Best of 2023 Selection: What Happens When We Stop Eating Sugar?

Best of 2023 Selection: What Happens When We Stop Eating Sugar?

I stopped eating foods with added sugar, except for a restaurant business lunch every two weeks.  That means having natural sugars, such as in milk, is okay.  But it’s not okay for sugar to be in the “ingredients” list on the packaging.  That’s because sugar on the ingredients list has been added and is unnatural and, therefore, in my opinion, toxic.

Since cutting out sugar, I’ve saved a thousand or more on dental visits, which is what I spent the prior year.  And I look and feel much better.  By sharing my story, I hope we all consider the benefits of removing added sugars from our diets.

With that said, here are the benefits I’ve experienced since cutting out added sugars that we all stand to gain:

We no longer crave sugar.  If I eat even a ¼ teaspoon of sugar in one day, I get these uncontrollable urges for donuts at Tim Hortons.  I mean, the cravings are overwhelming.  It’s a battle to resist sweets.  But if I consistently eat nothing with added sugars (meaning nothing with sugar in the “ingredients” list), then I have zero cravings for anything sweet.  And healthy treats like unsweetened hot cocoa, plain yogurt, hemp hearts, and frozen berries taste a thousand times better than they would if I were addicted to sugar.

We look facially better.  The tiniest sugar in the ingredients list will appear on my face.  Within a week, I’ll get acne beside my nose or on my chin.  It’ll grow horrifically over two weeks and then fade away.  But since I’ve consistently avoided anything with added sugar, I get zero acne.  But even a savory sauce on a restaurant meal containing a tiny bit of sugar will cause my face to erupt with an acne mark.  So, I ask the servers to skip adding salad dressings or sauces to foods I order.  And I enjoy the taste better that way, too, as I’ve conditioned my body to prefer food in its natural state.

We reduce dental visits to zero.  I have the worst teeth.  Every second or third month, I used to need dental work, and one dentist consistently recommended “three” fillings each visit.  So, now, the majority of my teeth are comprised of fillings.  But since I stopped eating added sugar in the “ingredients” list, I get zero cavities.

We have less chronic inflammation.  I wondered why chronic fatigue rarely impacts me these days.  There is a correlation between feeling less fatigue and cutting out added sugar.  Added sugar can cause highs and crashes—and, yes, fatigue.  So, if a chronic condition drains our energy, added sugar should be the first thing to go.

We look leaner.  I can only maintain my lighter weight if I exercise frequently and avoid oils, sugars, processed foods, and restaurants.  Cutting out sugar is critical.  That’s because once we eat a bit of sugar, we crave more.  And that leads to weight gain.  (The same goes for deep fried foods.) I used to eat a daily chocolate brownie from Starbucks.  And it beefed me up.  It took months to lose the weight.  So, cutting out sugar (and exercising) helps us maintain a healthy weight.

So, what do we eat if we cut out all added sugar? I eat a lot of fruit, nuts, canned salmon, sardines, plain yogurt, almond cashew milk, Sunny Boy cereal, hemp seeds, bell peppers, sauerkraut, greens powder, beetroot powder, unsweetened hot cocoa, matcha tea, and not enough vegetables—and that covers 85% of my diet.  Sometimes I eat baked chicken and bananas.  And I go out for a business lunch every second week, which I order baked or poached with all sauces and dressings removed.

If we avoid sugar, we benefit remarkably.  And it’s easy to do.  But remember, 100% abstinence is easier to achieve than 99%.  After all, we deserve to look beautiful and feel healthy.

This article, from issue 3141 in late October, was a reader nomination, and contains a number of the things you’ll find in many articles in The Voice Magazine, some advice, some personal experience, and some general take-away ideas that are interesting ones, such as the idea that 100% abstinence is easier than 99%.