What we’ve been talking about to obtain a healthy lifestyle included a low carb meal plan with a sugar free diet. Combined with exercise you have a winning recipe.

So let’s look today’s topic straight in the eye – sugar free diet plans. This seems to be easy enough to understand, doesn’t it? Every second item on the supermarket aisles seems to promote itself as being sugar free. The reality is that not everything is as clear cut as all that. You have to know what to look for to actually receive the benefits of a product that truly is sugar free.

Why choose to go sugar free? Let us explore the benefits. We have been talking a lot about insulin. Sugar quickly gets metabolized into blood sugar and that encourages your body to produce insulin. In turn, insulin stimulates the body to store fat. Sugary foods are high on the Glycemic Index. They spike your body’s blood sugar suddenly and temporarily give you a burst of energy.

If you eliminate sugar from your eating plan as much as you can, you could increase your odds severely to easily lose the unwanted weight. If you rather make food choices consisting of items that have a low GI index, the fluctuations in your blood sugar and insulin levels are much smaller – thus keeping your energy level more balanced. Not only is it better for you, but you will feel full for longer, not craving nearly as much or as quickly after a meal than people would who prefer to eat sugary foods. With sugary types of food, it is much more difficult to control your calorie consumption.

Earlier I mentioned how not all sugar free products state the facts and truly are sugar free. I would love to explain some more. It is the general consensus from health organizations that the added sugar intakes should not exceed 6 or 7% of your total calories. This does not include fructose (natural sugar from fruit) or lactose (natural sugar from dairy products).

Sometimes the label on a product happily and loudly boasts that it only has x amount of sugar. This is not always the truth. There are, quite often unfortunately, a fair amount of hidden sugars. Luckily companies are forced to put all ingredients on their labels so the sugars might seem hidden but if you know where to look, you can educate yourself on each product before consuming much more sugar than you intended to.

A sneaky way to make a product seem healthier and less sugary than it truly is, is to divide the total amount of added sugar into three or four different types of sugar names. So by dividing the amount of total added sugar by four, it seems much more harmless. The ingredient list of a product starts with the ingredient that has the most weight, or that makes up most of the product. Then it lessens and lessens as the ingredients with the least weight end up at the bottom of the ingredients list. So by dividing the sugar, all these naughty hidden ingredients are fardown the ingredient list.

One of the easiest ways to spot hidden sugars is the “-ose” suffix such as in glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, lactose, sucrose. Unfortunately it is not as simple as that every time. These are all also sugar: Dextrin, Caramel corn syrup, Beet syrup (watch for any “syrup”), Maltodextrin, Dehydrated cane juice (basically any “cane” ingredient), Diastase, Turbinado, anything with “sugar” in the term and Ethyl maltol.

This is surely a mouthful… but rather this mouthful of terms than a mouthful of hidden sugars aiming to sneak their way into your body.

I’ll blog back soon.

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