08 July, 2011
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15-Day Diet With No Caffeine or Sugar
Neither caffeine nor sugar offer any nutritional value. Omitting sugar from your diet may help you save calories for weight loss, while eliminating caffeine may help you sleep better. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Sugar and Health
Sugar is found naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, but it's also added to foods such as soda and cake for sweetness. When you're trying to improve your diet by eliminating sugar, you don't want to eliminate the natural sources. These foods provide vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting nutrients your body needs.
It's the foods that contain the added sugars you want to omit. Getting too much added sugar in your diet may increase your overall calorie intake without adding any benefits to your health and may lead to weight gain, compounding your health issues.
Sources of Added Sugar
To omit added sugar from your diet for 15 days, you need to eliminate not only the sugar from your sugar bowl but also the foods with added sugar such as soda, cake, cookies, candy and sweet desserts. Consider, too, that sugar is added to foods you wouldn't consider "sweets," such as ketchup and salad dressing. Read the ingredient list on the food label to find the hidden sources of added sugar, which might include anhydrous dextrose, corn syrup, honey, fructose, dextrose, maltose, molasses, malt syrup and nectar, and cut these foods out of your diet as well.
Caffeine and Health
Like sugar, caffeine is naturally found in some foods and added to others. Its effects are the same no matter how you get it, however. As a stimulant, caffeine perks you up so you feel less tired. Some people who consume caffeine, however, experience ill effects, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, nausea and vomiting. Natural sources of caffeine include tea, coffee and cocoa beans. It's also found in cola, chocolate products and energy drinks.
If you're a regular consumer of caffeine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability for the first few days of your diet plan.
Sample Sugar-Free, Caffeine-Free Meal Plan
Breakfast on your sugar- and caffeine-free meal plan might include a bowl of oatmeal naturally sweetened with sliced strawberries and bananas with a cup of milk. At lunch you might enjoy mixed greens topped with grilled tuna or garbanzo beans, pecans, balsamic vinegar and oil served with a fresh orange and whole-grain crackers. For a midafternoon snack, try plain Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries. A healthy sugar- and caffeine-free dinner might include a stir-fry made with tofu or chicken, broccoli, carrots and snow peas sauteed in low-sodium soy sauce and sesame oil and served with brown rice.
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