Hello dear Feel Better Wellness reader! I’m excited to announce that my friend Jim Fasulo is guest posting today. He is quite inspirational as he has made some major changes in the past ten years to better his health. One such is giving up processed sugar and those synthetic food items which contain massive amounts of it. I’ll admit. I love sweets and find it difficult to avoid them in my diet. So, let’s find out just how prevalent sugar is in our diets and learn healthier ways to replace it with natural foods. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom Jim! Read on. Here’s to feeling better! -Jocelin
How to Be Processed Sugar Free
By Jim Fasulo
In so many instances, the consumption of sugar is communicated as a good thing. Coworkers offer us sugar laden foods during breaks, kids become excited and even entertained by the thought of eating ice cream, and virtually any celebration, be it a birthday party or retirement celebration is accompanied by the crowd favorite, the ever so sweet cake with frosting. Argh!
My journey towards a healthy diet and avoidance of processed sugar is not unique. Ten years ago, in the hunger to improve my health, I discovered the benefits of naturopathic medicine. Early prescriptions of my first naturopathic physician involved removing inflammatory foods from my diet, and chief among these culprits was processed sugar.
Since that first visit to an ND in 2005, I have come to benefit from avoiding sugar in many ways. I have arrived at and maintained a healthy weight, changed my old habit of constantly “sugar snacking” during the day, and gradually migrated towards being sugar free and eating natural foods which increased my vitality and overall energy. That cheesecake for dessert never delivered such rewards.
How Our Culture Promotes Processed Sugar
This notion that sugar equals goodness is a hard to overcome. Yet for those of us on a sugar free diet, these sugar feasts do not equate to happiness. Sugar abstention is met with fierce resistance. Our society provides many messages that eating sugary foods is not only a good thing, but also a reward, a way of signifying an accomplishment. “Bring out the cake-let’s celebrate!” is a common refrain.
However, countering this notion of sugar’s goodness can be done in a subtle way. Allowing people to experience the dramatic benefits to their health by avoiding sugary foods and emphasizing the virtues of a natural diet is a much more sound approach than giving a lecture.
How to Counter that Processed Sugar Push
When the dessert cart comes around after a nice meal at a restaurant, instead of lashing out at the server or launching into a long diatribe with your friends about the evils or sugar consumption, consider a different tactic. Propose a natural substitute like a bowl of fresh berries or even a cup of herbal tea as a positive counter to the “processed sugar push.”
It is far more fruitful (no pun intended) to model eating a healthy diet than excoriating others for their indulgence. Once someone experiences the feeling of well-being and health from eschewing sugar, the need to stand on a soapbox and sermonize about the pitfalls of unhealthy eating fades away.
Go Sugar Free: A Way Towards Change
When I bring in food for my coworkers as a gesture of comradery, I leave out cinnamon rolls and doughnuts, and instead put forth organic berries, apples, and unsalted nuts. I find a great deal of gratification in quietly observing friends discover these tasty treats and then watching the smiles on their faces as they express satisfaction from eating non fattening healthy foods. There are differing opinions on whether eating fruit is okay for your body. You should avoid fruit juice from concentrate. If you are diabetic, please follow your doctor and adhere to that diet. Fresh fruit contains a natural sugar, fructose, while it is still not perfect, it is a natural substance and easier for our bodies to digest. Additionally, do your research and get second or third opinions, especially if you are cautious and concerned.
Moreover, the conversation that follows isn’t about the downside of eating processed sugary foods. It may not be a conversation at all, rather a method, and a positive one at that, of bringing about awareness of the benefits of healthy eating.
Be Patient with Yourself But Look for Other Options
So, if eating a lot of sugary foods is a problem for you, be patient with yourself and just try to cut out one or two items a week. Think about what you can substitute for, say a candy bar instead? Or, what about that cola? It often helps to think about how much better you will feel with less processed sugar in your system. For inspiration, watch the mind-blowing documentary, That Sugar Film. And, get ahold of these two books. They will truly educate you: The Sugar Habit and No Sugar Diet.
Keep in mind, we are not licensed doctors or naturopaths. Please consult professionals if you are diabetic or have other serious health concerns. We are sharing what we have learned and applied and therefore gained through personal experience. We would love to hear how it’s going for you! What are your thoughts on this post? Anything else you’d like to hear about? Do you have any tips for healthier eating? Please share them! Just leave a comment below!
Thanks so much for reading and visiting Feel Better Wellness!
Unknown. Creative Commons. “Fructose.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Oct. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.