Eco Healthy Eating: Zero Added Sugar

Written by: Emmanuel

By liking what we do and living our meaning, we're in harmony with everyone and everything. Emmanuel van der Meulen. CEO, Peace Evolution.

Published: November 6, 2020

Sugar is Not a Treat | Jody Stanislaw | TEDxSunValley

Added sugar hides everywhere in today’s widely-accepted diet, but meanwhile its devastating effects are causing more deaths than automobile accidents. In this eye-opening talk, Dr. Jody Stanislaw, a Naturopathic Doctor who has been studying the negative effects of sugar since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 7, dives into how the widespread negative effects of sugar are affecting us all, and what you can do about it.

Today, a lot of baffling advice is available when it comes to Eco Healthy Eating. A group of experts view eggs as a natural bounty whereas another group emerges from the unknown and says that eggs raise cholesterol. Similarly, some people see coffee as a good healthy drink whereas some say that coffee causes cancer. This happens with all health products; all such claims are ambiguous and confusing.

We come across Conflicting nutrition advice which leads to healthy eating confusion. According to the American annual 2017 Food and Health Survey: A Focus on 50+ by The International Food Information Council (IFIC), we are now questioning our own food choices and are searching for ways to make our diet healthier.

Do you know the root cause of the confusion? It is the health food industry: the manufacturers, the marketers, and the advisors of healthy food. Their hunger for success is behind all the ambiguity and confusion, and we know very well that success in business is directly proportional to profits.

In order to make their brands accessible to more and more people, food producers frequently come up with new lines of healthy products and with numerous tips, tricks, and advice to remain healthy. This overflow of information results in confusion for those looking for eco-friendly food recipes.

There is nothing wrong with the quality of such products or with the advice (most of them have some research as the basis), the problem is with the approach followed in communicating with consumers. For a best approach see addressing consumer confusion about healthy eating could help better-for-you brands succeed. This would help consumers make a confident decision.

Instead of being the victim of this confusion, let’s focus on the natural approach to a healthy diet, see Definition of Holistic Nutrition. This approach not only provides us with spiritual, psychological, and health benefits it also helps the environment.

When you are on the path of eco healthy eating, the biggest hurdle you’ll face is Sugar. Sugar, especially the sugar added to products and when cooking, negatively impacts all the organs in the human body.

Some people will argue that fruit contains sugar.

Though fruit does contain sugar, that sugar is naturally present in the fruit. The damage to human health occurs from consuming added (free) sugar to the food. Although the properties of sugar in fruit and free sugar are the same (glucose, fructose, sucrose), free sugar is detached from its naturally occurring source.

To be healthy, cut out Added Sugar!

People don’t accept a change or implement a new habit until you see the benefits. Cutting out sugar from your diet and eating healthy eco-friendly dishes provides many benefits. Here are some major benefits:

  • When you regularly consume a diet rich in sugar, you’ll experience premature wrinkles and reduced elasticity. However, when you slash the sugar intake, you’ll get younger-looking skin.

  • Added sugar is a simple carbohydrate and present in almost everybody’s diet. It is digested quickly and enters the bloodstream; a quick shot of energy and as soon as this shot is metabolized, you start feeling low on energy. When you skip added sugar, and eat healthy fat and high protein food, you’ll consistently get energy, which lasts longer.

  • A habit such as drinking sugary-soda daily, results in extra weight, especially in your belly area. When you cut out sugar from your diet, you’ll get rid of belly fat, fast.

  • The increased levels of insulin not only affect the tummy, it puts fat cells all over the body resulting in increased weight. When the sugary foods in a diet are replaced with healthy fats, the insulin remains stable and very few calories get converted into fat. The result is less hunger, increased metabolism, and the ability to lose weight without struggling.

  • When you eat fewer sweets, your insulin remains in control and you can easily shed weight. Besides this, you will also get protection against type-2 diabetes.

  • A diet with less or no added sugar keeps your heart healthy. Researchers reveal that added sugars are bad for the cardiovascular system. So, removing added sugar from your diet benefits you immediately and in the long term.

How to cut added sugar from a diet?

