I’m embarking on a short challenge to see if I can give up refined sugar in my diet.
For those of you who still participate in Lenten Fasts, I’ve chosen this year to avoid refined sugars in my diet for the next forty days or so.
- no white sugar,
- no foods containing sugar, and
- no foods containing glucose-fructose (HFCS, in other words)
I’m still on the fence about whether honey and maple syrup really count as refined sugars or not; I know what Wikipedia says about unrefined sugars, but honey and maple syrup are still concentrated sugars. I’m not sure if I’ll avoid the honey this trip, even knowing of the potential health benefits of honey.
It’s turning out to be a lot harder than I originally thought.
On day 1 I was enjoying some ketchup on my dinner, but all of a sudden I panicked and looked at the back of the bottle. I’d forgotten that sugar was listed as one of the ingredients. Shoot. I wasn’t even 24 hours into my challenge and I’d already screwed up!
So I’ve been even more anal about reading the food labels of the things I consume. So far, here’s a list of the items I normally enjoy on a day-to-day basis that, surprisingly, contain added sugar:
- Mango Lime Salsa
- Fully-cooked prepared meatballs (really?)
- Flour tortillas (REALLY? Come ON!)
I usually claim to be a fairly well-educated food consumer, but these caught me off guard. The regular chunky salsa I keep in the fridge doesn’t have any added sugar. Why you’d add sugar to meatballs is beyond me, and the presence of sugar in a FLAT, unleavened flour tortilla seems ridiculous.
I think I’ll be looking for some help from you guys in the next little while for some recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth. I love fruit, but sometimes I want to chow down on something that closely resembles a cookie, but doesn’t have a bunch of white sugar in it. This could be tricky.
Do you have any favourite recipes to share that are sugar-free? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!