Digging Into Real Food ~ No Sugar

by Merissa on May 31, 2011

in Personal

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with some of my friends. We were talking diet and I mentioned how that now that I'm off processed sugar I no longer crave chocolate and ice cream. They didn't believe me.

Earlier this year I started to notice something funky happening after I ate certain things. Not an allergic reaction, more like a case of the jitters. It also felt like my mind was on overdrive. After a snack of homemade ice cream one night I felt really yucky. Shaky, and my mind was racing. I thought back to what I had put in the ice cream. Milk, cream, sugar....

Sugar... for the next couple weeks I carefully observed my reactions to when I ate something with white or brown sugar in it. Each time I felt the same results. I also noted my reactions after having something with unprocessed sugar in it (turbinado, sucant, maple syrup) I had no reactions to those. That was it. I took any leftover white sugar and brown sugar in my house and gave it away or threw it out. No matter how much it cost, it wasn't worth how it made me feel.

When I do something, I don't do it halfway, cutting out sugar not only meant cutting out adding the sugar to things, it meant cutting out anything that had sugar in it(candy, cookies from the store, ect)

After throwing out the sugar I started to feel better, I wasn't shaky, my mind got clearer, my skin cleared up (excema), and more. After a couple months of feeling great I started to tell friends about how I was feeling and why. Of course, most people aren't convinced just by a personal story. Here are some things that processed sugar actually does to your body:

  • Having sugar spikes your insulin levels. This is eventually followed by a crash which leaves you feeling sleepy and possibly hungry again.
  • Sometimes we tend to solve this problem with more sugar even though our bodies aren't really needing more food, which leads to us overeating.
  • Processed sugar my have once been sugar cane but due to processing and refining it's basically turned into a chemical.
  • Sugar causes dental issues. Cavities, gum erosion, and more.
  • Processed sugar can be the cause of diabetes, hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia.
  • It also increases PMS symptoms, causes an overgrowth in candida yeast growth, increases anxiety and hyperactivity, makes weight loss difficult because of spiking insulin levels.

The average American eats 2-3 lbs of sugar every week through things like peanut butter, cookies, breads, and many more products. Since processed sugar has no vitamins or minerals in it, your body has to use it's special store of vitamins and minerals to process it.

Out of all the changes that we've made in our diet over the last several months, cutting our processed sugars (both white and brown) has had the biggest impact on our health. Truthfully, it's be awesome! As I said above, we no longer crave sweets. We still like to make cookies, and cakes, and goodies, but with our unrefined sugars. Even though we like eating those goodies, I don't crave them like I did, in fact I'm pretty sure I've been craving apples, cucumbers, and other produce more than anything!

Learn more about real foods and natural living!
Do you eat processed sugars? Do you notice a different in your body after you eat them?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica May 31, 2011 at 9:08 am

Are all of your recipes formulated to use unrefined sugars? That is a huge part of the battle if you ask me – figuring out how to bake with out the white or brown sugar…

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2 Merissa May 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

Any recipe that I’ve posted in the last 6 months should be. Otherwise I just substitute turbinado for white sugar and sucant for brown sugar in most recipes.

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3 Jennifer May 31, 2011 at 9:27 am

so if you don’t use white or brown sugar- what do you use in it’s place when baking and how much (the same amount as the recipe calls for?) do you use sweetener in your coffee – if so what!? I love my one cup of morning coffee and always put 2tsp of sugar and a bit of creamer :-(

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4 Merissa May 31, 2011 at 9:31 am

We use turbinado, sucanat, maple syrup, or honey. With turbinado or sucanat I add about the same amount(maybe a little less depending on the recipe since we aren’t so much into the sweet flavor anymore) and I’ve just started to replace with maple syrup and honey. With those you have to add less of another liquid to replace the sugar in the recipe. We aren’t coffee drinkers but my mom and my sister are and I believe they use a liquid stevia in coffee to sweeten.

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5 Valerie Z May 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

Just curious if you have used either of these for making jams/jellys successfully? My mom was just diagnosed diatbetic so I have been looking for good alternatives.

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6 Merissa May 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

I will be experimenting with it this summer. Although for a no sugar jelly or jam you could always use the No Sugar Needed Pectin.

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7 Valerie Z May 31, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thank you, I have found some research on that. But all the reviews say the jam is very bland, although this is coming from a sugar obsessed culture. I am definitely planning on trying a batch of that though with a bit of honey. =)

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8 LeAnne June 1, 2011 at 10:38 am

While I haven’t completely switched over, awhile back I started cutting back on the sugar. I use 1/2 of the sugar in just about every cookie/quick bread recipe that I have the results have been great! I want to learn to bake more with honey, but haven’t been very brave yet.

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9 Jasanna September 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

I’ve been wanting to do this. I also have hormone issues and hypoglycemia, so we’re working on going grain-free and refined sugar-free. I’ve gotten raw honey and hickory syrup, but what is turbinado and sucanat and where do you get those?

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10 Merissa September 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I order them from my co-op but they are also available at health foods stores. (Even in the health foods section of some grocery stores now.) They are raw sugar, and raw sugar cane syrup that is dried.

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11 Misty April 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I’m so glad I found your website. I have been making similar changes to my diet and have noticed tremedous benefits. Thanks for sharing!

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12 Pamela January 2, 2014 at 6:44 am

I have been using the natural sugar(s) and honey for years. I used to run a food co-op.
I have just decided and starting using Truvia Baking Blend in everything instead. I get a at Walmart. One 1.5 lb bag sweetens like 7 cups of sugar. Although there is some sugar in this product, the main ingredient is erythritol, a natural sweetener. There is also stevia. I have also found recipes that use almond flour for the cookies that I rarely eat. I made some with Truvia at Christmas. I felt no “sugar hit” at all. You will have to believe me, they were sweet. I still have half the batch in my freezer. I don’t have these huge cravings for sugar now, so I don’t find I have to break into the next batch so soon! I have a few other recipes that use modest amounts of gluten free flour with almond flour or bean flour. Why do I mention these other flours. Because I have been studying nutrition for years. I have also just consulted a Integrative Physician recently. I have found that adding some protein to every meal to be very important to maintain blood sugar levels. I have learned a lot more from the Integrative Physician that I don’t have time to share.

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