First and foremost, I have to say that I will not lie to you saying that I have never even tasted sugar! I will not say that I have never eaten the box of dark chocolate candies… Neither will I tell you that taste of ice cream sucks, while Oreo cookies and jar of Nutella are the most disgusting foods (if you can call these so) ever!
Both my parents and my grandparents always had some chocolate or candies at home. I do not think they have considered much before giving to me and my cousins or friends a handful of sweets. I also remember going to the shop with my mom and asking for another chocolate egg, which I can still call as my favorite sweet. However, I have never tried going into the scary sugar trap: eating the box of ice cream, because I am sad, or eating lots of candies, because I am tired. For a long time I do not even put any sugar to my coffee… but one day I realized that
I was daily having at least couple of pieces of dark chocolate, which sometimes ended up in me enjoying the whole chocolate. If not chocolate, then I was looking for something ‘else’ to sweeten my day.
This made me realize that I felt like I couldn’t spend a day without my little treat… and that was not me! I am an independent person, who has goals, dreams, puts all the efforts to live good life and wants to be the master of my own world.
I have no room or time for silly sugar addictions!
Today I am not considering if I was eating chocolates when I was a child, I am not thinking about the foods that I ate as a teenager and I am not looking forward to get chocolate egg as a present…
Even though I know that It tastes good, I am trying not to face any sugar in my daily life. Because why should I?
As I stopped using sugar I noticed my skin getting prettier, my face being more fresh and my moods being more constant.
I have also entered the whole new world, where I found the natural sweeteners: stevia sugar, healthy products, from time to time: dates, fruits and natural honey, which I grant, fully satisfies even the biggest sugar maniacs…
All in all, the quality of my life improved and eliminating the sugar out of my days was one of the best made decisions.
But..! I am aware of sugar being insanely spread among the contemporary society, families, social events etc. Parties, family dinners, even coffee dates are going hand in hand with sugar. Thus, I am not saying that it is easy to avoid sugar, nor I am claiming that it is simple to decide and enter the sugar free world. One thing for sure, I know that all the efforts are worth it! Even more, I know that all is possible if you tell yourself so. The strongest that we have are our minds.
Hence, it is up to us to decide how we will spend tomorrow, how we will feel a year after, how we will look after 10years and what we will choose for a dessert…
Before you make a choice, lets quickly go through some of the sugar myths and rely on the findings that talk for themselves.
- All the sweeteners are good for you – false! Aspartame is mostly known from the sugar-free sodas, which are widely discussed on causing negative health effects. Xylitol that is used in sugar free mints and chewing gum is normally labelled as a good choice, but if you are consuming too much of it, it may cause water retention and diarrhea.
On the other hand, Stevia sugar that I am using in all of my recipes and daily foods is natural and comes from the stevia plant. It is also proved to be safe for children and pregnant women. If you are in Denmark, you may also look for ISIS products, some of which are healthy sweeteners and taste really good! (http://www.isis.dk/)
- You need to eat sugar, because it increases your energy levels! NO NO NO! Sugar increases your energy for a very short period of time, making your sugar level jump very high up and your body to put all the efforts to make the blood sugar go down again. Since our bodies are clever machines, they find a way to decrease the sugar level, while you end up being very tired, feeling hard and sleepy. Instead of grabbing a package of candies, look for a bowl of yogurt and fruit, piece of protein cake or look at the clock: maybe its is actually time to have healthy lunch?
- Brown sugar is good! Unfortunately...I have heard this myth many times. Some people claim that eating brown sugar is good, eating white – bad. So if you eat only brown sugar you are eating healthy. Unfortunately, this is not right. Brown and white sugar are different types of sugar. Brown sugar is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar, which means that it is still the same sugar that contains nothing else than empty calories, which means that it does not contain any valuable nutritional elements only extra calories to your diet.
- Sugar causes wrinkles and bad skin. Yes, baby!I have already mentioned that sugar contains only empty calories, meaning that it will not improve the quality of your skin in any way. What is more, it is a hardly digestible element, which for some (including me) causes serious skin irritations, skin allergies, increased acne levels. Moreover, it is known that people, who consume much sugar, have loosen skin, which means that it looses its elasticity and the early wrinkles may pop up.
- Fruit sugar is good! Yes and no. On one hand, ecological fruits contain fibers and bunch of vitamins that are good for people’s health. On the other hand, fruit sugar is still sugar that is carbohydrates and too much of it is not good for anyone. However, it is also said that it is healthy to eat 300gr of fruits every day, which is about 3 fruits. So if you have sweet teeth, you should rather go for a piece of fruit and get some vitamins than grab a package of candies and get filled with empty calories.
- Light products do not contain sugar. False!Do not simply trust the name of product. Take a look at the ingredient list on the other side of package. Some of light ingredients still contain sugar, only the fat is reduced. Yet, if you are looking at the package that says “light, sugar free product”, you should also check if it does not contain fruit sugar and how much sugars it has in total. Personally, I choose only sugar free products that contain Stevia sugar or something from ISIS. (http://www.isis.dk/)
- I am not eating any candy, so I am not eating any sugar, too. No!Regular sodas contain sugar, some of low fat foods also contain sugar. Candies, cakes, chocolates contain sugar. But what if you claim not eating any of them? Does it mean that you are not eating any sugar? Do not be so quick with an answer… Many sauces, ketchup, milk, even cheese, sausage and more contain sugar! Check out the nutritional label on the product and you might get very surprised of how much sugar that product contains. However, if you spent some time on ‘intelligent’ grocery shopping, you will learn to look for truly sugar free products. Else, you can start cooking totally on your own and control of what is put in your food.
If you have considered removing sugar from your diet, do not wait for tomorrow, next week or Christmas. Do it today and get used to the new healthier lifestyle. Cook your own foods, bake your own healthy treats (look for inspiration on my blog) and get rid of sugar addiction. Remove all the sugary treats from your shelves.. and do not have any opportunities to eat empty calories ‘just because you are bored and its winter’.
Seriously, we are all grown ups and we are much stronger than those white pieces of sugar…
It is said that it takes 21 day to get a new habit, meaning that if you avoid sugar for 21 days, you will get used to not eating it at all. Sounds as a good deal, does not it?
Thus, I would encourage everyone to start a no sugar December challenge and quit using sugar at least until Christmas! Spend December not only on looking for Christmas presents to your family, but also on looking for sugar free alternatives, trying new recipes, new products and paying more attention to what you eat.
Enjoy these Christmas a bit healthier and looking better without any magical diets!
And if you do so… I would even feel pleasure about giving some Christmas gifts to someone putting the biggest efforts!
Have a peaceful Advent and good luck to the ones, who are ready to start the new lifestyle.
All the best,