Monday, February 10, 2014

Lips like sugar - I can easily give up sugar, can't I?

"Lips like sugar" is an Echo and The Bunnymen song I really like. That song came into my mind when I started to think about sugar in our food. You can listen to it here.

Hallo meine Lieben,

so here is the deal: I have read countless times about the health benefits of cutting out sugar from your diet. Looks like the average person consumes 150 pounds of sugar a year and that can't be healthy. Too much sugar messes up your metabolism which gives you an elevated risk for developing high bad cholesterol numbers, high blood pressure and diabetes. I already have high blood pressure because of my kidney disease so I thought it can't hurt to give this whole thing a try. So this is not a sugar cleanse, it is just me trying to eat healthier. 




My plan is to cut out refined sugar for 5 days and then see how I feel. I am not saying that I will never eat sugar again but I am curious to see what effects it has on my body. I don't want to lose weight, it is just about doing the best for my body. I am not an expert, I am just trying to find a way that works for me. So I am sorry that I can't give you any health advice. 

I have to admit that I did not plan this at all. I have read about it last night and decided to start this morning. Probably not the best way to do and I expect that there will be lots of struggles but we will see how it goes.

Here are the first problems I had.


Problem #1. 

There is sugar in pretty much everything you can buy. 
I already eat mostly fresh stuff like veggies and salad etc. But there are still some packages products I usually buy and now I have to make sure to read all the ingredients even more carefully. I guess I am already an expert here because I am a vegan and used to reading the ingredients before I buy something. But I am still shocked that there is sugar where I did not expect it.


Problem #2. 

There is sugar in my plain soy yogurt. 
I eat a bowl of fruits with plain yogurt, walnuts, raisins and coconut flakes every single day. Last night I checked my plain yogurt and it has sugar in it. I did not expect this at all to be honest. I thought that my plain yogurt would be fine but now I need to go and search for a yogurt without sugar in it. I already went to the supermarket but they did not have any vegan yogurt without sugar. I will have to go to the health foods store tomorrow. I also realized that my "milk" has sugar in it but I found some rice milk without sugar in the supermarket. So I can still enjoy my coffee. 


Problem #3. 

I love sugar in my tea.
Yes, I know. It is not the healthiest thing but I do love my tea as sweet as possible. But yeah, I decided to do this cleanse so I have to drink my tea plain. So this morning I made my usual peppermint tea and expected the worst....but: it was actually pretty good. (Yes David, I know, you told me so.) So I guess this won't cause any problems anymore. I did not expect it to be so easy to give up the sugar in my tea. 





Problem #4.

Is there sugar in my bread?
I am a German so I do love my bread. Every morning. I eat it either with veggie meat or vegan cheese (both sugar free, thankfully!) but what about the bread. Since there is sugar in everything I expected to be sugar in my bread too. So I had to go and ask the woman in the bakery for the ingredient list and hey, no sugar in my bread. Life isn't so bad after all!
And yes, I am aware of the fact that bread means carbohydrate and that carbohydrate means sugar. But I don't want to cut out carbohydrates from my diet. That is not what this is about. I want to eat less sugar and that is why I am cutting out the refined sugar. Nothing more, nothing less. I need my pasta and bread. 

Well, so far I don't have any sugary cravings but I am sure that I can't avoid them. I expect them to bother me tonight. 
I will keep you updated.


Have you ever cut out sugar from your diet? How did it work?

18 comments:

  1. Is there a vegan honey alternative you could use to sweeten your tea? What about agave? I don't know a lot of vegan alternatives, unfortunately, but I hope you can figure it out. I don't think it's necessary to cut out 100% of your sugar, so maybe just look for a yogurt with less sugar instead of none?

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    1. I usually use agave syrup instead of honey or I also have a carrot syrup which is pretty yummy. I just try to cut that stuff out for 5 weeks and see how it is to not use any sweetener. So far it is going fine. I don't want to cut out sugar completely, it is just an experiment for a couple of days and then I will try to reduce it as much as I can but don't completely give it up.

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  2. I've also been trying to cut my sugar intake and eat healthier in general. Sugar is not that difficult because I usually just eat it from baked goods - I don't have it with my tea nor with milk (I don't like that at all). One of the biggest changes was to eat just plain yogurt and not fruity ones, which usually have quite a lot of added sugar ( I talk about normal dairy yogurts, so maybe it's not much of help for you)
    I've been reading quite a lot about paleo diet lately and while I don't plan to transition to it anytime soon because I don't have any special dietary needs, there are many points of it I like and which make lot of sense to me, including cutting off sugar. I also try to cut off bread completely (or at least significantly) and to reduce my pasta consumption, which has been a lot easier than expected.
    Anyway, back to sugar, it is amazing how many products actually contain sugar and how difficult it is to totally eliminate it from your intake. I was so surprised when I read that even bacon contained sugar! I like having honey with my yogurt with fruit or maple syrup. And I actually feel better and with more energy after some days without bread or pasta.
    Good luck with your no-sugar week. I look forward to reading more about it ;)

