A few months ago in an ongoing quest for perfect, supermodel skin I tried cutting sugar from my diet. I did some research which showed that the androgen hormone, which is linked to insulin, can cause breakouts.
Unfortunately, the only true fact I’ve learned in my 15+ year quest for skin like the Noxema girl’s is that apparently me being me is what causes breakouts and no limitation of sugar is going to be a magic cure. However, giving up sugar for about 8 weeks did open my eyes to how much of it was in the foods I was regularly eating, from fruit to processed foods and everything in between. And after eliminating it I felt more energetic and less thirsty. My clothes fit better and I didn’t crave sweet foods the way I once had. So while I don’t avoid it entirely anymore, I am much more discerning about the sugar I do eat. For example, I’m just gonna say it…once in a while I like to eat a whole bag of Twizzlers. Or a doughnut. Like a frosting-drenched, sprinkle-topped doughnut. So to balance out those sporadic cravings, and because those foods have approximately 0 health benefits, I avoid sugar in other ways that aren’t as much of a sacrifice for me like:
- Reading the ingredients of my groceries and avoiding foods with added sugar, corn syrup, sucralose, etc. Even “savory” foods like crackers and chips sometimes contain sugar. So sneaky!
- Making my own granola. Cereal is often very high in sugar, even most granolas which are marketed as “healthy”, “natural” or “with a HINT of sweetness”. When I make my own, I add just a small amount of honey and lots of dried fruits. If i’m going to consume sugar, I want it to be from natural sweeteners as much as possible! Here’s my recipe!
- Making my own salad dressing. Most bottled dressings from the grocery store have really nasty ingredients like corn syrup. Have you ever seen a yummy homemade dressing recipe say, “slowly whisk in the high fructose corn syrup and xanthum gum”? Ew.
- Making my own chocolate candies. Many popular candy bars are overloaded with high fructose corn syrup or sugar. I like making my own dark chocolate that’s actually dark and bittersweet. Here’s my recipe!
- Fulfilling my ice cream cravings with coconut or almond milk ice cream with no added sugar. Don’t be weirded out! There are some delicious brands and flavors and they still taste sweet while eliminating the processed sugars.
- Using agave syrup as an alternative to processed, white sugar when baking. It has a lower glycemic index and you only need about half the amount when compared to sugar.
I’m always looking for other ways to eliminate processed sugar from my diet. But for now, I think this is a good start!