· By Elfie von KOMBUCHERY
Benefits of a low-sugar diet
From seductive sweetness to white poison? Is sugar really unhealthy or is it completely harmless to our body even in moderation? With this article I would like to draw your attention to a more conscious use of sugar and give you all the useful facts about it.
Why sugar can be harmful
Sugar is part of our body in the form of blood sugar. Sugar is also found in natural foods such as B. in fruits, vegetables or grains . These forms of sugar generally do not pose a problem.
However, when it comes to the sugar that the food industry makes available to us, such as table sugar and glucose syrup, then you should already have an overview of the quantities and types so as not to endanger your health. Fluctuations in blood sugar can be easily compensated for by the body, but only if they occur at normal levels. However, high industrial sugar consumption leads to blood sugar fluctuations that put a strain on the body. It damages the teeth, promotes a lack of vital substances, causes blood sugar fluctuations, promotes chronic inflammatory processes, disrupts the intestinal flora and promotes the development of cancer.
The glycemic index (GI)
How quickly and how high the blood sugar level rises after eating a food is measured using a specific parameter: the glycemic index. Carbohydrates are worse and unhealthier the higher their glycemic index is.
Pure glucose has the highest GI of 100. White bread, for example, is between 70 and 85 and cola at 70. Whole grain products have a GI of 40, legumes and most fruits and vegetables are even lower.
Since a low GI causes blood sugar levels to rise only slowly, whole grain foods, legumes, fruits and vegetables hardly put a strain on the body. In general, a food with a GI over 50 is considered worse than those under 50.
With this you can see that the consumption of sugar and carbohydrates have a very different influence on the blood sugar level. In addition, the sugar from healthy foods only causes minor blood sugar fluctuations and is therefore used to generate energy without damaging your health.
With natural sugar in fruits or grains, you also absorb accompanying substances such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Isolated and refined forms of sugar, on the other hand, consist exclusively of sugar without these accompanying substances. These have a negative effect on the metabolism.
What constitutes a healthy sugar?
Only sugar found in natural foods such as fruits, grains, nuts, legumes and vegetables can be described as healthy sugar. However, forms of sugar that you consume in industrially processed and isolated form are at best less harmful, but none of these sugars are actually that healthy - with a few exceptions.
Health problems and risks
Man has not eaten refined flour or any form of isolated sugar for thousands of years. These are changes that our body can hardly cope with, and which show up in various health problems in addition to tooth decay.
In addition to the damage mentioned above, which our body can experience from the increased intake of isolated sugar, among other things, the lack of nutrients is at the forefront. For example, if we were to eat the sugar beet whole, we would be getting fiber, vitamins, and minerals in addition to carbohydrates. In fruits, nature has combined everything that serves a balanced supply of nutrients.
Unfortunately, household sugar & co. no longer contain any nutrients. Since no vitamins, minerals or dietary fiber arrive with the sugar, the body has to get the accompanying substances it needs to process the sugar from its own stores. In particular, vitamin B1 and calcium should be consumed more with high sugar consumption.
People who eat a lot of foods with isolated carbohydrates are bound to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies at some point. And here we can lump sugar, white flour and white rice together. As a result of the intensive processing, all of them have lost almost all of their nutrient diversity.
Consequences of a persistent lack of nutrients include infectious diseases, tooth decay, osteoporosis, hyperactivity, listlessness or premature aging.
Tips for switching to a low-sugar diet:
- Avoid sugary drinks - drink kombucha and high-quality water instead.
- Start the day with a sugar-free breakfast.
- Eat a lot of fresh, raw food, with as many bitter substances as possible.
- Wild herbs counteract a nutrient deficiency.
- Give preference to valuable carbohydrate-rich foods such as sprouts, nuts or sweet potatoes.
- Eat as little processed food as possible.
- Read ingredient lists of foods and also recognize hidden sugars.
- Use alternative sweeteners.
- Make a habit of chewing thoroughly.
labeling of sugar
Reading ingredient lists when grocery shopping can be tricky sometimes—sugar goes by many names, especially all kinds of sugar syrup. Syrup is cheap, sweetens even more intensively due to the usually higher fructose content and has meanwhile crept into almost all ready-to-eat foods.
Sugar can have the following designations:
barley malt extract
fruit juice concentrates
coconut blossom sugar
grape fruit sweetness
When looking through the lists of ingredients, it is easy to misjudge the sugar content and the sweeteners used.
- Sugar is hidden behind names that do not directly suggest sugar, such as dextrose or isoglucose.
- Repeated listing of sweetening ingredients means that they slide down the list of ingredients, but add up to enormous amounts of sugar.
- Products that say “unsweetened”, such as rice milk, still contain 7.2 g of sugar per 100 ml.
- Products such as pizza, vegetarian spreads and much more contain various sugar additives.
