Fact or fiction: Sugar is bad for you. In 2015 I heard and read about sugar, reducing sugar and living sugar-free and it seems as though some people have started a war against it. But why would you hate something that is so sweet? Is it really that bad for you, or is it just another food trend?
The first time I heard about the sugar-free lifestyle, was in 2014 when my boyfriends brother and wife lost a lot of weight and told us it was because they reduced the amount of sugar in their eating pattern. Next to losing weight they also claimed to feel so much better, having more energy and no desire to eat something sweet around four o’clock or after dinner.
I didn’t really pay attention to the whole no sugar trend, but I was impressed with their dedication, while eating something that was apparently on their no-no list, bread. I had no idea that bread contained sugar. When they talked about how hard it was to not eat sugar the first days (e.g. headaches, no energy, cranky, hungry all the time) and after a week a feeling of being reborn, my interest was sparked.
The thing is: we all know that sugar is not healthy. The other thing is that even if we try to live a healthy lifestyle we still eat a lot of sugar. How many people have you heard saying: I don’t eat a lot of sugar because I rarely eat sweets and drink soda? We don’t realize, well maybe now you do, how much sugar we consume each day. I just read an article at NOS that British children eat their weight in sugar each year. Each year! That’s insane! How is it possible that we eat so much sugar without noticing?
The answer is simple: factories that produce our food put a lot of sugar in our products to give it a better taste. Plus: sugar is cheap.
While you think you live a conscious life without a lot of sugar, look at the products in your cabinet and fridge and pick out things that you think do not contain sugar. Just look at the back of the product. In my case: cheese, bread, butter, rice milk, tomato soup, crackers and chicken breast fillet.
On the other hand, we need sugar for energy. Take a lot at apples for instance, it contains a lot of sugar, but is still considered healthy. This has to do with the type of sugar that it contains. Most foods contain unnatural sugar, some products contain sugar even though the product doesn’t need added sugar and some products contain sugar naturally.
Sugar is seen as a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates usually contain calories, but do not provide any minerals, vitamins and fibers. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to tooth decoy, overweight, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or in short: things that make life less fun.
If you want to try and life the sugar free diet, please remember that there are so many types of sugar that you have to consider living without: glucose, lactose, sugar, sugar paste, syrup, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup.
You may also think that certain types of sugar are better for you, because you heard it from for instance, Rens Kroes who prefers agave syrup above sugar. This is unfortunately not true. Sugar is sugar. Your body sees no difference or reacts differently to natural sugar, processed sugar or any type of sugar whatsoever. The only thing your body sees is fuel and energy.
In the beginning I asked: Is sugar really that bad for you? Truth be told, I think that sugar is fine as long as you try to live consciously. Try to cut some products that contain sugar from your list or make it yourself (I started baking my own bread without sugar. Tastes great and the smell of fresh warm bread that fills the house makes my heart pound). You know best what to eat and what makes you happy. You only got one life. Don’t waste it on always saying no to a piece of chocolate that you really want, but also don’t waste it on an unhealthy unconscious life either.