Hello, my name is Rosanna, and I am a recovering sugar addict. I’m not alone in the quest for sugar, as most of the country is compelled by the sweetness of sugar. Just look around you when you are at the grocery store. So many sugary options. From the entry of the grocery store to the checkout lanes, sugary sweets line the aisles. I would like to say the temptation of sugar is only for my kids, but honestly I fall for the bait of candy bars, more times than not.
I have struggled with pre-diabetes for quite a few years. And after finding out I have a heart condition, I was on a quest to get healthy. I know I know, don’t we all say that and a week later we are back to the same food routine. I am so very guilty of doing this time and time again. This time I made a pledge to myself and my kids and I found the source of my food addiction. Sugar was what was really causing the bad eating and the swollen, bloated belly. Well, not sugar, but my body’s addiction to it. So I began cutting sugar out of my diet, and guess what, when I did that, I felt a million times better.
There are absolutely phases to cutting out sugar from your diet. Phase 1 is based on temptation. The sugar cookie that haunts you from across the kitchen, the ice cream screaming your name from the freezer. Instead of denying myself something sweet, I changed what sweetness I was taking in. Instead of having ice cream or a cookie, I would cut myself an apple. It was bittersweet, no pun intended, to eat an apple in place of a cookie but it was the right step to get to a sugar free diet. I found the more I substituted a high sugar snack with a healthy snack, the less I wanted sweets.
Phase 2 of cutting out sugars, is continuing to cut out sugar from your diet. Sugar is not just in sweets; sugar can be found in many foods that are not considered snacks. Spaghetti sauce for instance contains sugar, marinades for meats, frozen foods, juices, sodas, soups, and more. Honestly the only way I could keep track of sugar is by reading the label on foods. Foods you would never expect to find sugar in, had sometimes more sugar than a candy bar. So Phase 2 really relies on your ability to research what you are eating. This becomes habit after a while and it can really change the foods you are in taking.
The third phase is the easiest. Once your body has detoxed from sugar, you will find you no longer crave it. Truth be told, after I quit sugar, if I had a slip up and ate a sugary snack, I would feel very sick. Sometimes to the point of nausea. The key to sugar is, the less you have it, the less you want it, and ultimately you can live without it. Aside from your body not wanting sugar, I highly suggest doing your best to keep sugar from being in your home. If you have small kids this could be harder, as well, kids love snack foods.
I found the best way to keep sugar out of my house, was to initiate healthy eating for everyone in my home. I didn’t ‘t want my kids to grow up and have diabetes. Struggling with pre-diabetes was scary and from knowing many individuals who are diabetic, there are so many life changes that come with the disease. At first my family frowned at the healthy meals that I would make, but after time, they asked for the healthy foods they once squirmed at. Also If you are someone who likes the buddy system, initiating a no sugar diet in your household helps to hold you accountable to yourself and your family.
Going through the process of decreasing and even eliminating sugar from your diet is hard. There is no doubt of that. There are many great sugar substitutes and alternative foods that can help you on the journey to sugar freedom. Below is a chart of some of the substitute for sugar, as well as some of the ways in which I substituted sugar foods for healthy foods. If you are planning on cutting out sugar, I commend you. It is not an easy task but it is one that will positively affect your health. I wish you the best on this journey.
Healthy Sugar Substitutes
|Raw Honey||Stevia (Sweet Leaf)||Date Sugar||Pure Maple Syrup|
|Coconut Sugar||Molasses||Truvia||Fructose (Fruit sugars)|
|Whey Low||Agave Nectar|
Healthy Alternatives to Sweet Snacks
|Fruit Snacks||All Natural Fruit Leathers|
|Popsicles/Ice Cream||Whole Fruit Frozen Juice Pops|
|Sugar in Coffee||Raw Honey in Place of Sugar in Coffee|
|Chocolate Bar||Eating Evolve 72% Cacao Primal Chocolate ( Dark Chocolate)|
|2% Dairy Milk||Unsweetened Organic Soy Milk, Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk|
|Fruit Juice||Water with Squeezed Unsweetened Fruit Syrups|