead to healthy weight loss.
Need ideas to you curb your sugar cravings?
- Drink water before your meal.
- Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast that includes protein and fiber.
- Eliminate refined sugar from your diet but eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, and seeds.
- Chew on cinnamon sticks or chew gum containing xylitol to curb cravings for sweets.
- Try something new and healthy.
- Don't be afraid to ask yourself: "Do I really want this?"
What about Sugar Alternatives?
It's important to remember following a Low-Sugar Diet is not simply about replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners.
Unfortunately, sugar substitutes can have their own list of side effects such as headaches, bloating, and potentially cause an increased appetite.
Sugar substitutes can be categorized as Natural or Artificial.
Artificial Sugar Substitutes include:
- Acesulfame potassium (Ace K)
Natural Sugar Substitutes include:
- Stevia extract