There are a bajillion reasons that you shouldn’t eat sugar. If you’ve already quit the white stuff, awesome. If you’re on the fence (but leaning over it), it’s time to take the leap. Sugar is linked to inflammation which is linked to just about anything and everything bad that happens to your body. The other day, a patient asked, “so if there’s one healthy thing you’d tell everybody to do what would it be?” Let my simple answer change your life.
“Quit Eating Sugar.” I mean, like for real, quit it.
But sugar is stealthy. If you quit smoking, you know what that looks like; there’s no tobacco hiding in your pantry, fridge and freezer ready to sneak attack. Sugar, now that’s a different story. It’s in everything from your soups and sauces to your organic snacks and health bars. You’ve got to remember to read those labels–each and every one. If sugar is an ingredient, trash it. It’s better in the trash than trashing your body.
So then the issue becomes this. If I’m not eating sugar, what can I eat? Let me break down a few of my favorite foods that contain no added sugar.
Sweet Alternatives: My all time nutrient rich favorite sweetener is Raw Honey. You can also try Sweet Leaf Stevia (a no calorie super sweet herb), Coconut Sugar (a low glycemic sweetener from coconuts), Blackstrap Molasses (rich in iron and good for baking), or Pure Maple Syrup (a good source of trace minerals).
Bread: Sugar and/or evaporated cane juice and/or high fructose corn syrup and other doppelgangers are hiding out in the slices of your favorite breads, bagels, and English muffins. In general, you can’t go wrong with the Foods for Life Brand. Another great option is the Alvarado Street Bakery. They make good for you foods that actually taste good.
Soup: Well, I’m bummed because many of my favorites like the Imagine Butternut Squash or Tomato soups are now adding Evaporated Cane Syrup (a fancy name for sugar) to their product. Some go-tos that have yet to go wrong are Amy’s Lentil Soup and the Imagine Chicken and Wild Rice. Or better yet, make your own.
Frozen Dessert: I am a big fan of the Ruby Rocket Pops! With only 30 calories, these pops pack a delicious punch. My favorite is the Far Out Fudge.
Sauce: Tomato Sauce is notorious for it’s added sugar. Wegman’s Grandma’s Pomodoro or Amy’s Organic Marinara are great options without the sugar.
Pancakes: Use the Hodgson Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix to make the perfect Sunday breakfast (or supper) without any added sugar.
Cereal: This breakfast favorite is notoriously loaded with added sugar. Even the “healthy” ones are jacked full of the white stuff. Instead, try One Degree Sprouted Khorasan O’s or Erewhon Rice Twice. Another favorite is Udi’s Gluten Free Vanilla Almond Granola.
Fruit: It’s the ultimate fast food and nature’s candy. Really, is there anything better than a juicy orange or a crisp apple? Now I know there’s a lot of talk about whether fruit is healthy; I’ve heard of a few “diets” recently that require their participants to avoid it. That is crazy talk. Let me reassure you that fruit is one of the best foods to eat…in moderation (like everything else), of course. And keep interested by getting a good variety. Try the unique ones like papya, pinapple, kiwi, guava and star fruit. Each fruit has it’s own unique set of phytochemicals that protect your body cells in different ways.
Skip the sugar, you’re already sweet enough!! Enjoy the good foods that will help you to feel good.