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Sugar-Free: What Can You Even Eat?

What does sugar-free mean? Does the body need sugar to live? What is sugar anyway? And sugar is in almost every food. If you eat sugar-free, what can you still eat?

What Is Sugar

“Sugar is cool!”, That would have been my answer earlier. “Sugar is a devil’s stuff!” It could now be. Without emotional evaluation, sugar is the common name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates. There are over 50 names for sugar that make it difficult for us to expose sugar on labels. So it’s perfect to have the chemical basics on it, i.e., to know what sugar is. Then you can better decide for yourself which sugar you classify as “good” and which as “bad.” For example, I had no idea that fiber (like inulin) is sugar in the broadest sense.

The simple sugars – called monosaccharides – include, for example, glucose, galactose, and fructose. So far, so good. Now things get a bit complicated because there are still sugars made up of single molecules. Disaccharides (double sugars) such as lactose, sucrose, and malt sugar are particularly relevant in avoiding sugar.

There are also oligosaccharides (multiple sugars), consisting of three to nine simple sugar molecules, in legumes. Your digestion is what then makes us fart. Anything made up of at least ten simple sugar molecules can be called a polysaccharide (multiple sugars). These include starch (potatoes & Co), fiber (keyword: whole grain), and glycogen. Polysaccharides are super and super important; we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Does The Body Need Sugar?

If you eat sugar-free, you will often hear that it is unhealthy because your body needs sugar to survive. My reaction: roll my eyes and say “yes, but…” (ok, it doesn’t always go down well… it’s still true…). Life costs a lot of energy. Clear. So to survive, we also need a lot of energy. Especially runners; Naturally. And this is where glucose, i.e., grape sugar, comes into play – it is the top energy supplier for us.

Much to the regret of all candy junkies, that does not mean that we are practically forced to shovel rubber animals, foam kisses, and custard rolls into us. Crazy: Our bodies can build the energy supplier glucose themselves. As announced, the polysaccharides (for example, from the starch in potatoes) are used. The intestine splits them, and this is how we get the self-made glucose.

Doing it yourself is also totally in at the moment. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it is better to let professionals do it, but in the case of “sugar,” it is a good thing. One last important term for sugar: “Free sugars. ” Sounds nice. They could also be called added sugars – the sugar that is not naturally found in a product. For example: “With the natural sweetness of the fruit.”

This is usually thick juice or syrup and therefore sugar. It is nasty that it is found in sham packs such as fruit yogurts, children’s snacks, muesli bars, etc., and in salty foods such as tomato sauce, cheese, and sausages, actually in most processed foods.

Is Sugar Bad For Us?

Since we know what sugar is, we cannot answer anything other than “yes, but …”. Well, we need sugar, but we can also get that from a thick plate of vegetables with the help of our intestines. One of the problems with sugar is that it provides a lot of energy but few and sometimes no other nutritional values. 

For example, we may feed all day and still show malnutrition. To put it bluntly, as if we were eating delicious styrofoam. “A high and frequent sugar intake promotes the development of overweight and obesity as well as numerous diseases associated with being overweight such as diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases and the development of caries. A low-sugar diet is good for your health. “

How Much Sugar Is Good For Us?

How much energy a body needs is highly individual. A runner certainly needs more than a confessed couch potato – although if he is sitting on the sofa solving complex mathematical problems – just for fun – things could look different again since thinking also costs a lot of energy. There is a quick energy kick from foods with high sugar content. In the university library, I used to see a student who popped in a good pack of glucose and a Coke every day. 

For women, the actual consumption is 40 percent above this limit value, for men, by 30 percent. The extent of overconsumption among children and adolescents is particularly worrying: they consume 75 percent more sugar than recommended. ” No wonder, given the many hidden sugars. Oh yes, these five or ten percent are not a recommendation to get at least this number. They describe the presumed maximum that we can ingest without being damaged.

What Does Sugar-Free Mean?

“What? No sugar at all? No fruit either? And what about milk? Has milk sugar, after all. What can you still eat?” I have been asked such questions repeatedly when I admit that I have not wanted to eat sugar for a year. “Sugar-free” is so easy to say, but what is it? A matter of definition. Sugar-free diets come in a variety of forms. Some go very clean and avoid substitutes such as xylitol, stevia, and the like. Still, others avoid foods high in fructose. Others pay attention to the glycemic load. 

Reasons are:

  1. Mostly intolerance (e.g., fructose and lactose).
  2. Goal setting (e.g., losing weight, preventing diabetes).
  3. Simply personal preference.

Sugar-Free Definition

Decide to build their own sugar-free set of rules – based on the amount of information that the said sugar gurus and Doctor Google have made available.

The following applies at the moment:

  1. If sugar has been added, I do not eat it (also no sugar alternatives, sweeteners, or starches),
  2. If it naturally has more than 8 percent sugar, I won’t eat it,
  3. If it contains white flour, I won’t eat it.

Eat That In Moderation

  1. Baking & pasta with spelled rye, buckwheat, etc. 
  2. Fruit and vegetables with over 4 percent sugar (raspberries, strawberries, grapefruit, …) and with a high proportion of starch (the potato, for example, has hardly any sugar but a  lot of starch … so somehow sugar )
  3. Grains such as oats, quinoa, millet, etc.
  4. nuts

Fed Up With That

  1. Dairy products (milk, yogurt, quark, etc. – preferably on a plant basis)
  2. Cheese (I know it’s a dairy product, but cheese deserves its line.)
  3. Fruits and vegetables with less than 4 percent sugar and a low proportion of starch.


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