High on Apple Pie – The Ups and Downs of Eating Sugar Free

No one said it would be easy.

Dear friends, if you are not extremely upset by the appalling amount of added sugar sitting on the shelves of your grocery store then you are not reading food labels before you purchase.  Sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, etc.  The list of disguises that sugar wears on a food label is astounding.  One of my favorite things to see on a label now is organic [insert added sugar item here].  I wonder if Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) will expose these imposters of health food store shelves.  Just because it’s organic sugar doesn’t mean it’s not still sugar.

In my quest to eat sugar-free [and flour-free when I can] there have definitely been ups and downs.  First of all, let me reiterate that sugar is addictive.  If you don’t believe me I challenge you to remove all added sugar from your diet.  This means don’t eat fruit because it has sugar or anything like that, a balanced diet is still important, I am talking about reading a label and if it has the word sugar or any of it’s devilish disguises listed put it back on the shelf.  This means certain brands of ground turkey stay at the store.  This means you need to find sugar-free recipes for many of your favorite condiments including, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.

All-in-all I believe that I am doing well becoming a sugar-free chef.  It is definitely not something that has or will happen overnight.  I have found that the aftertaste and “cotton mouth” that I once ignored when consuming sugar-free foods is now not a sensation I’m willing to have everyday.  So I’ve looked at a number of alternatives in the sweetener realm.  Also, in the past I used sugar as a stress reliever.  This is currently my biggest obstacle personally in becoming sugar-free.  When stressful times come I crave a Maple Bar or and orange soda.  Fat free, Sugar Free ice cream has come in handy in this area.  But I’m still trying to find a “sweet” carry along that I find palatable that I can reach for when life gets stupid.

Of course, my job, for now, prohibits me from going 100% sugar-free.  Especially on the days when we are developing new product or testing new recipes. It’s hard for others to be confident when you tell them that something tastes good if you haven’t actually tasted it before.  Other than that, however, I am still well on my way to becoming a 100% added sugar-free chef.

As always I invite you to remove added sugar from your diet and to leave your comments regarding your ups and downs.  We can all use a little encouragement.

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~ by Mel's Boy on Saturday, 27 June 2009.

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