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Tips on How to Reduce Sugar Intake April 4, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, health, healthy living, sugar.
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(I hope you aren’t terribly bored by this topic already, but hopefully, this will be my last post on the subject–at least for now.)

First you have to believe it’s important to reduce your sugar intake. Then the information and tips below will be able to have some effect. I personally wanted to reduce my sugar intake long before I knew I had cancer. I knew I had a sweet tooth and ample evidence in my mouth in the form of fillings, extractions and crowns to prove it! I was a sweets addict from a very early age—no fault of my parents! They tried to raise me right!

For the last, maybe 20 years we have not had white sugar in the house and over the last couple of years gradually reduced even our use of raw sugar and honey by quite a bit. I even gave up my morning treat of drinking a wonderful brew of Indian (black) tea with cream and raw sugar and instead switched to many varieties of Japanese and Vietnamese green teas. However, it wasn’t until I got cancer that I got serious about ridding my life of whatever other incidental sugar I was “enjoying”. I fully believed, at that point, that sugar was my enemy, so I was out to totally eliminate it from my diet—at least for several years until I could get some kind of test results stating that I was cancer-free. Then, perhaps, I could indulge once in a while. But I will always remain cautious about the harmful effects of sugar.

Of course, different people’s bodies react differently to sugar, and some people aren’t naturally able to handle much sugar, because their body doesn’t metabolize it as well. So you should go by what you personally find to be best and what you’ve learned through experience, but here’s more information on how to go about reducing your sugar intake.

For each person it will probably be a bit different. For most people, the first step is looking at your diet on a daily basis and seeing how much sugar you eat “incidentally.” That is sugar you eat without even eating something that you consider special or sweet. For example, sugar in your coffee‚ or honey in your cereal, or jam on your toast, or ketchup on your food. Those are things you might not naturally recognize as part of your sugar intake, but it all adds up. And of course all “fast food” is high in sugar additives, as are many commercially prepared foods. They add sugar because it’s cheap and addictive and caters to the world’s perverted taste buds.

One way to get a more realistic picture of how often you’re eating sugar without realizing it is to try a self-imposed sugar fast. Set yourself a period of time—for example, one week—when you will try to not eat any added sugar, or prepared foods that contain sugar as a major ingredient, at all. Once you’re making a conscious effort to not eat any at all‚ you’ll realize how often it creeps into your diet, and how often you have to “just say no.”

The healthiest option, the ideal, would be if you never added extra sugar into your diet, but instead ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and foods that contain natural sweeteners. For example‚ if you like your morning cereal sweet, if you could get used to sweetening it with raisins or a banana; that would be much better for you than a spoonful of honey or sugar.

There are different ways to cut back on sugar, and you can do it in the way that you feel will work best for you. Some people might want to go for a sugar fast and cut out all sugar for a month or so, to give their taste buds time to adjust. Some people might want to set goals and have a little less sugar each week, so that by the end of a month they’re down to a healthy level.

There are also different ways you can cut out sugar and still have what you most enjoy. For example‚ some people might prefer to have a little sugar each day in their morning cereal, and they won’t mind passing up other opportunities to eat sugar. Other people might prefer to avoid sugar on a daily basis, and instead have the liberty to have a special sweet treat occasionally.

This is just a suggestion, but you could try to cut down your daily sugar intake so that it’s not more than a teaspoon or two of sugar per day. If you have daily sugar intake, keep any treats or extras involving sugar to a minimum, not more than once a week. If you don’t have sugar on a daily basis, you can afford to have sweet treats a little more often, a couple of times a week (hopefully as healthy as possible), without hurting your body or immune system too much.

For example, if you’re someone who really enjoys your coffee, you might decide that having a spoon of honey or sugar in your coffee twice a day is your treat, and you’d rather have that than anything else.

If you’re someone who really enjoys having a healthy sweet treat from time to time, one solution is to see if you can get used to eating the regular foods and drinks you have each day without sugar. Because then you’re having a lot less sugar overall, and having a sweet treat here or there (a couple of times a week) is much more acceptable.

You can also learn how to make appealing and delicious treats without sugar, using fruit and nuts and dates and raisins.

You can learn to enjoy your foods or drinks with less sugar, and after a while you won’t even miss it, because your taste buds will adjust.

You can take much smaller portions of desserts or sweets, and learn to be satisfied on a lot less.

If your body is addicted to sugar, it’s being weakened and harmed by the sugar you eat, and you won’t be able to naturally cut it back without making a concerted effort and being willing to sacrifice. The best, healthiest attitude towards eating sugar is: “Keep your sugar intake to a bare minimum.”

Eating in a more healthful way will make you happier, stronger, freer of bothersome and painful afflictions, provide you with more energy and zest for life, and when you do get sick or injured, your healing or recovery time will be much shorter.

One way to see how addicted you are is to attempt to cut it out completely for a period of time. If you miss it‚ if you crave it, if you have a hard time “saying no‚” then you probably eat it too much, and going without it for a while—several weeks, or a month—would help your appetite to fall more in line with healthier guidelines.

Don’t be like me. I fed my sugar habit too much for too long and only got really serious about cutting it out of my diet entirely when I found out that I had a life-threatening disease! That’s the choice though. You could wait till you have a serious health problem that dictates your diet for you‚ when sticking to a strict diet makes the difference between your body functioning or dying, or you can work to curb your unhealthy eating habits now and enjoy health and quality of life for much longer—or even till Jesus comes back and gives you your new body!

It’s not been nearly as hard as I thought it would be, giving up sugar. I regret that I didn’t have the vision earlier that I have now, but perhaps you can benefit from my mistake. That’s up to you!

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Comments»

1. Sugar–Again! « My Gift of Cancer - November 10, 2009

[…] healthier since I kicked the sugar habit! It isn’t exactly a subtle difference, but of course eliminating sugar wasn’t the only change I made, so I haven’t followed the usual scientific method in […]

2. “Is Eating Sugar Really That Bad for Us?” « My Gift of Cancer - January 30, 2010

[…] hard, but it’s not impossible to drastically reduce your sugar intake. I was really a sugar “junkie” even when I knew how bad it was–though I […]

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