This topic of a refined sugar free lifestyle is from my Women’s Wellness Wakeup Facebook Series. Enrollment is open and I’d love to have you in the group. Here is a bit more about it and the results you can expect!
If you are confused about sugar, where it’s found, why everyone says to avoid it and why to live a refined sugar free lifestyle, this is just the post for you. In my Private Facebook Series, a few members requested the topic of sugar so we dove straight in. If you’d like to join the exclusive membership series, here is the link with more information. I’d love to have you!
Here’s what you’ll learn in this post:
What sugar is
Why to avoid sugar
Where sugar is
Alternatives to nutrient depleted cane and artificial sugars
How to make healthy swaps for refined sugar in recipes
A few member questions that came up in the live video call:
“I knew sugar was bad but WOW. I feel discourage about how I am going to replace certain foods that my kids love.”
“How do we factor carbs into reducing sugars? Don’t they breakdown into sugars?”
What is sugar & why cutting back is a great idea
Sugar comes in all forms so, let’s bust some myths. All sugar is not created equally. There is fruit sugar, refined sugar, artificial sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Carbs breakdown into sugar and carbs are found in vegetables just as much as they’re found in cereal. It’s all about the quality of your carbs so, don’t be afraid of carbs! I repeat, do not be afraid of carbs. + Remember, it’s not the end of the world, sugarless will do wonders!
In its natural form (in fruit and veggies) carbs are hanging out with their friends protein, fiber, fat and nutrients. Fiber slows down the uptake of carbs and prevents our blood sugar from spiking up. Fat makes for a more satiating meal. The nutrients like vitamins, minerals and amino acids add an immune boost and give the fruit/veggie more nutrient value.
When you take the sugar out of its natural habitat AKA isolate nutrients, we run into a problem. I mean, God created his creation this way for a reason, it all plays an important role. Sugar without fiber spiked blood sugar, tells our body to store glucose in fat and can wreak havoc. Hello mid-waist fat and weight that refuses to leave. Hello headaches, insulin resistance and acne. Guess what, all of these went away when I switched to a refined sugar free lifestyle.
Health(ier) alternatives to refined sugar
There is a difference between refined sugar and unrefined sugar. Refined sugar is:
Evaporated cane juice
High fructose corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Unrefined sugar is:
Fruits & Dates
Date syrup & date sugar
Maple sugar & Coconut sugar
Refined sugar is stripped of any nutrients, bleached and even chlorinated. It’s highly addictive and there’s no reason for it to be a part of your lifestyle.
A refined sugar free lifestyle gives you sugar that contains essential nutrients, iron and fiber. Of course, you want to make sure you aren’t eating too much unrefined sugar but this is a better option for baking, snacks and stocking the pantry.
Where sugar is found
You may be surprised to learn all the places sugar is lurking. I mean, it’s a pretty sneaking additive and it’s put there because sugar is, well… addicting! So, manufacturers know they have you hooked and coming back for more. So, let’s not flatter them.
Ketchup, salsa, alternative milks, yogurt, granola, fat-free & sugar-free items, smoothies (yes, they add additional sugar..), meat, pickles, dressings, sauces, Chinese food, hummus and baby food. If a food is not labeled GMO-free or organic, it is 99.9% made with GMO sugar beets that are heavily sprayed with glyphosate (a known carcinogen). Always avoid artificial sweeteners, those are bad news, no one can deny that.
Most importantly, organic doesn’t mean healthy. There are organic and health food products that are laden with sugar. Sugar is the culprit of our poor health and it’s time we kick it to the back burner. Let’s make it an occasional ingredient instead of a household staple. Instead, let’s make it normal to check ingredient labels. Thankfully, you can retrain both your and your kids’ taste buds. Trust me, I did it myself and I was a ravenous sugar addict. RAVENOUS.
Swapping out that pesky refined sugar for a refined sugar free lifestyle
Did you know you could make simple swaps in recipes that call for cane sugar or sugar beets? You can! If a brownie recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar (whoa) just swap it for 1 cup of coconut, date or maple sugar. You can even swap it for ½ the amount so ½ cup maple syrup, honey or date syrup. Then, you can taper your way down to as little as 2 TBSP instead of 1 cup. You will get there, you will!
When you go out for a coffee, smoothie or blended drink, ask the barista for ½ the sugar as normal. You will be surprised how delicious it is and how much more you can taste the actual contents of the drink!
When the kids as for a super sugary treat, give them a date with almond butter instead. Remember, don’t make a bid deal of it, just begin to transition the sugary foods out of your kitchen. If they aren’t in there, you won’t eat them! If they want kool-aid or some other sugary drink, buy some fresh fruit juice, make them a smoothie or just give a hard no… you’re mom!
My favorite refined sugar free recipes
Since sugar directly affects hormones, here’s a hormone assessment & guide for you 🙂 Here’s to a refined sugar free lifestyle!