I love Haigh’s chocolate, but other than that my diet has always been pretty low in sugar – till I stopped the booze. When I first stopped drinking alcohol (due to its high association with cancer), I found myself eating jam and chocolate mousse, and drinking nonalcoholic sparkling grape juice. It was bad. After a few months, though, the sugar cravings seemed to die away naturally as my body chemistry reset back to previous levels.
This experience inspired me to investigate a bit further to understand what had happened. I also wanted to see if I could reduce the sugar in my diet a bit more – without going too extreme.
I had previously read a few I Quit Sugar type books, but this time I read The Sweet Poison Quit Plan which provides an easy to understand guide to reducing the fructose in your diet to healthier levels.
I haven’t fully quit sugar and I’m not sure I want to. Apart from the month or two after quitting alcohol I’ve never craved sweets too much. My aim is to delay having sugar until as late as possible in the day – usually I have chocolate for dessert after dinner. I’m not prepared to give that up but am happy to swap a few things around to reduce my sugar consumption a bit more.
Based upon the book and my own food preferences I ended up with the following list of low fructose choices…
- Porridge – I’m going to try Glucose Syrup instead of honey, or berries and or Greek yoghurt
- Toast – with vegemite or peanut butter
- Eggs and bacon and hash browns
- Plain croissants
- Vitaweats and peanut butter
- A homemade roasted nut mix
- Generally a protein – chicken, tuna or haloumi – and a salad – kale or coleslaw (with whole egg mayo) or English spinach with chickpeas or lentils
- A piece of fruit – pear, peach, orange or berries are best
- Avocado on toast or vitaweats
- Corn chips or crackers
- Cheese including cream cheese
- Meat of any kind is fine. All veggies are all ok.
- In general, sugar (fructose) is in sauces and marinades and salad dressings. Mustard, soy, pesto and gravy are usually ok.
- Hamburgers, Chips, nuggets, rice are ok takeaway options. 2 slices of pizza at most.
- Haigh’s Chocolate or Lindt 70%
- I have 1 or 2 cappuccinos a day
- Lots of black tea and milk.
- Full fat dairy is subject to debate but I prefer it
Things I am giving up
- Jam and honey
- Sweet chilli sauce and chutney
- Chocolate mousse
- Ice cream – there is no sugar free option for ice cream
- Juices especially non-alcoholic grape juice
- Balsamic vinegar and most salad dressings except whole egg mayo
- Cakes and biscuits and pancakes
- Dried fruit
- Thai take away is basically full of sugar.
Reading this book has given me a much better understanding of what foods have lots of fructose in them. I understand now that sugar is addictive, and fructose in particular detrimentally impacts the chemicals that make your body feel full. I’m going to continue experimenting with reducing my fructose consumption and see how it works for me.