You may have heard of the zero sugar diet. You may have even considered trying it out for yourself. Before you do, here is all you need to know about what this diet is and how health promoting (or not) it is.
What is the “Zero Sugar Diet”?
The zero sugar diet is based off a book called “Zero Sugar Diet” by David Zinczeniko. The focus of the book is eliminating refined sugars, and instead focusing on the importance of fiber and protein.
The book is primarily directed at an audience eating the typical Standard American Diet (SAD), filled with calorie dense and nutritionally lacking foods. But no worries if that is not completely you; anyone can benefit from a diet free of added sugars. Zinczeniko writes about eating a well-balanced diet instead, one that includes lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and healthy beverages.
The book promises to flatten your belly and curb cravings for highly sugary foods. The diet does this by starting off with a 14 day sugar detox. In these two weeks, you eliminate all added sugars from your diet. In the weeks following this 14 day detox, you are allowed to reintroduce only small amounts of added sugars.
What qualifies as an added sugar?
Completely avoiding added sugars is extremely difficult in today’s grocery stores. The most surprising foods have various forms of sugar added to them.
Here is a list of foods that you might be surprised are high in artificial sugars:
- Cereal & granola
- Protein bars
- Sauces & dressings (tomato sauce, salad dressing)
- Canned soups
- Nut butters
- Sports drinks
- And so much more!
It’s safe to say that most foods that are processed and packaged have had sugar added to them. Just remember that food is most healthful in it’s natural state – with the least processing done and other chemicals added. Thats why here at Uraaw we focus on nourishing our bodies with whole, real foods.
What about natural sugars?
According to the zero sugar diet, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbs. A ‘bad’ carb, as you might guess, is any processed carbohydrate that is void of nutrients. The good news is that there are so many more ‘good’ carbs!
Our bodies need carbohydrates as fuel. The ‘good’ carbs provide nutrients and fiber, along with energy. These beneficial carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain products. For example, foods like apples and oatmeal are great for regulating blood sugar and providing fiber.
Why does this diet work?
This diet can aid in weight loss, or just help you feel your best. It does this by replacing calories from “empty calorie” foods with more nutrient dense foods. These nutrient dense foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats.
Eating these foods not only feeds your body the nutrients it needs, but helps to keep you fuller for longer. After eating foods with only natural sugars, your body will begin to stop craving foods like sugary sodas and donuts. Not to mention that this diet has been proven to help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
Will it work for me?
“Zero Sugar Diet” is worth the read. Even if you don’t want to try the diet, the first couple chapters are worth it, as they delve into the science behind the sugar epidemic. Zinczeniko also discusses other important aspects of nutrition, like fiber and portion sizes.
Overall, this diet may or may not work for you. If the 14 day detox seems too restrictive, don’t try it. Completely eliminating sugar may turn out to be unsustainable for you, or take away from the enjoyment of eating. Sometimes following a diet with specific rules can make us feel even more out of control with our eating. And that’s okay!
Food is a huge part of life, and it is meant to be enjoyed (not overcomplicated). Just remember to honour your bodies hunger and try to quench that hunger with satisfyingly nourishing foods. Instead of focusing on what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, focus on all the amazing foods you can eat! Experiment with the wide variety of fresh foods available to us today. Have fun finding the delicious and healthy meals that work best for you!