I have spent the last week or so attempting to avoid almost all sugar in my diet. This first week was more challenging, but in different ways, than I expected. I had images in my head of writhing on the couch in misery with a sugar withdrawals that I ultimately fought off valiantly. The truth is that, even while armored with a bachelor of science plus a post-grad certification both in the nutrition sciences, sugar STILL found ways to sneak into my diet! As for sugar withdrawals, thankfully I only experienced rather mild symptoms. I thought it was would easy enough to identify all sources of sugar and eliminate it from my diet while experiencing withdrawals, yet the opposite turned out to be true.
Sugar is quickly, and rightfully, gaining a poor reputation. Sugar is now added to seemingly everything, from bacon to mustard to salad dressing to even crackers. We humans are simply hardwired to love the stuff, and consequently food manufacturers take advantage of our palate’s greatest weakness. Consider that sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine. Not only is sugar addictive and, therefore, added to almost everything we could possibly consume, but sugar also comes in several different forms under multiple names. In the ingredients list for any given food, you might find: corn syrup, dextrose, malt syrup, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice, invert sugar, palm sugar, rice syrup - the list just goes on and on.
I dreamt up my version of the No Sugar Challenge while pondering my own health concerns. As a past victim of leaky gut plus a long sufferer of psoriasis and candida yeast, it’s become quite clear that excessive sugar intake (coupled with other issues, such as chronic stress) have directly caused my health problems.
eat yer veggies
We’re two Registered Dietitian Nutritionists of kindred spirit, living and working in New York City. We believe that healthy eating and sustainability go hand-in-hand — every bite you take has the power to improve both the world and your health!