Healthy sugar alternatives
Agave syrup is made from the sap of agaves. After extraction, it is filtered, heated, thickened and then contains 76 percent sugar. It is slightly thinner than honey and consists mainly of fructose and glucose, with the fructose content clearly predominating at an average of 7:3. Thus, agave syrup has the lowest glycemic index of 15 of all sweeteners and is thus metabolized almost independently of insulin.
Caution: A high fructose content can also have negative effects. Fructose travels directly to the liver via the blood, where it is converted to fat if it is present in abundance.
Maple syrup is the sap of the Canadian maple tree. Approximately one liter of syrup is made from around 40 liters of juice. It tastes slightly like caramel and contains around 67 percent sugar, 1:1 glucose and fructose and small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 55 to 65 and is slightly less sweet than table sugar.
concentrated apple juice
Apple syrup is also known as apple sweetener. During production, apples are pressed into juice and steamed. Apple syrup is a regional sweetener, tastes slightly sour and a little like apples. Depending on the manufacturing process and temperature, minerals and secondary plant substances are retained. It should be noted that thick juices have a fructose content of approx. 60%.
Date syrup is made from dried dates. Dates contain slightly more glucose than fructose. In addition, date syrup contains the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron, folic acid, zinc and calcium as well as vitamin A.
Date paste can be made very easily in raw food quality. It is metabolized as an alkaline substance and is therefore more valuable than purchased date syrup, which suffers nutrient losses when heated.
Soak 200g of dates in water for at least 2 hours. Then puree and season with cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom if desired. The amount of water determines how thick the paste should be. Stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for about a week.
Like sugar, honey consists of glucose and fructose, but also contains the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C and additional enzymes. It is advisable to buy cold-spun honey from local beekeepers. Honey is said to have anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effects.
coconut blossom sugar
This is the thickened, crystallized sap of coconut palms. Like normal sugar, this is sucrose, made up of one part glucose and one part fructose. It has a low glycemic index of 35 and hardly raises blood sugar levels. In addition to minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, it also contains the dietary fiber inulin. It tastes slightly caramel and not quite as sweet as table sugar.
Rice syrup is made from whole rice grains or rice flour and contains no fructose. Instead, a special form of glucose that first has to be converted by the body and thus allows the blood sugar level to rise more slowly than "normal" glucose. Rice syrup also contains some minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium and tastes slightly malty and nutty. Its sweetening power is only half that of table sugar.
Stevia, also known as sweet herb, is a plant with an intense sweetness and a liquorice-like taste. About 20% of the green leaves consist of the sweetening substances stevioside and rebaudioside A, which are 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. In order to extract the sweetening substances, however, intensive processing is necessary. Stevia drops, dragees or tabs contain no calories and are metabolized without insulin, but they are not beneficial to health.
Similar to maple syrup, yacon syrup has a caramel-like sweetness. It is made from the tuber of the yacon plant, which is related to Jerusalem artichoke. Like Jerusalem artichoke tubers, yacon tubers contain plenty of water-soluble fiber. In addition to inulin, yacon tubers also contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS). The FOS have a prebiotic effect, as they serve as food for the good intestinal bacteria and strengthen the intestinal environment.
Yacon syrup is currently being offered as the perfect sugar alternative. Not without reason: it is considered a highlight for digestion and, with a glycemic index of 1, is metabolized almost independently of insulin. It should be noted that the consumption of yacon syrup can lead to digestive problems in the form of diarrhea or flatulence in sensitive people.
Erythritol is a four-carbon sugar alcohol with the 70 percent sweetening power of sugar but no alcohol. The substance occurs naturally in pears and grapes, among other things. Industrially, it's derived from corn, produced using yeast, and even appears to have some antioxidant properties.*
Erythritol has no effect on insulin levels, ie its glycemic index is zero.
Sounds very lucrative. Erythritol sweetens mildly and neutrally, is not supposed to have a laxative effect compared to xylitol, but it is not a natural sweetener.
*from "How not to die" by Dr. Michael Greger
All sweeteners presented are valuable alternatives to refined table sugar and are therefore definitely healthier. However, this statement should not mislead us into eating too much of it. While they contain small amounts of health-promoting ingredients, they are all concentrated carbohydrates.
Used sparingly, however, we can use it to sweeten our dishes with a clear conscience.
Kombucha needs carbohydrates for fermentation / metabolism. Our organic kombucha is fermented to such an extent that it contains as little sugar as possible (up to 50% less than comparable products and up to 80% less than conventional lemonades) and it is raw / unpasteurized. This means that it contains many nutrients for you, such as vitamins, healthy yeasts and microorganisms, and is even metabolized as an alkaline substance.
In addition, I recommend new taste experiences with fresh fruit and vegetables, combined with plenty of leafy greens and wild herbs to initiate a gentle change in taste.
Good luck and good health!
Hinweis: Dieser Artikel ist ausschließlich für Informationszwecke bestimmt und nicht als professionelle Analyse, Beratung oder medizinische Auskunft zu verstehen, sondern enthält die persönliche Meinung des Autors, basierend auf recherchierter Fachliteratur und eigener Erfahrung zum Thema.