gingerbread cookies and coca cola bottles

Sugar Free

Eating the Sugar-Free Way

Perhaps your weakness is pistachio ice cream, brownies with nuts, or pancakes covered with syrup. Many of us crave sweets sometimes throughout the day.  Some of us may even be addicted to sugar.  The problem is, large helpings of sugary foods can lead to substantial weight gain.  But eating sugar-free does not necessarily guarantee weight loss.

Food may be sugar-free and still contain a great number of calories and carbohydrates.  You may be thinking that you can lose weight simply by using sugar substitutes.  However, this is a naïve way of thinking, since some sugar substitutes increase your intake of both calories and carbs. For instance, the sugar substitute fructose adds calories and carbs to your daily diet.  These types of sugar substitutes are often called sugar alcohols or polyols. 

It should be stated that polyols can be highly beneficial.  For instance, while they offer a sugary taste, they have fewer calories than sugar. They are particularly advantageous for people with diabetes and, unlike sugar, they do not cause tooth decay. You can find polyols in a number of baked goods and candies.  Interestingly enough, they can even be found in mouthwashes.  

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Sugar-Free Lemon

Given the fact that polyols are low-cal, they can be helpful in a weight management program.   Fortunately, there are a number of desserts that are both sugar-free and delicious.  For instance, sugar-free lemon cheesecake is a healthy alternative to the typical high-calorie cheesecake.  You can also make butterscotch and pumpkin pudding by using a sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix.

A sugar-free version of Old-Fashioned Applesauce cake is made with reduced-calorie margarine,  Splenda, and unsweetened applesauce, while light chocolate peanut butter pie can be created with sugar-free chocolate pudding and a fat-free whipped dessert topping.  Meanwhile, the sugar-free strawberry pie can be made with Diet Sprite or 7-Up and sugar-free strawberry gelatin.

The American Diabetes Association heartily endorses sugar-free diets.  The organization also recommends consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day; a half-dozen servings of bread and cereals; no more than three servings of low-fat milk or yogurt,  lean meats; and a limited amount of sweets and desserts.

When you dine in restaurants, the Diabetes Association recommends that you save half your meal for the next day in order to avoid calorie overload.  You might also consider sharing a meal or dessert with someone else.  Also, you might want to substitute a salad for potatoes.  In addition, you should ask that your dressing or sauce be served on the side in order to attempt to control portions.   

It is interesting to note that food can be labeled “no sugar added” and still contain sugar.  The label refers to the fact that notable sugar is involved; however, the food could still have its share of natural sugars.   As a result, no-sugar-added food could have as many calories as other types of food.  In addition, the Diabetes Association cautions that eating protein alone will not enhance your muscles.  Rather, you need exercise to strengthen your muscles. 

While eating sugar-free food can be beneficial, the Diabetes Association offers other tips for attempting to lose weight and keep it off.  In general, the guidelines call for reducing calories and fat, exercising each day, not skipping breakfast, and maintaining a food log that indicates everything you have consumed on a daily basis.

Lessening your dependence on sugar can be an important first step toward improving your diet.  But, as we have seen, simply eating sugar-free will not guarantee that you will achieve the weight loss you’re looking for.  Weight reduction takes a great deal of discipline and patience.  You did not gain all of your extra weight in a single day, so you can’t expect to be rid of it instantaneously. 

Before cutting out sugar entirely from your diet, it’s best to check with your doctor.  He or she can also give you some effective weight management techniques.  It’s always best to have a medical doctor overseeing your weight loss plan.  That can help to ensure that you maintain good health during the weight reduction process.  With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your weight loss goals.  You yourself may be astounded at your progress, once you begin a sensible diet plan.

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This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
Since natural and/or dietary supplements are not FDA-approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

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