Though I haven’t been doing regular weekly updates here, I’m still all about the benefits of quitting sugar. In fact, in just about every way, I’ve gone further than ever before on my own journey. In fact, I’ve gone extreme! But I’ll explain that in a minute.
When I first gave up sugar, I stopped eating any food that had “sugar” listed as an ingredient, even though it may have contained no carbohydrate. My goal has always been to find what’s going to work best for me, for my body and health, while also enjoying the pleasures of life. But that’s a tough thing to sort out because many “authorities” in various dietary camps tell a different story about the “perfect diet”. Well, it may turn out that the so-called perfect diet is a fairy tale.
Since October of 2011, my own understanding has changed many times. I’ve gotten mixed messages from far too many different sources. Each source seems like an authority and makes so much sense. Just when I think I’ve found a perfect source, something overturns the apple cart and I’m back to my normal diet confusion. Have you been there? What’s “good for you” one day, is “bad for you” another day. What you thought was a healthy diet turns out to be the very diet that’s making people unhealthy. It’s hard to stick to any kind of healthy lifestyle when you’re constantly confused by the different experts telling opposite stories. Then add in everybody else dumping their two-cents on you.
In a recent thread on my Quitting Sugar Facebook Page, I was asked a question about how I’m eating and specifically, if I avoid grains. So I decided to post an overview of how I’m eating lately. I’ve love to read your version of how you’re eating as well. I like to observe how other people eat. It gives me ideas, and that’s always great because it keeps things interesting.
When I first quit sugar, I was so strict that if the nutrition panel on a product listed zero carbohydrates but sugar was listed among the ingredients, I wouldn’t buy it. However, I’m always learning more and my knowledge and beliefs are evolving.
While I believe there isn’t one way to eat that’s right for everyone, staying relatively low in carbs is always a good idea. So that’s still my primary focus. Quitting sugar is a good move on all levels and has had a big impact on my life. So I’m going to break down how I typically eat on a daily basis. I’m not going to get super detailed. I mainly want to share an overview. So here’s an honest look at how I’m currently eating.
There’s just one thought I cannot reconcile after more than 6 months of quitting sugar. Dr. Robert Lustig and so many others are pretty sure that eating ANY sugar at all is deadly and shouldn’t ever happen. Yet, I have more trust in nature than I do Lustig, (who I’m a fan of, however).
So why, then, did we evolve to have sweet receptors (taste buds) on our tongues? Nature doesn’t do anything without a reason. The fact that we evolved to have sweet receptors and can specifically detect sweetness in food is significant, if you ask me, but it’s also confusing when I consider the current science behind the effects of sugar on our bodies. My present line of thinking is that there must be a reason for it. If that’s true, then my next logical conclusion is that eating sugar isn’t all bad. However, eating too much sugar is definitely very bad. And that’s where the problems begin. Because of this, I will be starting some new experiments that will involve eating sugar in various forms and seeing if I can identify a threshold where eating sugar becomes bad, or at least bad for me. How much sugar is okay to eat and how much is too much?
I’d say that eating too much refined sugar and (simple sugars in general) is what causes our health to decline. The best way (that I know of) to determine what any sugar is doing to me is to monitor my blood sugar levels, since many doctors and health scientists have already identified a range that appears to be “safe” and a range where blood sugar levels begin to cause problems. I realize that these ranges are not a hard-and-fast rule, but it’s a good starting point.
Alright, I’m rolling up my sleeves now, friends. I recently had some blood work done to track the changes in my blood cholesterol since I quit eating sugar. I’ve been on a strict low-carb diet. And I say with all honesty, that I’ve been firmly sticking to it and have never once eaten sugar except that which occurs naturally such as in some vegetables. I’ve lost 20+ pounds. I feel better and healthier and look much healthier. So when I looked at my recent cholesterol results, I was hoping to see some good news.
On my lab results page that I received from my doctor’s office was a comment that said, “Excellent Chemistry _____” I couldn’t make out the last word. So I was excited to see that, though I didn’t realize that this probably referred to other tests that were done, not to my cholesterol results. Naturally, I assumed my doc was talking about my cholesterol and that the results were excellent. But my cholesterol results weren’t on this specific form. So I arranged to pick up a complete copy of my results from my doctor’s office. When I got home and looked them over, oddly, the cholesterol results weren’t included. But that was probably because the lab that checks LDL particle size also had the overall cholesterol results as well. So I logged into my online account to see if the updated lab results were available. They were. When I looked at them, I suddenly felt a sinking feeling. The results I got were disappointing. They weren’t all bad, but still, while some markers got better, some got worse and it left me wondering what went wrong.
It’s been one month since quitting sugar. In this video, I talk about my weight loss and what the biggest surprise has been about quitting sugar, also the biggest challenge. If you prefer to read the text, keep reading for a summary.