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Going sugar-free: Is it as healthy as it sounds?

With more and more people opting to follow a ‘sugar free diet’, we thought we’d take a closer look at this food phenomenon. Is it backed by science? Is it truly healthy? And, importantly, are there any dangers? Tune in to discover if a sugar free diet may be right for you and your family.

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Going sugar free: Is it as healthy as it's cracked up to be?—What is a sugar free diet?

A truly sugar free diet would be near impossible to follow (not to mention unhealthy!) as natural sugars are present in many healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, eggs and nuts. The term ‘sugar free diet’ generally refers to a diet free from refined sugars, which appears in almost all processed foods. It’s this type of sugar that presents many health concerns, with overconsumption leading to obesity, heart problems and other systemic disease.

Going sugar free: Is it as healthy as it's cracked up to be?—Why is refined sugar bad for us?

The UN has labelled refined sugar as a type of new age tobacco, thanks to the ingredient’s highly addictive properties. When we eat refined sugar, dopamine is released in our brain, which is the pleasure hormone. This sense of happiness we gain from eating sugar is highly addictive, with many people developing an unhealthy dependence on refined sugar to get through their day.

Although sugar provides a spike in energy levels, also adding to its addictive nature, these are not sustained—people who experience a ‘sugar high’ will soon undergo the associated crash. It’s far better to fuel our bodies with healthy whole foods that keep our energy levels stable for hours, rather than a sugar rollercoaster which has many detrimental effects on our health.

Going sugar free: Is it as healthy as it's cracked up to be?—A healthy refined-sugar free diet

People who follow a refined-sugar free diet report increased energy levels, weight loss and glowing skin. With many of us unwittingly eating double, sometimes even triple, the recommended daily intake of sugar, a refined-sugar free diet may be a healthy choice for you and your family. Dieticians encourage everyone to eat more unprocessed, whole foods, so a refined-sugar free diet definitely gets the health tick of approval.

If you think you want to give it a go, begin by researching—lots of health blogs and websites detail tips and ideas for kickstarting a refined-sugar free diet the healthy way. Then get reading—start to become familiar with reading food labels, which will provide valuable insight into the foods you should be cutting out. We guarantee you’ll be amazed by just how many savoury foods are loaded with the sweet stuff!

Then, as you get your new sugar free diet underway, remember to be easy on yourself. Going cold turkey is difficult, and you will fall off the bandwagon at some stage, so remember to be gentle and stick at it. A healthy lifestyle doesn't happen overnight!

Have you or your family ever given a refined-sugar free diet a go? We’d love to hear your stories about taking on this healthy habit.

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06 March, 2017 Facebook icon Twitter icon

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