Last year I stopped eating refined sugar because of a health issue. I didn’t think about it too much. It just seemed the right way to go and it certainly had a good impact on me. While I didn’t lose much weight nevertheless I had much less trouble with thrush or any other fungal infections that usually bothered me. And I had tons more energy. It was a bit of a journey to find alternatives and there are exceptions, of course 🙂 : Christmas & Birthdays! I wouldn’t go without chocolate at Christmas.
I was intrigued by Eve Schaub’s “Year of No Sugar”
So when I stumbled over Eve Schaub’s ” Year of no Sugar” I was intrigued and borrowed it straight away via Libby. I didn’t think that many other people would do the same crazy stunt as I. I had planned to review it today but am only a quarter through the book so will keep it for a later date. Hopefully, I have lots of time to read in the next few days. I am curious though what other bloggers and blog readers think about “Sugar” and its related problems.
“Year of no Sugar” has a foreword by David Gillespie who explained that he was overweight and couldn’t figure out a way to lose any weight despite eating healthy and going to the gym. When his wife expected twins he felt he had to change something to keep up with his family. He began to research how his body worked and what a healthy diet incorporated. Many scientific pieces mentioned that it is sugar, not fat that mainly creates our overweight societies. Of course, it is not that easy. The everyday sugar we use consists of different parts some of which are fructose and glucose. Glucose is the stuff that our bodies need to get the energy for everything. Fructose is what makes fruit sweet but what our bodies apparently can’t use. Not a single cell in our bodies uses fructose according to Schaub’s “Year of no Sugar” and Gillespie’s page.
Some points didn’t ring true for me in “Year of No Sugar”
At the point of reading this, I thought: “Well, I do not eat sugar and it’s a good thing but that seems rather farfetched. Haven’t we been told for years that fructose is good for us? At least better than refined sugar? And he wrote he lost lots of weight as soon as he stopped eating refined sugar. I didn’t. I only didn’t pile on more pounds. So I got curious and had a look at his page: How Much Sugar. The sugar-free recipes on his page are great. I will try out several of those but I didn’t like his style: It felt too much like only wanting to bring readers in but not many solutions to the topics he wrote about. However, I haven’t investigated it in detail yet. I am a curious person though, so I decided to keep reading the book and find out more.
Both authors mention Prof Robert Lustig who investigated the impact refined sugar has on our western societies in detail. The short version is: Humans didn’t eat much sugar until about 150 years ago when industrialisation made sugar production so cheap everybody could eat it. Clever marketers realised sugar makes people eat more of whatever it is put in and so they are putting it in everything from bread to desserts. It comes in many guises so even if you read the food labels you are often none the wiser. The fructose part of the sugar goes directly into your liver where it is changed into fatty acids which in turn block up our bloodstream and cause all sorts of havoc from heart disease to cancer. And fructose doesn’t register with the hormones that make us feel full. So we eat but do not feel full and we keep eating and eating. You can find out the details in Lustig’s “The Bitter Truth“.
I related to some experiences in “Year of No Sugar”
I do not know if that’s true. But it sounds plausible. So many times I said to my husband how the shop-bought bread doesn’t fill me while his sourdough (that’s made of flour, water and a little salt but nothing more) does. And when I started reading the actual book and Eve Schaub described their struggle to find supermarket products that do not contain any sugar I recognised my own journey from last year. Sugar is in everything. From medicines to bread. It is incredible. And my experience is sugar is highly addictive. I needed a couple of months to not grave its sweetness anymore and being used to a less sweet homebaked biscuit sweetened with date sugar or banana. But on a family members birthday when I “allowed” myself a piece of our traditional chocolate cream cake I suddenly couldn’t stop eating the sweet stuff despite it now tasting sickly sweet to me.
Our solution to the “Sugar is in everything” problem is to make our own. I think we now have reduced our processed food to mustard, oat yoghurt and cheese. Breakfast is cheese on sourdough or porridge made from “proper” oats, oat milk (homemade) and either fresh or dried fruit. We make pasta but eat mainly potatoes anyway. And our “ready meals” are batch cooked pies and lasagnas. It’s more work. And we definitely do not enjoy cooking and baking all the time but you develop your go-to dishes that go really fast when you have no mind to cook. What bothers me though is honey. All three no-sugar authors said honey is bad too. I love honey. Honey and yoghurt kept me alive last year with my health struggles but apparently honey is full of fructose too. But I also read last year it is good because of a lot of micronutrients. I am not sure I am willing to give that up for my health.
And what Do You Think About Sugar?
To sum it all up: It seems plausible to me that sugar has a worse impact on our health than fat and I certainly know it is in everything and highly addictive but is it really fructose that is so bad or is it maybe all those chemicals they put in processed food? I feel more energetic not eating sugar but I can fully understand what a struggle it is to keep it out of our diets. So over to you: Do you know anything about this topic? And either way, what do you think about it? Is sugar really the root of all evil in our diets?
You can find Eve Schaub’s “Year of No Sugar” at Hive Books. This is an affiliate link. It is free to click, however, if you choose to buy the book from Hive Books I will get a percentage of the price.
Good vibes your way
You can do it!