It’s a valid question. I do call myself ‘sugar free’ as I stopped eating sweet food about two years ago now, having started my journey in October 2014. In that time I have eliminated sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits from my daily diet. I have also cut out honey, dried fruit, cereal bars, syrups, sweeteners, fizzy drinks and fruit juices.
In addition I have dramatically reduced my intake of refined carbohydrates – bread, pasta, potato and rice. Carbohydrates turn in to sugar during digestion. Instead I eat small amounts of complex carbohydrates and more full fat foods such as root vegetables and full fat yogurt, butter, cheese, olive oil and nuts.
So I am sugar free, aren’t I?
I would argue that compared to the average person I am but in reality I’m not really sugar free. I readily eat fruit and dairy, both of which contain natural sugars. And the carbs that I do eat add to that.
Does that mean that I’m going to gradually cut those foods out too, trying to reach some almost unattainable pinnacle of sugar free ‘clean’ or ‘healthy’ living?
Absolutely not! I am no fanatic. I’m not going to obsess over these sources of sugar. There’s no logical reason I can see to cut out any fruit, vegetable or source of dairy. I am not intolerant to dairy, it doesn’t affect me in any way and it’s a valuable food group.
And if I do eat a few grammes of sugar daily, well – what the hell.
I’ve never felt better. No lethargy, brain fog, aches and pains, headaches. No more hayfever. I’m full of energy, my memory has improved, I’m trimmer and I have no more unexplained ‘IBS’ tummy aches.
So provided that I stick to my chosen way of living – lots of fresh fruit and veg, nuts, meat, fish and dairy, and some healthy fats and very little alcohol – then I’ll be happy in the knowledge that I’m eating healthily and that’s more than good enough for me.
And dare I say it – I believe the way I eat now is how we should ALL be eating. Some sugar in our diet from non sugary foods, not much, and nothing too sweet in excess. Just fresh, healthy food. Am I wrong? I don’t think so. So am I REALLY ‘sugar free’?