Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reducing My Sugar Intake

Sugar. Is it good? Is it bad? There are lots of different sources/types of sugar, like sugar cane, beets, maple trees, fruit, bees, corn, and other plants like agave and stevia. When I say sugar, I mean any kind of sweetener, calories or no calories. I'm no biologist or doctor, I'm just trying to come to some conclusion about sugar!

I think I eat mostly a pretty healthy diet. And I don't even consume that much sugar.But still, I think I probably need to cut some of it out, whether it's "natural" or not. Sugar is still sugar even if it comes from an apple. Moderation, right?

I don't eat a ton of sweets like cookies and candy. But I do like to put some agave in my oatmeal . I've been able to cut that down though. For instance, I don't need any in my steel cut oats, because they're flavorful enough. I also eat sugar in the form of dried fruit in my oatmeal. Do I need agave AND dried fruit? Probably not.

As for fresh fruit, I eat apples (or sometimes pears instead) occasionally for a snack or in fresh juice. I put bananas and blueberries in my post-workout smoothies a couple of times a week. Occasionally we buy peaches or nectarines or whatever's on sale. I think that's ok.

I keep dates in my refrigerator. I use them when I make raw buckwheat or oatmeal. It's rare (every other week) and I don't use a ton. Or they go into the occasional raw salad dressing.

I do keep a bottle of agave in the pantry, because that's what I use the most.

When I do bake, I use either agave or some beet sugar. I used to use turbinado or demerara sugar, because I thought that was healthier than white sugar. But I'm not so sure it is. So I don't really buy it anymore.

I also add beets to my fresh juices. I hate stevia. Just so you know....can't stand the aftertaste.

I did try Splenda for a while, a long time ago. But then went back to using natural cane sugar.

So I think my main sources of sugar are: dried fruit, apples, beets, bananas, dates, & agave. Am I consuming too much? I probably put too much dried fruit in my oatmeal. Maybe I should limit myself to a tablespoon or so. What do you think? Usually it's cranberries or raisins, which have about the same amount of sugar in them. Three bananas per week is ok, in my opinion. And maybe 2-3 apples per week. A tablespoon of agave in my oatmeal in the morning.......maybe I should bring it down to a teaspoon? Or not at all? I also eat energy bars that have dates in them, like Larabars, PureBars, etc. Though I don't usually eat a whole one and certainly not every day.

And yes, I do sometimes buy non-dairy ice cream at Whole Foods and yes, that has plenty of added sugar. But I only eat about two tablespoons at a time and not every day. Am I taking years off my life by doing this?

I know there are various types like fructose, sucrose, etc. But I'm not a diabetic, and a lot of that has to do with the glycemic index. It seems that fruit sugar (fructose) is broken down more slowly, which is better. Ok, I'm not a doctor, so let's move on.

I'm sure there are some of you out there that think anything with ADDED sugar is bad. And I mostly agree. Though I think occasionally, it's ok. And maybe one day I'll get rid of it altogether (Ok, probably not. Let's be realistic!).

What are your thoughts on sugar? How much do YOU consume? Where should I cut back? I'm in good health, though I really do feel I should cut down on the sugar consumption. It will make me feel better about myself.

I don't buy "sugar-free" items either!

I'd love your feedback on the whole "sugar dilemma"....good news or bad.

Eat smart,


  1. Hi I just discovered your blog today and am currently trying to cut out sugar also. A website you might be interested in is if you go right down to the bottom of the page there are links to the facebook page and David's own blog which is I have both his books and it's fascinating reading.

  2. Thank you, Jackie. I will check that out!

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