30 Days to healthy living : Day 21

As you have seen, this wasn’t a sequential 30 days. My apologies for that. I was derailed by the holidays compounded with life. Can I get a witness??

So how are you? I hope your holidays went well and that you got to enjoy all the things and then celebrate the New Year. Are you ready to pick up again? I am! I have had my fill of sugar and I am ready to roll!

Last night I finished reading “A year of no sugar” by Eve Schaub and I have a new mission.  AVOID SUGAR. The problem? Its in EVERYTHING! Really, EVERYTHING.

I started reading labels looking for sugar (I already look for sources of gluten) and WOW. I took my kids to Sweet Frog and got no sugar added frozen yogurt. So after I ate it I asked what it was sweetened with instead. The answer: Sorbitol. Do you know what sorbitol is? Its a sugar alcohol, made from sugar that is not calorie free (it has 2.6kcal/g) and guess what? It turns back into sugar in your body once it gets to your large intestines where it also acts as a laxative. Ahem. It sure does. <cough>  UGH.

On Friday I read labels at Target and couldn’t buy any condiments except for maybe mustard. I couldn’t buy a single brand of deli meat except an organic salami. Salami is yummy but is NOT a health food but it doesn’t contain sugar per se, it contains dextrose.  Today I found that Wegman’s brand organic deli turkey and roast beef do not contain any sugar. Yay! But most store bought bread, gluten free or not, contain sugar. Ugh. Have I mentioned that I don’t bake?

What has shocked me the most is that I thought I was doing pretty well avoiding added sugars. I’ve lost 10+ pounds this summer watching what I was eating and (I thought) avoiding sugar. I did not, however, make all of my own food from scratch and thus after going through my pantry I realize that I have most definitely been eating added sugars. Everyday. Less than I was previously and between less sugar, less snacking and more exercise, I’ve lost weight anyway. I am still concerned with the amount of sugar that I am still ingesting though and even more concerned about my kids. How is there so much sugar in everything?

EAsy answer: Its a cheap filler (like gluten) especially when you’ve made so many products low fat because we (wrongly) thought all fat was the cause of heart disease and obesity. It’s cheap AND it tastes good. Most processed foods need a hefty dose of sugar and/or salt to taste good after its been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long before you buy it. It’s also a great preservative when many of us want to avoid preservatives. Basically, people buy food that tastes good and sugar fits that bill, so that’s what manufacturers use. They are after profit after all. You can’t blame them for that. They make what we buy and ask for and if we don’t they make sure to tell us why we should be buying and asking for what they have to offer. Good old capitalism.

What do we do? Lets start with a homework assignment:

Go through your cabinets and pantry and fridge. Read the labels. Tell me how many products you currently have in your house that do not list any of the following as ingredients: sugar, cane sugar, organic cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, sorghum, molasses, brown sugar, agave, sorbitol, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated apple or pear or grape or any other kind of fruit juice, fruit juice or barley malt/syrup. Good luck and report back.

Next up will be a discussion of what kinds of sugar there are and what kinds to avoid (hint: see the above paragraph) as well as what is actually ok to consume regularly.

Until then, stay sweet!


ps: someone commented on my last post with a recommendation for a website run by docs who give information on both the keto diet and intermittent fasting. I am all for intermittent fasting. Not 100% sold on keto. the site is called Diet Doctor. Check it out and let me know what you think. (not an affiliate link and I didn’t pay for anything on the site. )