I have admittedly been avoiding this topic. I feel it is a bit of a Pandora’s box, there are so many forms of sugar out there, and so many different opinions on them. And quite frankly, I have a lot to say on the subject, so much that it is hard to know where to start.
Personally, when I first started to cut sugar out my of my diet it was because I had a strong feeling that I just shouldn’t eat it anymore. It was kind of ironic that I of all people should feel this way, having said in the past that I could never give up sugar and even making fun of those who did. Regardless, having arrived at the decision that I needed to, the next question was how to do it. I decided that initially I would just cut down on the amount of sugar that I was eating. Instead of cutting out desserts, I chose to cut sugar out of everything I ate that wasn’t a dessert. Because, I reasoned, if I was going to be eating sugar, I should at least enjoy it. As a result, I became very aware of all the ways sugar was hidden in my diet, the many products available at the store that utilized it unnecessarily (as a cheap, good tasting filler), and the many recipes I didn’t think of as sweet but that still generally utilized added sugars. For instance I found out that canned corn almost always contains added sugar or corn syrup, that most “fruit juices” were really a mixture of juice and high fructose corn syrup, and that common recipes like tomato sauce used added sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I cut out any added sugar to main course recipes, and generally didn’t even notice the difference. From there I started looking at ways to substitute sweets, because I had such a sweet tooth (and I think many of us do) that it seemed too difficult to just cut dessert out of my diet. I came up with things like apple pie sweetened only with apple juice concentrate (the frozen stuff you would normally mix up with water and drink as juice), and started to investigate stevia as a sweetener. Over the years I have become less strict in my use of sweeteners, although I feel that this time of extremely limited use was very healing to my body.
I know this post barely scratches the surface on the sugar issue, there will be more to come. Hopefully though, hearing about how someone else started down this path is at least helpful in your own journey.