I have listed out some questions that I had to research when first quitting sugar. Hopefully the answers will help you in your journey! Please post any questions in the comments section if you want it covered…
- Do I mean quit all sugar?
No – I specifically mean fructose, a type of sugar which our body finds difficult to metabolize and is proven to be addictive. This is why I bake/cook with Dextrose or brown rice syrup, both of which are glucose. Our bodies ultimately covert all the food we eat into glucose for energy use.
- Fructose is natural and found in fruit, why should I quit it?
There is a complex science behind this question. Put simply the body sees fructose as a poison, breaking it down in the liver and turning it directly into fat stores. During this process lots of nasty by-products are also formed. If you want a broader overview then click here, and if you love to geek it up then check out books by either Robert Lustig or David Gilepsie on the thorough science behind it all.
- Should I not eat fruit then?
No, you should still eat fruit! Just limit the intake. In reality is more than 2 pieces a day necessary? It is recommended that your 5-a-day intake should compose mostly of vegetables due to the sugar content of fruit. Try to stick to lower fructose fruit like berries, kiwi, grapefruit or melon.
- Will I lose weight?
Most likely, yes! Great answer right?! Sugar is directly linked to fat production and leaves you craving more food. So by cutting it out you are likely to eat less, and fill up on the good stuff. This means less energy going in = fat burnnnnn.
- Can I drink alcohol?
You can sigh relief; we are safe on this one. Thankfully most alcohol contains glucose and very low levels of fructose (as the sugar turns to alcohol). The following drinks are low fructose: wine (red is best), beer, rum, gin, tequila, vodka, bacardi – most spirits which are not sweet. Just be careful with mixers as they can rack up the sugar, including tonic water (so stick with slimline). Also, avoid cocktails as fruit juice and liqueurs are full of fructose… although the odd one is sometimes necessary!
- Should I never eat sugar?
Some sugar quitters will say once you are off it, never look back – but I think ‘live a little’. If someone has baked a beautiful cake and brings you a slice to the office, then you can accept! A bit here and there won’t hurt, just remove sugar from the everyday.
- Where do I buy Dextrose (glucose) and brown rice syrup?
Holland and Barrets stock Dextrose, however it is labelled ‘Glucose’. Similarly some Tesco supermarkets stock dextrose. Ocado, Whole Foods and health food stores stock brown rice syrup.
8. What should I look out for on food labels?
Basically anything saying ‘sugar’, ‘fructose’, ‘high fructose corn syrup’ (the worst), ‘agave syrup’, ‘honey’. I also look to eat foods which are under 6g sugar per 100g within the ‘of which sugars’ section.