The sugar-free lifestyle: what it all means
We are diving into the sugar-free diet from an objective viewpoint.
If you do a quick skim of Google on the topic, you’ll be met with articles with headlines varying greatly on the trend. While some sing the praises of converting to a sugar-free life and call the substance “sweet poison”, others question the health ramifications of giving up sugar completely.
This week we are diving into the sugar-free diet from an objective viewpoint, to educate our blog readers on just what this switch could mean for you.
Understanding good sugar vs bad sugar
Confusing nutritional jargon aside, in essence, all sugars can either be classed as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Sugar is a carbohydrate at its core, and transfers into glucose during digestion. In turn, this glucose brings about a spike in energy levels. The simplest way to think of sugars is, good sugars break down slower and provide more even, long-term and beneficial energy effects.
Bad sugars bring about rapid spikes in energy, usually followed quickly by a “crash” in energy.
These good sugars, can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and olive oil - coincidentally all elements of our much-loved Mediterranean diet! Bad sugars, often referred to as ‘processed sugars’, or ‘added sugars’ are added into food during manufacturing, and are a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and poor health overall.
Which sugars the sugar-free diet allows for
The most extreme version of the trendy sugar-free diet involves cutting out all sugar from your diet - both good and bad types. This means that not only are processed sugars off the table, but so are natural sugars, derived from fruit and vegetables - a mandatory element of any healthy lifestyle.
As explained earlier, good sugar is an important element of any diet, and gives us the energy and drive to get through the day. If you are used to any form of sugar in your day-to-day life, plunging into the extreme sugar-free lifestyle will be a major shock to your system. You will more than likely suffer from withdrawal headaches, low energy and irritability as a result. You will also not receive any of the important vitamins and minerals found in good sugar sources.
There is, however, a less-intense variation of the diet that many choose to partake in instead, where good sugars are allowed. However, many find that this is still highly restrictive as many substances, like honey, that we would consider natural and ‘good’ are in fact not allowed.
Is the sugar- free switch for you?
At La Española, we believe in a balanced, healthy diet that does not restrict any elements. In short, moderation and being free to enjoy foods that your enjoy and nourish your body and soul are key. As with any other dietary trends, we recommend thoroughly researching any large lifestyle change, such as the sugar-free diet, before making a decision either way whether it is right for you.