A life without sugar may only sound bitter. More and more people who have tried a sugar-free diet for themselves are reporting what science confirms: their skin is improving, as is their mood, as well as their health and figure. Tips for a happy life without (too much) sugar.
Sugar is perhaps the greatest poison that we unconsciously spoon into ourselves. Of course, it is well known that sugar is neither good for your figure nor for your teeth. But also that sugar causes the skin to age faster? Since sugar blocks the absorption of vitamins and destroys collagen, high sugar consumption is said to make the skin appear saggy, thin and pale.
More and more studies are also supporting the fact that sugar is one of the main causes of serious diseases such as diabetes, depression , Alzheimer’s, even cancer and multiple sclerosis. At the same time, our sugar consumption is steadily increasing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average European consumption of sugar is five times higher than healthy. Women eat around 100 grams a day, or 32 sugar cubes a day. 25 grams is recommended.
And most of them are not even aware that they are consuming so much sugar. Sugar is also found in foods where we least expect it. Sausage, pickles, tomato sauce, low-fat yoghurt or bread do not taste like chocolate , but sometimes contain similar amounts of sugar .
Why it is like that? Because sugar tastes good and the brain automatically asks for more and more of it. And the food industry is taking advantage of that. “If you were to clear all items from the shelves that contained sugar, 20 percent of the items would remain,” says the documentary “full of sugar – That Sugar Film”.
Sugar has many names
Sugar has learned to hide well over the years—not just in food, but in chemical terms as well. Anyone who wants to lead a life without sugar should therefore avoid industrially produced foods and study the lists of ingredients carefully.
It is important to pay attention to ingredients such as glucose (dextrose), fructose (fruit sugar) or lactose (milk sugar). They are chemical terms for different types of added sugars. But also whey and skimmed milk powder, fruit and barley malt extract or thick juice artificially sweeten our food.
The walk through the supermarket quickly becomes an obstacle course. Processed fruit yoghurt, muesli or juices are eliminated, as are pretzels, types of sausage, wine and preserves.
Sugar traps in alcohol:
Of course, the lunch roll from the bakery is strictly taboo. Just like the Chinese delivery service, which works with ready-made and sugary sauces. In general, eating out is a challenge for newcomers to the sugar-free diet at the beginning.
Life Without Sugar: What Can You Still Eat?
A lot and there are many sweet alternatives to the well-known household sugar. In addition to unprocessed foods that do not contain any table sugar per se, such as eggs, meat, fish or vegetables, there is an ever-growing range of superfoods that are completely sugar-free but score points with fiber, vitamins and minerals: for example pea noodles, quinoa or chia seed .
Shopping list: foods without sugar
- Legumes (chickpeas, lentils)
- Chia seeds
- Cheese (hard cheese, feta, goat cheese, mozzarella)
- cream cheese
- natural yoghurt, cottage cheese
- coconut flakes
- glass noodles
- Creme fraiche Cheese
- vegetable oils
- fresh fish
- crustaceans and mussels
Everything without sugar, or what?
Some are so consistent in switching to a sugar-free diet that they even eliminate fruit, milk and carbohydrates from their diet altogether. But how far should life go without sugar? Surely this is a question that everyone has to answer for themselves.
But it is also true: You can hardly do without sugar completely – and it is not recommended from a medical point of view. The body doesn’t like extremes.
A zero-sugar diet deprives the body of vital energy and is therefore also unhealthy. The nutrition expert Martina Tischer and author of the book “100 days without sugar”, for example, does not think much of the rejection of fruit: “Fruit contains many important vital substances, we should not do without them.”
In life without sugar, it is best not to start too hard. Otherwise disappointment is inevitable.
All beginnings are difficult
At the beginning, Tischer therefore advises replacing the craving for sweets more and more with naturally sweet things such as bananas, natural yoghurt with fresh fruit and nuts. As a result, a finer sense of taste develops again and classic sweets, which in any case only contain empty calories but no nutritional value, are soon perceived as far too sweet.
4 tips for starting a life without sugar
Eat sufficiently large main meals
1 The change in diet often also changes the feeling of satiety. Above all, those who do without bought bread and sugary sweets in between should make sure that they get full with the main meals. Protein-rich and fiber-rich foods and recipes that really taste good help.
Plan food ahead and stock up
2 Especially at the beginning of a sugar-free diet, shopping lists and meal plans on which foods without sugar and corresponding recipes are noted are helpful. So you always have something good in the house when you get hungry, big or small.
Healthy takeaway recipes:
Have snacks up your sleeve
3 If you want to eat sugar-free, you should avoid classic snacks; the roll from the bakery or the muesli bar are rather taboo. Anyone who works a lot and for a long time or is on the go should therefore have sugar-free snacks available, such as nuts, a piece of cheese or raw vegetables.
4 These blogs, books and documentaries motivate people to live together without sugar and have helpful tips for shopping and delicious recipes.
Fully sugared – That Sugar Film: The documentary film by the Australian actor Gameau shows the consequences of a sugar-rich diet in an entertaining way and was the incentive for many viewers to start a life without sugar. In the book of the same name based on the film, Gameau gives tips on how to eat sugar-free.
Goodbye sugar – sugar-free happiness in 8 weeks: The Australian’s book is particularly impressive with its recipes and a plan for changing your diet within 8 weeks. It’s not too fast and it’s not too strict. Because feasibility, health and fun in cooking are the focus here.
A year without sugar: There are many motivating and honest testimonials on Anya’s blog as well as good tips for beginners for shopping lists and recipes. And incredibly creative recipes such as a mousse au chocolat made from cocoa powder, avocado and banana.