The Cake I Didn’t Eat

by Jeanine Adinaro on May 17, 2011

in General Health

I’m guessing it was delicious

I swear I have no intentions of being that woman who blogs about sugar toxicity all the time. But here we are again, on the sugar thing. It’s just that I have been getting so many of the same questions from different folks about my sugar abstention that I figure this is the best place to do some explaining. Here’s some Q&A based on actual conversations I have with various folks

  • Are you using artificial sweeteners instead?

NO!!! Even before this sugar business started I found artificial sweeteners to be fundamentally suspect. I still find them suspect and avoid them at all costs.

  • If you aren’t doing sugar, are you substituting other natural sweet stuff? You know, like baking cakes with honey?

No on that front also. The concept of this exercise is two-fold. First, I want to see if removing sugar- and by that I mean cane sugar, beet sugar, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, and whatever other non-nutrient providing sucrose/ fructose substance one can develop- changes my perception of my health. Will I feel any different? Better? Just swapping in honey for cane sugar is not really going to help that cause. Second, I want to see how difficult or easy it is to achieve cutting sugar from my diet. Can I act with more intention and purpose towards my food consumption than the average labradoodle?

  • You said you weren’t being super crazy at restaurants and such, so when you go to a birthday party you would have a piece of the cake?

No, I would say, “No thank you.” I wondered how this would go at social occasions and I got my answer recently at my best friend’s baby shower. I was served a piece of cake and I just did not eat it. No one asked or commented. Turns out everyone was more interested in the status of their own cake than mine. So the cake just sat on the plate in front of me. I took a picture of it so it wouldn’t feel left out or anything.

  • Do you feel any different?

Not yet. But it’s only been a few weeks. Appreciable change will probably take some time. Well, maybe. I realized in the car this morning that I am feeling less weighted down, a little more optimistic on what life holds in store for me. Is that the sugar thing? I have no idea. I would not want to be accused of confusing correlation and causation.

  • Are you losing weight?

No idea. Since that was never part of this exercise, I didn’t weigh myself at the beginning and I haven’t weighed myself since. Your guess is as good as mine.

  • How long are you going to do this?

I have no idea.

  • Are you still eating fruit? What about fruit juice?

Yes!! As I previously mentioned, I find it hard to believe that nature would provide such an easy, ready to eat food source that isn’t good for me. My castle, my rules. I do however feel vindicated after listening to a radio interview with Dr Robert Lustig (the toxic sugar guy). He explains that the fructose found in fruit typically does not cause the harmful spikes in blood glucose levels the way other sugars do because the fiber in fruit slows the absorption of sugar by the gut to the blood. As he puts it, “When god made the poison, he packaged it with the antidote.” And no on the juice front, since fruit juice removes the fiber from the equation.

  • How hard is it to take sugar out of your diet?

Really freaking hard, as it turns out. Avoiding the foods that I know are full of sugar is the easy part. I just put down the cookie. But the food that shouldn’t have sugar in it but does, that’s the hard part. Thus far, the list of things that I have found that shouldn’t have sugar but do includes- that tub of store brand hummus my husband brought home, the mayonnaise packets at Chick Fillet, the loaf of whole wheat bread my mother had in her refrigerator, the jar of allegedly natural peanut butter in my pantry, the whole wheat crackers my son likes that we won’t be buying anymore and the bagels I usually buy in the fresh bakery section of our grocery store. I personally find it totally ridiculous that these things include sugar. But here we are.

And a big thank you to all of you have offered words of encouragement and advise. Keep ’em coming!


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