Many foods contain sugar, even though it is considered unhealthy. Why is that and with which foods can a sugar-free diet be successful? An overview.
Not only chocolate or gummy bears but also ketchup, red cabbage from the glass, or fruit yogurt contain a lot of sugar. This is due to its special properties. Because sugar improves consistency and taste and is cheap at the same time. At the same time, the desire for sweets is innate in humans, because our ancestors already believed that what is sweet is non-toxic and contains plenty of calories, so it helps us survive.
Does the body need sugar?
What was an advantage in the Stone Age is often a problem today, as sugar is known to promote obesity and diseases such as diabetes. The human body does not need any additional sugar at all. Our brain and other organs need glucose, also known as dextrose, to function properly. But our body can produce these itself from many foods, for example, bread, potatoes, or cereals.
Buy sugar-free, fresh groceries
If you want to eat less or even no sugar at all, it is best to first remove ready-made products from your menu and instead cook yourself with fresh, natural ingredients. These include vegetables, legumes, nuts, kernels and seeds, dairy products without added sugar, fish, meat, and eggs as well as high-quality vegetable oils such as olive, rapeseed, or nut oil.
Although fruit contains fructose, which is no healthier than table sugar, fruit is still very healthy because of its many vitamins and fiber and should not be missing from the menu. Soft fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, is particularly low in sugar. Fruits with a relatively large amount of fructose include grapes, bananas, and persimmons.
Sweet drinks in particular, such as lemonades, yogurt drinks, and fruit juices, but also ready-made dressings and numerous frozen meals often contain a lot of sugar. Anyone who uses these products should take a close look at the list of ingredients, as the sugar “camouflages” itself there with different names. Ingredients ending in “-ose”, such as fructose (fruit sugar), dextrose, glucose (both grape sugar), lactose (milk sugar), maltose (malt sugar), and sucrose (granulated or table sugar) are always some form of Sugar. The same applies to maltodextrin, a sugar-starch mixture that, among other things, serves as a thickening agent. Syrups and thick juices such as maple, rice, malt, or corn syrup as well as agave or apple syrup are liquid sugar products.
Is honey healthier than sugar?
Honey is ultimately a sugar solution. It consists of 80 percent fructose, glucose, and other types of sugar. Although honey also contains traces of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, it is not important for the daily vitamin or mineral balance.
“Sugar-free” and “low-sugar – What are the differences?
“Sugar-free” foods are only those that contain less than 0.5 grams per 100 grams or 100 milliliters. “Low sugar” includes foods that contain no more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams or 2.5 grams per 100 milliliters. “No added sugar” means that no sweetening substance has been added. This also includes fruit juices and smoothies, which naturally contain a relatively large amount of sugar.