Friday #1, September 10 – No sugar-added desserts, no sugar-added dressing or sauce
Over the years, you’ve probably gotten the idea that most cakes, cookies, pies, muffins, puddings, sodas, and frozen desserts are full of sugar. And that notion is exactly right! Today we’re asking you to try skipping those items. Easy to write, harder to accomplish.
But on this first Sugar Free Friday of September, we’re also asking you to consider (and skip) all added sugar in your foods. Where might that be lurking? Here’s just a sample list:
- Flavored yogurt
- Granola bars
- Breakfast cereal
- Barbeque Sauce
- Salad Dressing
- Frozen Food
- Takeout food with sauces
- Pizza Sauce
- Fruit Juice (more on that in later weeks)
The foods above are often found to contain refined white sugar, cane “juice,” or high fructose corn syrup. Read your labels.
But there’s more to consider. Honey, maple syrup, agave, molasses, often considered “natural” sweeteners, all have a glycemic index that is not much lower than sugar. In simple terms, the glycemic index is a measure of how fast the sugar enters your bloodstream – the higher the number, the faster the entry; the faster the entry, the more negative health outcomes are associated.
Lastly, what about chemically derived sugar substitutes, such as the kind that is used to sweeten diet soda? There is no strong evidence linking them to cancer in humans. However, artificial sweeteners may affect gut bacteria and metabolism. Because this challenge is about reducing your reliance on sugar, it means fighting that proverbial sweet tooth (& nail!). So, today, no sugar substitutes either.
But what if you simply MUST have something sweet after a meal?? Today, you can do this. You can do anything for one day. Really. For the rest of the week, here are some great ways to get a touch of sweet without a bucket of sugar:
- A piece of whole fruit (more on fruit sugar in later weeks)
- One ounce of 70-80% dark chocolate (about 1/3 the sugar of small flavored yogurt)
- Try a homemade dessert sweetened with monk fruit. Monk fruit extract contains compounds called mongrosides, which are hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar, yet add no calories.
To sugar we say: see ya!!!!