After reading the benefits, with your interest piqued, you’ll definitely look for ways to cut added sugar from your diet or start eating a no sugar diet. To make it easy for you, here are some ways:

  • Stop drinking energy drinks, sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks, they contain large amounts of added sugar.

  • Remove desserts, they are filled with sugar and besides most of them don’t offer much nutritional value.

  • Avoid sauces like barbecue sauce, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, etc., all of those have a surprisingly high level of added sugar.

  • Start eating natural full-fat foods instead of foods like yogurt, peanut butter, salad dressing, etc, which have added sugar. It is important to note, this is not the case with sugar free peanut butter. That is indeed an alternative.

  • Consuming whole foods is good for you, they are not refined or processed. Moreover, they are free from artificial substances and additives.

  • Make sure to check the ingredients in all premade drinks and foods and avoid those with added sugar. Avoid premade foods with syrup.

  • In order to cut down sugar intake, people make a shift towards “healthy snacks”. The amount of sugar in these snacks is not less than their harmful counterparts. Similarly, avoid sugar-rich breakfasts.

  • To avoid food with added sugar is at first not an easy task. Certain savory food also contains lots of added sugar. Read the ingredients list on the packaging. Food companies are very clever, they mention added sugar by different names.

  • As is seen here, cutting out sugar isn’t easy. Needless to say, as your awareness and understanding evolves, cutting out added sugar becomes a journey, a lifestyle changer, ideally you’ll evolve to the point of knowing what you’re eating, and even evolve to the point of preparing and cooking your own food, drinks and desserts. Joining eco healthy eating is a journey, a lifestyle with very many benefits for yourself. And incidentally, this lifestyle has an impact on the environment too.

Is sugar a toxin that’s fueling the global obesity epidemic? That’s the argument UCSF’s Dr. Robert Lustig made in Sugar: The Bitter Truth, a 2009 UCTV video that’s since gone viral and sparked a national dialogue. In The Skinny on Obesity, a 7-part series from UCTV Prime, Dr. Lustig and two of his UCSF colleagues tease out the science behind this alarming claim and the dire threat it poses to global public health.

The Adversities of Eating Sugar

Sugar, when added, is harmful to the human body. According to the World Health Organization, we need to only get up to 10% of our everyday calories from sugar, see  Draft Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. They are even considering lowering it to 5% because damage caused by sugar is now a worldwide concern. Below are some common problems with eating added sugar.

Cavities: You might be aware of this from childhood. Yes, sugar is directly responsible for cavities and tooth decay.

Weight Gain: Foods rich in sugar are filled with calories but do very little to satiate hunger. This leads to overeating and finally weight gain and obesity.

Insulin Resistance: When you consume sugar-rich meals, the demand for insulin is increased in your body. The consistent high-levels of insulin reduce your body’s sensitivity to this hormone, glucose keeps on building in the blood. If not realized in time, people develop full-blown diabetes.

Type-2 Diabetes: The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, sweetened ice tea, etc., is directly associated with not only weight gain but also with the evolution of type-2 diabetes.

Liver Failure: When the human body metabolizes sugar, a stress response is created in the liver which aggravates inflammation. With overdoses of sugar, the liver has to work even harder and this leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This, when not treated in time, leads to liver failure.

Pancreatic Cancer: Research reveals that high intake of sugar increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. It is found that sugar-rich diets cause diabetes and obesity which further paves the way for pancreatic cancer. But because of disputes on this subject, further research is ongoing.

Kidney Disease: There are findings which suggest that consumption of sugary soda is linked with enlargement of kidneys, kidney disease, and kidney damage.

Heart Disease: When large amounts of added sugar become a normal part of the diet, there is always a risk of high blood pressure. Moreover, eating too much sugar causes various cardiovascular diseases and ultimately, heart failure.

Addiction: You might have heard of drug addiction. Excessive intake of sugar leads to neurochemical changes which further cause addiction to sugary foods. And by now, with the aforementioned, you know how much damage a high-sugar diet does to a human body.

Nutritional Deficiencies: When you eat sugar-rich foods, you skip whole foods which leads to nutritional deficiencies.

Higher intake of sugar in diets is responsible for several other health ailments such as cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, Gout, etc.

