Total sugar - how useful is a total sugar waiver?

Total sugar - how useful is a total sugar waiver? / Health News

Current trends suggest a temporary sugar-fasting

Sugar is omnipresent. For many industrial drinks and foods such as sweets, chocolates, cakes, pasta and biscuits, sugar is one of the main ingredients. But he does not just hide in sweets. Even fruit, in the form of fructose, and milk, in the form of lactose, contain sugar. Other sugar donors are alcoholic drinks and carbohydrate-rich foods. The carbohydrates in pasta, bread, potatoes and Co. are converted into sugar in the body. Many studies have already dealt with the topic. Sugar is not only bad for the teeth, it can also damage organs, skin and brain and lead to obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than 10 percent of daily energy intake should come from free sugars in both adults and children. Ideally, even less than 5 percent. "Free sugars" are all sugars that are not derived from fruits or vegetables. The WHO estimates that every German consumes about 87 grams of sugar per day, well above the recommendation of 25 grams. Current trends recommend the temporary complete abandonment of sugar. For example, the health scientist, nutrition expert, food blogger and cookbook author Hannah Frey proposes a 40-day waiver in her book Zuckerfrei: Die 40 Tage-Challenge. Frey promises the participants of the Challenge to feel much healthier and happier.

Too much sugar: The WHO is calling for more sugar policies. Current trends rely on a temporary sugar fasting. (Image: Syda Productions /

How does the 40-day waiver work?

According to the product description of the publishing house, the sugar fasting should take place in two phases. In the first phase, Frey recommended a "correct cut". Instead of reducing the sugar step by step or replacing it with alternative sweeteners, you should completely refrain from it. By the sugar deprivation you get used to the sweet taste and fight the cravings for sweets. The aim is, according to Frey, to develop a better sense of the natural sweetness of food. In the second phase, whole grains and starchy vegetables may be integrated into the diet. "The complex carbohydrates are long filling and stabilizing the blood sugar level," promises the publisher.

How sensible and healthy is this radical step?

"Our body can get by completely without sugar. A long-term, radical sugar renunciation would not be a special stress situation for our metabolism, "explains Stefan Kabisch from the German Institute for Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke compared to" FOCUS Online ". Humans could also manage with extremely small amounts of carbohydrates. "Theoretically, you can replace fruit with vegetables, carbohydrate sources with meat and legumes," says Kabisch. However, there are hardly any products that are completely free of sugar and carbohydrates. "It would be impractical and not very tasty to do without so many foods," says Kabisch. In addition, fruit contains fructose, but also other important substances such as vitamins.

Why is there so much sugar everywhere??

WHO has published a study examining why manufacturers and other actors along the supply chain use so much sugar in food. The analysis concludes that reducing sugar consumption would require an approach that would encompass the whole food system. Producers of high-sugar foods and also traders currently have more incentives to continue to use sugar than to limit or completely replace its use. Among other things, incentives are that sugar is still the gold standard for sweetening, the availability of sugar is very high and sugar is cheap. Manufacturers and traders must continue to rely on sugar to maintain their competitiveness.

Policy instruments against sugar

"It is clear that, from a health point of view, decisive action is needed to reduce the sugar content of processed foods in the European Region," explains Drs. João Breda, Head of the WHO European Office for NCD Prevention and Control and the Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program of the Regional Office for Europe. The WHO report examines policy solutions for improving the nutritional value of food. These include restricting the marketing of food to children and consumer-friendly labeling. Also, with the pricing and standards for school meals, according to WHO could affect the sugar problem. Overall, ambitious strategies for reformulating food products are needed. (Fp)