Today, sugar is in a lot of foods. As a result, you probably ingest more sugar than you think. The Diabetes Fund has therefore launched a National Sugar Challenge. This involves eating and drinking healthy food without added sugars for seven days.
Unconsciously high in sugar
According to the Diabetes Fund, obesity continues to rise in the Netherlands. This is partly due to overeating sugar. Many people unknowingly ingest a lot of sugar. People must become aware of the importance of eating less sugar. Everyone should consume about 5 to 10 percent less sugar. This means adults should eat a maximum of 50 to 60 grams less. The Diabetes Fund wants to make people aware of the importance of eating less sugar. The Diabetes Fund conducted a study among Type 2 Diabetes patients to see if their sugar metabolism improved when they ate fewer hours a day.
Eating during the day
Research by the Diabetes Fund shows that many people today eat spread out over about 15 hours a day. This includes snacking in the evening. This means your body is constantly fed, whereas your body is built to alternate between fed and fasted periods when you don't eat anything. Researchers have looked at whether a longer fasted period can improve sugar metabolism.
In the study, 10 people with type 2 Diabetes ate less per day. They ate for 10 hours a day. This was mainly due to snacks in the evening that they avoided. The same 10 people did a comparison study. They also ate for over 14 hours during the study. The researchers saw that eating for fewer hours a day improved sugar metabolism. That pointed to improved insulin sensitivity, which reduces high blood sugar. It also improved the ratio of fat metabolism to sugar metabolism.
Less need for sugar
So if you do not have Diabetes, it is also better to choose to eat fewer hours a day. That way, you eat in a smaller time frame and get less sugar. You can also, of course, join the Sugar Challenge. When you don't eat sugar for a week, you will probably have a lot less craving for sugar too.
The Diabetes Fund offers the following tips to cut down on sugar
Check the label
You can read whether a product has sugar in it on the label. Be careful, though; manufacturers use a lot of different names for sugar. These include the following: sucrose, syrup, milk sugar, lactose, fructose, honey and many more.
Make it yourself
When you don't have a label at all, that's even better. With anything you make yourself, you can also control how much sugar you put in it. Some products are often easier to make yourself than you think. For instance, replace the ready-made dressing with a homemade dressing based on oil or vinegar. You can replace sugary desserts like fruit yogurt or quark with yogurt without added sugars but with fresh fruit.
Eat fruit instead of drinking it
Fruit tastes sweet because it contains a lot of fruit sugar. Your blood sugar rises faster after drinking a glass of orange juice than after eating an orange. The fiber found in whole fruits slows the absorption of sugar. Having juice once in a while is not bad, but don't do this too much. It's better to eat your fruit plain.
Fruit as sweetener
Use fruit to make something taste sweeter. This is a lot better than throwing a scoop of sugar through something. For instance, add a banana or some strawberries to your yogurt. You can finely slice an apple and cook it with oatmeal. Dried fruit like dates and apricots are also good fruits for sweetening. But remember that the moisture has evaporated from the fruit, leaving a lot of sugar in proportion.
One of the simplest ways to take in less sugar is to choose drinks without sugar. For example, you can drink unsweetened tea and water. You can give the water an extra flavor by adding slices of orange, strawberry, cucumber and pomegranate seeds.
So, what next?
Of course, it is not necessary to eliminate all sugar from your diet forever, but choosing sugar-free alternatives can make a big difference. Some products contain a little sugar, which is not bad, as long as you make sure you do not consume unnecessary (added) sugars. Above all, remember that some products also offer great health benefits, even if they sometimes contain a bit of sugar. It is up to you to make the right choices in these.