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how do I stop consuming sugar?
In an effort to answer your question, I will respond assuming the latter of the three (if you are diabetic I will cover that in a Vlog soon but feel free to reply back). The thing is, you can't “stop consuming sugar.” Sugar is in everything, from starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn) and fruits to grains and dairy. Every food group (even non-starchy vegetables and beans) have “sugar” of some sort in them.
Sugar comes in three main forms: fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), and glucose (the body's favorite sugar). Your body RUNS off of glucose, it is the basis of energy in the body. Ever major and minor function prefers to run off sugar. These are reasons high protein-low carb fad diets just do not work. Protein is not meant to sustain energy. Sure, it can be broken down enough to produce some energy, but certain organs refuse to run off of the byproducts of protein until the last minute, only because death will surely follow soon after if nothing is done. This basically means that sugar is in every food group, and there is no avoiding it. Even diabetics have to learn how to eat their sugars and adjust their insulin dosage appropriately.
If you mean white, granulated sugar. Fine. “Low Fat” items tend to carry more sugar in them as it is a great mouth-feel replacer. Sugar is used primarily to replace the flavor lost in making something “low fat.” Also, processed foods contain sugar as it is a flavor enhancer, moistening agent, and preservative. Eating whole foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy) leads basically a processed-sugar-free diet. If you like to bake, you can replace a whole grain bread or other baked good with the sweetener of your choice; however, if you are not (like myself), your best bet is to buy high-quality breads that wont skimp for the high fructose corn syrup, processed sweetening agents, etc in their breads (if you're wondering why sugar is used in breads in the first place it is because it feeds the yeast and helps the bread rise). You can also switching to healthier sugars in your life (agave syrup, “sugar in the raw,” etc) but keep in mind these are STILL SUGARS. Sure, they are sexy sugars, but sugars nonetheless.
Simple steps include:
- black coffee
- no sugar-laden beverages (unless you make your own smoothie or something)
- avoid aspartame (decent long term studies don't show anything good so far)
- eat whole foods and deal with having bread in your life
The moral of the story. You need glucose to function. Your body takes fructose and lactose and uses it as glucose, and glucose = sugar. If you DID NOT (hypothetically) consume ANY glucose whatsoever, you would die. I know that sounds overdramatic, but not only is it nearly impossible, but highly detrimental to your body. Avoid processed foods, processed sugars, choose breads with high quality sugars in them to avoid the byproduct wasteland they produce, and avoid ADDED sugars when you can. Although there really is no replacement for the sweet taste sugar provides, you can easily get used to not having it around - your tastebuds will adjust. And if you choose to add a sweetener, add a healthier one/one less processed.
Hope this helps - respond back if you need more info on this one. Happy eating!