Earlier this month I announced that I would be going sugar free for April 2021 after being inspired by Eve O. Schaub’s Year of No Sugar book to give it up. Eve inspired me to kick up my already barely there sugar habit after revealing that the body thinks that cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup are all the same. GASP! I know. Who would have thought? I sure didn’t. Anyone else know that sugar may also cause high blood pressure? Hmmm. Some food for thought there.
My Mammy, aka my grandmother, had high blood pressure and loved her sweets. She was the most sugar addicted grandparent. I have high blood pressure and was a sugar addict. Me and my Mammy both take/took high blood pressure medicine. After doing my own research I concluded that Eve was not pulling my leg. Acknowledging that doctors receive minimal nutrition training during medical school, they rarely, if ever, bring up the complications brought on by sugar. My own cardiologist only warned me about excessive salt, not sugar.
Now before I go too far into this post let me remind you that I’m not a doctor, medical person, and what I’m saying here is from my own experience. I cannot treat or diagnosis any medical conditions. I can only speak from my experience. If you also have high blood pressure, do you own research and speak with your doctor. I ruled out that the worst case scenario with my year of no sugar was that nothing changed in my body. My high blood pressure remained. I still continue to take my high blood pressure medicine as directed by my doctor. I will be chatting with my doctor about taking myself off my meds during my annual visit.
Before starting this challenge I analyzed the food that I was consuming to identify fructose sugars. Fructose sugars, from what I learned, are the problem sugars. Our bodies do no need fructose sugars to survive. Fructose sugars make you feel full, raising your blood sugar levels, and leave you with the sugar jitters or crash. My only source of sugar was honey and maple syrup. Essentially that meant that I was going to follow the Vertical Diet even more closely. As Stan Efferding says, “Compliance is the science.”
“Many people have heard that sugar is bad, and think that this must also therefore apply to fruits. But fructose is only harmful in excess amounts, and not when it comes from fruit. It would be incredibly difficult to consume excessive amounts of fructose by eating whole fruits.”The Conversation
The withdrawal from sugar from honey and maple syrup was nearly nonexistent. Now my frame of reference for sugar withdrawal symptoms is different than others. I previously wrote about how I detoxed from sugar 8 years ago. That was pure torture! This time around was not too bad. I ended up losing about a pound and a half by simply eliminating honey and maple syrup. Everything else like my food and exercise remained constant. My inner nerd wanted to make sure that nothing else could have played a factor in this challenge.
I don’t see me going back to consuming honey or maple syrup much, if ever. The positive benefits of feeling better, having a clearer mind, and improved digestion are enough for me to quit sugar once and for all. Now that I know sugar and maple syrup are cane sugar’s evil cousin, I guess I can officially call myself SUGAR FREE. Feels good to break from the sugar cycle.
Want to Try Going Sugar Free? Here are some tips and ideas.
- Try a sugar free meal once a day. Plan a 100% sugar free breakfast every morning. I have scrambled eggs with veggies and ground beef.
- Experiment with going sugar free for a short period of time. Could you try going sugar free for a day or maybe a weekend? Plan your meals and snacks in advance to set yourself up for success.
- Avoid the vending machine. Always have a sugar free snack on hand in case you get hungry. I like packing a small jar of baby carrots for those moment.
What’s up for May? Check back tomorrow for May’s challenge.