If keenly observed, you’ll find that sugar is added to almost all processed food items. One reason behind this is that manufacturers have realized that added sugar in food make these foods sell – and so more sales and huge profits. That’s why even some pickles today come with added sugar (to confirm, read the ingredients next time you buy).

There is no doubt that sugary foods taste good, the more you eat the more you want. In short, sugar is addictive. While eating processed foods as part of your daily life, you isolate yourself from eco healthy eating.

Besides addiction and greed, there is one more reason behind sugar being present in most food items. Sugar is used as a preservative.


How to identify if the food product you buy has added sugar or not?

After reading this, if you’re curious about finding out if the food product you are buying contains added sugar or not, you’ll find the list of ingredients on the side, bottom, or back of the food or drinks packaging. Added sugar would be mentioned as sugar, corn sweetener, brown sugar, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, lactose, malt syrup or maple, nectars, molasses, sugar cane juice, raw sugar, and sucrose. In fact, the list is very long with more than 55 names.

Do not believe the phrase “lightly sweetened” on any product because it may contain anywhere from 1-100g or even more sugar. But if you find a product labeled as “No Added Sugar”, take a sigh of relief, that product is fine and beneficial to your health.

For further details, go through Your Guide to the FDA’s New Nutrition Labels.

Benefits of eating without Added Sugar

When you start consuming food without sugar, you’ll experience many benefits. Some of the benefits of eliminating sugar are:

  • Less burden on your pocket.

  • Substantial weight loss.

  • Bright and clearer skin. And, freedom from pimples too.

  • A remarkable improvement in energy levels.

  • Remaining motivated to eat healthy and clean food.

  • A dramatic decrease in appetite.

  • Your creativity would increase and you will always be ready to solve problems.

  • You’ll meet your new active avatar.

  • You’ll experience stronger resistance and a reduction in anxiety.

After discussing all the damage caused by including sugary foods and drinks in your diet and all the benefits gained by excluding such from your diet, it’s apparent that eating without sugar is healthy.

Today, the amount of sugar consumed is much higher and this increases the risk of various chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, and many more.

Removing sugar from your diet is a necessity; the necessity to live healthily. It’s time to consciously decrease or completely avoid the intake of sodas and desserts. It’s time to stop eating processed foods and to follow a diet based on whole foods. Also, don’t forget to check the labels on food and drinks, to avoid foods that contain added sugar.

Healthy Sugar Substitute And Healthy Sugar Alternatives

Firstly, though healthy sugar alternatives exist, the ideal way forward is to cut out added sugar as much as is possible and rather eat healthy wholesome food. Such food is easily found at the grocery store and regular and specialty fruit and vegetable stores.

These are some healthy sugar alternatives: agave, coconut sugar, raw honey, stevia, dates.

Keeping in mind the moment such alternative sweeteners are processed, they become suspect: then ask this: is natural sugar bad for you?

When we substitute sugar for wholesome foods like organic vegetables, fruit, and natural sugars (like those derived from fruit) we swap a healthy life for the added sugar side effects.

Aspartame Side Effects and What Aspartame Is?

Let’s explore whether aspartame is good for you or is aspartame bad for you?

Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener, and used in foods and drinks for decades to presumably lower the intake of added sugars, so that we are able to enjoy sweet tasting treats. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. The idea is that a much smaller quantity is required to satisfy our taste buds.

Despite its extensive popularity, aspartame has become a source of controversy with studies claiming the sweetener has adverse side effects, and even seen as aspartame dangers.

As a sugar substitute, aspartame, is found in thousands of foods and beverages. Studies have found that aspartame side effects include headaches, insomnia, mood alterations and gastrointestinal problems. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in the brain to function normally and may lead to loss of function of neurons.

Some studies monitored participants over several years, and found a link between increased body weight and waist circumference and the regular intake of sweeteners.

One way aspartame consumption and other nonnutritive sweeteners may affect body weight is by increasing our appetite, which may lead to higher food consumption.

The review suggests that sweeteners may increase appetite by disrupting the signaling process that usually occurs when we eat foods with more calories.

Other Names for Aspartame

For awareness, note these aspartame product brand names: NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, AminoSweet, Sanecta, Twinsweet, Neotame.

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