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    1. It's interesting that you are trying to cut your sugar intake as well! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Good that you don't need it in your tea, that is where I miss it a bit. :) I always use plain yogurt but then add some fruits or agave syrup so that makes it sweet as well. I don't just eat the yogurt plain without anything else. But even the plain yogurt has sugar in it and that is a bit disappointing.
      I have never heard of paleo diet before, I will have to check it out. It would be really hard for me to give up bread completely...I don't think I could do it. I mean, I eat it every morning and love it a lot. I am not sure about pasta. I will try to not to eat it as often but I will definitely have it at least once a week.
      It really is shocking to see how many products contain sugar. I mostly cook fresh but there are still some products I use and a lot of them contain sugar. So stupid. Even my curry pasta!
      Thanks for your kind words, I will keep you updated!

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  3. I should try to cut down on my sugar intake also--I got really out of control over December and January because it was cold, I was tired, etc. I find that when I sleep more, I crave sugar less. I'm aiming to be good and get a solid seven hours a day.

    I read somewhere that you should keep your refined or "added" sugar to 25 grams per day. This doesn't count the natural sugars in items like fruit. So I suppose I should read labels and try to keep my sugar lower. I'm pretty good about not putting sweetener in my coffee, but as soon as I see cookies or something all my willpower fades away!

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    1. I know what you mean, I realized that I ate way too much sugar lately. As I said, I won't give it up completely (just for 5 days) but I definitely need to cut it down. I hope that will work out fine. So far I am doing good and I don't have any bad sugar cravings. I will post more about it later!

      I hope it is doable to keep it under 25 grams a day. I have seen a pretty shocking documentary yesterday and it showed that some fruit muesli has more than 25 grams of sugar per 100 grams of muesli. That is terrible. I usually eat oatmeal and add some fruits so I guess that is fine. But I realized that it is definitely good to not buy any of these "ready to eat" meals.
      And yeah, I can't resist cookies either but I am sure there are some recipes with less sugar in it.

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  4. Good luck! I haven't ever tried cutting down my sugar intake but it's probably a good idea. You may be on to something...

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    1. Thank you so much! I thought it could be a good idea. I just want to see how it makes me feel and if I will have any bad sugar cravings.

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  5. Hi Katrin

    I tried doing it many times but ...sigh.. :P
    You can start with cutting down on sugar twice a week and then increase the time gradually, just a friendly suggestion :)

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    1. Hi Ankita, it can really be challenging to do it since there is sugar in so many things! I want to try it fr 5 days straight and then just reduce my sugar intake. But I probably won't give it up completely. :)

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  6. Whew - good luck to you! Cutting sugar our completely will be VERY difficult, but it sounds like you're pretty dedicated to doing it, so I'm sure you can manage especially for 5 days! A few years ago I cut back on sugar, but I don't think I could give it up completely. I don't want to think about what my yogurt would taste like with no sugar... :o)

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! Cutting out sugar completely is definitely very hard, I think I can do it for 5 days but I guess I won't give it up forever. I like cookies and cake and ice cream so much. :) But so far it is doing fine. But I definitely want to cut back my sugar intake. I would not want to eat just plain yogurt either, I usually add some fruits and nuts and agave syrup. :)

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  7. I can't imaging completely giving up sugar! I am trying to cut down on sweet stuff, but no sugar at all would be really difficult! I just ate a reduced sugar muesli bar for a mid-morning snack and it wasn't all that nice.

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    1. No sugar at all is really difficult, especially when you want to eat out somewhere or buy any packaged food. There is sugar in almost everything. Sorry about the muesli bar, it does sound pretty disappointing!

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  8. Ok I confess, this would be extraordinarily hard for me to do lol. I love sweets. Giving up sugar would be like giving up oxygen. But I definitely commend you for trying :)

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    1. I know what you mean, Keith! I love sweets as well. It is a 5 day experiment but I would not want to give up sugar completely. But I think reducing my sugar intake is a good idea.

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  9. I love that you're trying this. I was so shocked in the beginning, too, that anything processed contains so much sugar. Almost anything. Another reason why I love organic stores - it's less there. But the effects on your health are great (so great that I'm sticking with trying to avoid refined sugar).
    I love hazelnut milk for my coffee...and almond milk, too (that one exists unsweetened - but you need to get used to that taste in coffee :)
    I'm sure if you just keep trying to drink tea without sugar you'll be amazed that you'll start loving it more and more once you get used to the lack of sweetness :)
    I so believe you can do this! Can't wait to hear more about it!
    Ich drücke Dich sooooo dolle, liebste Katrin :)

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    1. Thank you, Beate. I have read about it and thought I could give it a try. So far it is going fine, I expected it to be worse. I really want to avoid processed foods as much as I can, there is so much crap in it. Plus you never really know what exactly is in your food. I don't want that.
      I love almond milk too,also in my coffee. I just like anything that tastes like almond. :) And I think I am really getting used to tea without sugar. :) I never thought that's possible! Will keep you updated!
      Ich drueck Dich gaaaanz dolle!

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