So you just went on a sugar free diet. It’s a whole new world, eh? How does quitting sugar feel? The flowers are a blooming even though it is winter. Magnum PI has returned to television. You bid a dollar on Price is Right and owned everyone.
Actually, it feels nothing like that at all. At least if you are doing it right. When you truly quit sugar, it feels as though you are in a room with Nick Cage freaking out.
I hope that you enjoyed that montage as much as I enjoyed it.
The problem with going sugar free is that many people really don’t understand what sugar actually is, leading them to take in sugar from all types of inadvertent sources (we call this hidden sugars). Big food knows that sugar is our social crack addiction, so they do all they can to make sure we are syphoning the devil’s dust as much as possible. Sure, some sugar in some moderation is fine, but most of us have a hard time controlling sugar in-take. There is nothing less exciting than eating half a cookie. I’m just keeping it real, people.
So let’s go over this hidden sugars list. Yes, some of this may be remedial for all you true sugar free champions, but that doesn’t mean reminders don’t help motivate us and keep us on the good path.
Here’s a list of products with potential hidden sugars.
Sauces. Sauces. And more sauces.
Trying to avoid sugar becomes a laborious reality once you figure out that most of the sauces you have ever enjoyed were loaded with sugar. It can make you feel as though the world is against you. And that’s because, basically, it is. BBQ sauce and pasta sauces are almost all loaded with sugar. So thinking you will have some BBQ wings on your paleo, no sugar diet, won’t be as easy to accomplish as you might think. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Ok, if you are avoiding artificial sweetners, it is pretty much impossible.
What can you do? Try olive oil and vinegar and spices to help season up those wings. Look (or create yourself) dry rubs which don’t use sugar products inside of them. Spices and oils are often a great solution for making up for some of that taste you might be longing for ever since ditching the devil’s dust.
Some yogurt is obvious. If you are buying frozen yogurt from a self-serve joint and choosing between dulce de leche or pike’s peak vanilla, I am going to hope you understand you are getting a sugar load. Yes, those places advertise that you get probiotics, but that can’t make up for 50 MG of pure sugar.
Often times, the grocery store will carry “healthy yogurt.” Well, often times, that healthy yogurt is flavored with “fruits” or maple syrup or agave or honey. Welcome to sugar hell, my friends. Sugar really is, sugar, no matter how you want to spell it out on ad copy. You can avoid the sugar by getting plain greek yogurt, but get ready to endure a bitter taste. If you just quit sugar, this might upset you. I don’t eat sugar, I enjoy it.
You might be wondering why the heck I am bring up Chinese food. Isn’t it obvious? Not really. Lots of people feel they are eating low carb by ordering the general’s chicken with veggies instead of rice. The only issue here is that the general loads up his famous chicken with sugar. And it isn’t just the general that does this, it is all the chines food products. All those fancily named sauces typically have sugar. You thought duck sauce was just a protein sauce? Nope. No duck involved, in fact. I shouldn’t have to tell you that sweet and sour sauce has more “sweet” than “sour.”
Sodas, Athletic Drinks
“I know soda has sugar, that’s why I drink diet sodas.” OK, fine, but just realize that diet sodas have been implicated with increased cancer risks. I suppose if you can get beyond that, then you should know that diet sodas have been shown to still illicit an insulin response, which triggers fat storage in the body. In other words, there isn’t much difference between your diet coke and regular coke other than a feeling of justification caused at the hands of marketing.
Ah, we all love healthy sugar. Look, I’m not here to tell you that every amount and source of sugar is bad, I’m just here to tell you that sugar is sugar. Being on a sugar free diet and buying products that use “agave over sugar” isn’t a sugar free diet. It’s a sugar diet. Big food will use agave and honey as a way to essentially trick consumers into thinking they are avoiding sugar. If you go on a sugar free diet and it seems easy in the beginning, it might be because you are falling for this trick. Don’t fall for tricks in treats (see what I did there).
Dehydrated fruit is a nice, healthy snack. I mean, when they dehydrated it, all the sugar evaporated, right? No, that did not happen. In fact, dried fruit has more sugar than regular fruit. Yes, you just got screwed.
My friends, you got to read those labels. The “packed with protein” followed by “taste delicious” is trickery. Often times they load them with sugar (honey, agave, fruits). These protein bars can be packaged to seem incredibly healthy. Its all tom follery my friends. I’m not saying they are terrible for you, I’m just saying watch your back!
I know, you must feel as though the world has ended, but it hasn’t. Remember, sugar is an addictive substance and the sugar dealer (big food) aims to keep you hooked in any way possible. Once you cut out all the added sugar sources, you will not fear the sugar free lifestyle. And the health benefits, including weight loss, will pay off in the long run.