Limiting sugar contributes to weight loss

It may be just one of the factors that causes people to gain weight, but a recent study has backed up a long-held belief – limiting sugar consumption helps people shed pounds.

A team of New Zealand researchers found that the biggest culprit is “free sugar,” which is the amount added to food by manufacturers and home cooks. This ismost frequently found in honey, syrups and fruit juices as well as granular sugar.

According to the study, which was published by theBMJ Group, the World Health Organization has recommended individuals cut sugar intakein an effort to solve the global obesity problem.

The research team at the University of Otago and the Riddet Institute reviewed 71 previous studies that included the results of 30 clinical trials. Study participants who removedfree sugars from their dietslost an average of 1.8 pounds, while those who increased their intake gained 1.7 pounds on average.

The researchers concluded that while cutting sugar is only one component of a weight loss plan, the connection between sugar and weight gain is clear. Along with the study, BMJ also published an editorial by Walter Willett, a nutrition professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, that focused on encouraging less consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks by supporting a tax on sugary drinks,restricting advertisements directed at children and reducing serving sizes.

In addition to limiting sugar in one’s diet, people who want to start weight loss programs canfollow low-fat or low-carb diets and take healthy supplements that will curb cravings. One such diet aid is Skinny D, a supplement offered by Dr. Newton’s Naturals that allows individuals to replace one meal a day with a nutrient-filled concentrate. Clinically tested to reduce pounds, it adds only 10 calories per serving to the daily calorie count.