This month, I’m cutting all added-sugar from my diet. I was inspired to do this when I read this New York Times article, which also mentioned the new book, The Case Against Sugar. I recently finished reading the book, and it further strengthened my resolve to try living without added sugars for a month.
Why Would I Do Such a Crazy Thing??
Some people quit sugar to lose weight, or because they think it’ll improve their energy level, or their overall health. These would be nice side benefits for me, but I’m not convinced they’ll happen, nor are they why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to raise my awareness of the prevelance of sugar in my diet, and the amount of it I consume. I’m just a couple of days into this challenge, and I’ve already learned a great deal.
The Ground Rules
Some people have asked if I’m following a specific program or plan, and the answer is no. I’m keeping it simple, and simply doing my best to eliminate all added sugar from my diet. I say, “doing my best,” because I know it’s possible that some things might slip past me, especially when I eat out. Other than that, these are the guidelines I’m following:
- No added sugars of any kind.
- Naturally occurring sugars, like those in fruit or dairy are fine.
- No sugar substitutes, natural (honey, maple syrup, etc.), or otherwise (saccharin, aspartame, etc.).
What I’m Going To Miss Most
I like to think that I don’t usually have a high-sugar diet, but I’m learning that there’s more in it than I realized. My husband and I eat fully, or at least mostly, home-cooked dinners most nights, but our snacks, breakfasts, and lunches consistent of a fair amount of processed foods. (Our picky eater daughter is a different story. She eats far more processed foods than I’d like, but also gets lots of fresh fruits and veggies.) For example, I eat cold breakfast cereal or instant oatmeal about 75% of mornings. I also like to keep my work lunches simple, and bring the same things with me every day, many of which contain some added sugar.
Here are the things (I think) I’m going to miss the most this month:
- Vanilla Stonyfield yogurt. Most days I eat one at breakfast and another at lunch, and I LOVE them. They’re not particularly sweet, but they do contain sugar.
- Diet Coke. I usually drink one can a day, often in the evening, and I always really enjoy it.
- Lean Cuisine meals. I bring one of these for my work lunch every day, and a number of varieties – though not all – contain sugar.
- Bread. This one is very tough for me. I’m a carb-aholic, and bread is one of my very favorite sources. I’m exploring some options like pita and a locally made sourdough, and my fingers are crossed that they’ll be safe.
UPDATE: You can read how this month went here.
How much sugar is in your diet? Have you ever tried eliminating it? What did you miss most?
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