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Sugar is sugar, right?
Or, are natural sugars better than refined sugar?
When I talk about quitting sugar I am referring to refined sugar, and sweets like chocolate or ice cream. I do actually allow natural sugars, like fruit, or honey for my tea, or even dates when I make my date squares. Why? Because I don’t binge on any of these and they don’t make my body feel bad.
But then the question always comes up: isn’t this cheating? Because sugar is sugar, right?
Sugar comes in different compositions as far as its molecular structure is concerned — glucose, fructose, galactose — but our bodies make no distinction between them and more or less process natural and refined sugars the same way.
The difference lies in what accompanies the sugar. In the case of fruit, for instance, it’s vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream, requiring lower insulin levels. Refined sugar, on the other hand, is absorbed more rapidly, resulting in insulin spikes which over time can cause all sorts of problems.
The amount matters, too. Processed foods have a much higher concentration of sugar than, say, a piece of fruit. And because processed foods are usually engineered to make us want more, it is very easy to eat a much higher amount of refined sugar than you would with a natural sugar food.
I am obviously not a scientist or doctor, ultimately I think it’s always a good idea to simply listen to our bodies. Refined sugar, because I ate so much of it, made my body and brain crazy. Without it I feel much calmer and my body feels a lot better. If I ever get to a point where I can moderate it, great! Then I’ll enjoy occasional treats and it won’t be a big deal. For now, however, I am loving the clarity and space that abstaining from refined sugars is giving me, and my body loves it, too.
Has anyone else quit sugar, or is thinking about it?