reprinted with permission from our friends at “Food Matters”
Tried quitting sugar in the past to no avail? Sarah Wilson (New York Times best-selling author and blogger) at “I Quit Sugar” gives us the low down on the 5 mistakes people make when quitting sugar and how to avoid them.
1. You Substitute Sugar With Honey/Coconut Sugar/Agave
Cutting out refined white sugar is a step in the right direction. But replacing it with “healthy” substitutes that are still full of fructose isn’t going to do you any favours when quitting sugar.
2. You Think Artificial Sweeteners Are Better For You
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although they contain zero sugar they come with their own host of health risks. The body poorly ingests sugar alcohols like sorbitol and isomalt. Instead they end up in our bloodstream and feed the bacteria in our large intestine. Ergo, charmingly, diarrhea and gas. Which is why so many of these products warn of a ‘laxative effect’.
3. You Believe The Packaging When It Says Sugar Free
How much easier would healthy eating be if we could believe everything the packaging preached? Sugar has many aliases and is often hidden in ingredients lists under a different name. Labelling laws make this possible. Food manufacturers can slap a “no added sugar” label on their product but still include honey, maple syrup, fruit concentrate and fruit puree.
4. You Think Juice Is A Healthier Option Than Soft Drink
Do you order a freshly squeezed orange juice when you go out for breakfast and think you’re plumping for the healthy option? 250ml of orange juice (which is smaller than a regular serve) contains five teaspoons of sugar. It doesn’t matter that it’s sugar from oranges either, your body will treat it the same as sugar from a can of Coca Cola. After just one drink you will have already reached your acceptable daily sugar intake.
5. You Go Cold Turkey, Lapse Within A Few Days And Then Throw In The Towel
When I first quit sugar four years ago, I treated it as an experiment to try out a new way of living, just to – you know – see how it went. Since quitting sugar my health has transformed and I’ve experienced a steady, calm happiness that has previously eluded me. People often ask me, do you ever lapse? Yes, I ‘lapse’. I ate a piece of homemade chocolate birthday cake recently. It tasted great. Then I felt overwhelming wrong. My ears and eyes and toenails buzzed. I felt scratchy and nauseous. Some might call this lapsing. I call it checking in. Lapses don’t discourage me – instead I treat it as part of the experiment and simply go back to eating well the next day. Usually my first meal after I “lapse” is a pork chop. Sounds strange, but it works for me!
Check out Sarah’s book for kids: