This year for Lent, I gave up refined sugar. It was possible, and I did not suffer too terribly. I can’t say I lost any weight, as I don’t indulge too often in decadent sweets, and apparently I don’t eat a whole lot of refined sugar to begin with. One food item that was difficult for me to part with during the 40 days was yogurt. I loved the sugary, yummy, fruit yogurts. Unfortunately there is a lot of sugar in most yogurt, and so it should be eaten in moderation. I managed to still eat my yogurt by adding preserves with no added sugar to plain yogurt. And for a pump of high quality antioxidants and Omega 3’s, I started adding half a Mamma Chia Blackberry Bliss Chia Squeeze to a cup of plain yogurt. Not only is the chia full of fiber, antioxidants and Omega 3’s, but blackberry is a good anti-inflammatory food full of healthy flavonoids. I consume as many berries as I can to benefit from these super foods!
I also noted in my 40 days without sugar that there are a number of items I generally consume that have what I now call, “hidden sugar.” According to Sugar Science, added sugar is hidden in 74% of packaged foods. Here are the shockers that I found during my 40 day break-up with sugar:
- One of my go to snacks that goes well with hummus are Pretzel Crisps and Stacy’s Pita Chips. I enjoy pita chips more than pretzel crisps but was surprised that there was added sugar in the Pretzel Crisps! Pita chips were delightfully added sugar free!
- Another shocker for me was the added sugar in the bread I was going to eat. I had always thought of bread as healthy and savory, not sweet, but apparently many breads have added sweetener, including honey.
Of course sugar is present in many fruit juices, though I did find a few that did not have any added sugar. Ceres juices have a great selection of exotic flavors with no added sugar. Lakewood organic tart cherry juice also has no added sugar. There are natural sugars, of course, and with that increased calories, so consume sparingly.
So it is possible to live without added sugar, at least for me. I’m glad to have my yogurts back, but I feel just a little more aware of the added sugar in unexpected places. I hope you are too!