Recently, Cat and I did a vlog about the “no sugar diet.” I’ve decided to expand on that since it’s a hot topic lately. While this is wayyyyy less harmful than say an Atkins or Low Calorie plan, there are some things to be mindful of if you’re jumping on the latest diet train.
It seems logical that eating too much sugar isn’t healthy right? Here are the main reasons why we give a hoot:
High intakes of added sugar have been linked to overweight and obesity, a lower intake of essential nutrients, increased triglyceride levels, hypertension, and inflammation (link to type 2 diabetes and Heart Disease). All of these are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which is what the AHA scientific statement focuses on specifically.
Too much added sugar in the diet can also “take up space,” leaving little room for healthy foods. People only have so many calories to consume each day, and if a lot of those calories come from added sugars or high-sugar/nutrient-poor foods, that means you have fewer opportunities for nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, and lean sources of protein. Not gonna fight cancer when you replace your big salad with a Starbucks Caramel Frap.
Here’s where most of our added sugar is coming from:
27% from table sugar, jams, chocolate and sweets
25% from non-alcoholic drinks
20% from biscuits, buns, cakes, cereals
11% from alcoholic drinks
6% from dairy products
5% savory food such as stir-in sauces, ketchup, salad cream, ready meals, marinades, chutneys
Hopefully you feel more in tune with what added versus naturally occurring sugars are and you might get an itch to calculate even for a day how much added sugar you are consuming. Go ahead. Do it!