The evils of sugar are well documented. Sugar is deadly, as it interferes with insulin, metabolism and organs to toxic levels. It damages us in so many ways, locking us in lifelong cycles of poor health. Addiction to sugar is real. Some products like soft drinks are designed with that in mind so people get hooked on soda for life. Not to mention the cakes, cookies, candies, Pad Thais, barbeques, Grande Lattes and coconut waters we consume.
The day I saw Fed Up and learned how insidious sugar and artificial sweeteners are and how they hide in pasta sauce, vitamins, corn, under 56 disguises (including molasses, honey, fructose) as well as in starches like  white bread and white rice, I ditched them.
My 35 year artificial sweetener habit ended that day.  I reduced dietary sugars drastically. The films reports that we eat about 22 tsps. of sugar a day – just picture that – and encourages us to use about six. Sugar’s pleasurable familiarity is virtually unavoidable. I thought living gluten free was tough but sugar’s a far more cunning enemy. When you eat food that you don’t prepare, there can be lots of sugar and wheat, the lowest food forms. Vigilance is key.
Initially, it was easy to dump sugar. The results were immediate. I slimmed down quickly, shedding bloat and losing my belly. Cravings for sweet things disappeared overnight. I felt lighter, healthier, and quicker. Cravings vanished. Tea and coffee are now unsweetened, which took some getting used to. I still don’t like it, but the trade-off is heavily in my favour. Stevia is a healthy sweetener which doesn’t interfere with insulin but it is equally sweet and bitter. So naked tea and coffee it is.
After three months, I fell of the anti-sugar wagon in spectacular style. After a wicked two hour drive in hard rain, a donut chain’s new strawberry promotion popped into my head and stayed there. I stopped in and had three. They tasted overwhelmingly sweet but kind of beautiful. Next day, fibre, water, cleanse. I was repulsed by what I’d done, and got back on track.
You can steer clear of sugars IF you want to. On the whole, giving up sugar’s been great. My skin’s clearer, my weight is down, I have more energy and I’m not thinking about the next sweet fix. It seems to me now that there’s a kind of moral imperative attached to my decision:   How do I want the rest of my life to be lived?  How healthy can I be?  How can I help myself?
Figuring out that life is sweet enough is one way.
Thank you Laurie David, Katie Couric, Stephanie Soechtig and Heather Reisman.
Click here to join the Fed Up Challenge and go sugar free for 10 days, including tips and support.