I am hooked on sugar!
Some days or weeks I eat more or less of it, but on the whole I generally won’t ever choose an apple over a cupcake. Sometimes my cravings for sweets and treats make me feel almost manic! That can’t be a good thing.
It has been a few weeks since I quit coffee, and I’m hardly missing it. Could I feel the same way about sugar? I’m going to take 30 days to find out by cutting out all added sugars.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid added sugars is to prepare whole, real foods at home. That way we know exactly what’s going into our food. But doing this for a whole month, I know I’ll be faced with needing to pick something up on the go or eating out at a restaurant.
I’m hoping that this challenge will encourage me to identify sugar-free options for those occasions. Same goes for prepared foods. Out of convenience, I do use some canned, jarred or boxed foods as well as prepared dressings and condiments. Can I find sugar-free substitutes for the things I use most often?
Why quit sugar?
My primary motivation to go sugar-free for the month of September is to break my sugar addiction. Sometimes I can resist a sugary treat, but I almost always want it. People who have quit sugar have found that their desire to eat sugar has eased.
I also hope to become more sugar-aware. Of course I know that my favourite candies contain sugars, but what about all those other products that food manufacturers are sneaking sugar into? Did you know that there’s sugar in table salt? And all those sauces and dressings, breads and cereals and yogurt. They even add sugar to things that are already super high in natural sugars, like dried fruit.
Going sugar-free for 30 days will help me identify how sugar makes me feel. Recently quitting coffee again has demonstrated that although coffee gave me energy, quitting coffee gives me more energy. I no longer have that brain fog in the morning before my first cup. I no longer get a headache if I miss my coffee. If coffee made me feel good, but not drinking coffee made me feel better, will quitting sugar have the same effect?
What about fruit?
Fruits naturally contain fructose, but I’m not going to cut fruits out entirely this month. Firstly, fruits contain lots of nutrients including fibre, vitamins and mineral that offer important health benefits. Plus, I think that eating fruit will go a long way in helping me to successfully cut out added sugars for these 30 days. That said, I want to see how my body feels without sugar and I want to see if I can re-train my palate. So I’m going to try to limit my intake of higher fructose fruits. I’ll opt for berries instead of bananas and cantaloupes instead of cherries. I’m going to avoid dried fruit, since even those without added sugars are just jam-packed with sugar while they’re not nearly as nutritious as fresh fruits.