Sugar has a really bad reputation. Studies have linked it to everything from obesity and cardiovascular disease, to cancer and aging. So it should come as no surprise that so many experts and dietitians are asking people to reduce their sugar intake or even start following a no sugar diet. But is it really necessary to go that far for your health? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of sugar so you can make the right choice for your health, especially since sugar is found in such a wide range of everyday foods and drinks.
Reasons to Eliminate Sugar
Many people ingest way too much sugar every day, and they often get all of that sugar from unhealthy sources that include desserts, fruit juices, sodas, and chocolate. All of that added sugar has been found to be a contributor to a variety of health problems, including hypertension. And the CDC has even stated that ingesting too much added sugar in your diet could boost your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. But most people want to eliminate sugar in order to lose weight, as it could lead to obesity, even in children.
In addition to avoiding added sugars in foods and drinks that you consume daily, experts also advise against consuming artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. These have been associated with poor gut flora, as well as an increased risk of becoming obese and suffering from higher fasting blood sugar levels.
Reasons to Keep Some Sugar in Your Diet
Despite the many reasons to eliminate as much sugar from your diet as possible, you should also consider some of the reasons to keep at least small amounts of natural sugar in your diet.
Fruit is the perfect example of a food that contains fructose, a type of sugar, and fruit contains high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients that will benefit your overall health. Therefore, despite its sugar content, this food should not be eliminated from your diet.
On top of that, going on a no sugar diet and cutting out an entire food group can be really hard, if not entirely unrealistic. The key is to find variety in your diet while enjoying nutritious foods, even if they contain low amounts of sugar. So, while you can cut out all of the cakes and cookies, as well as the processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar (especially artificial sugars), you can enjoy foods that naturally contain sugars that your body can use for energy.
Talking to your doctor is the best way to determine if a no sugar diet is really best for your health and your unique body. But most experts will agree that a healthy, balanced diet focused on whole food ingredients is the best way to reap the benefits of natural sugar while avoiding its adverse effects.