I have been eating refined sugar-free for almost two years – a diet and lifestyle change that is still going strong, with no looking back!
What does “refined sugar-free” mean?
A ton has been written about the topic of going sugar free, and it means different things to many people. While I’ve done a lot of research on the topic (you could call me a nutrition nerd! However, I’m not a doctor/nutritionist/dietitian), the only proof I needed was seeing the real impacts the change had on my body and mind.
Everyone has to figure out and know what works best for them. For me, and for the blog, this means no refined sugars. To make it easier, the only added sweeteners I use and eat are raw honey, pure maple syrup and fruit.
I’ve compiled a list below of common sugars/sweeteners and those I do consume and don’t.
And I’m not talking about eating those on my “don’t” list in moderation. I don’t consume them at all. Ever. For me, abstaining from these foods altogether is easier than having them sometimes.
DON’T (what I don’t eat and what you won’t find in my recipes):
- White sugars
- Brown sugars
- Icing/powdered sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Palm sugar
- Cane sugar/evaporated cane juice/cane extract
- Corn syrup
- Agave syrup
- Rice syrup/brown rice syrup
- Sugar alcohols, like Xliytol and Sorbitol
- Sweeteners, like Stevia, Aspartame and Sucralose
DO (what I do eat and use in my recipes – sometimes and when needed):
- Real maple syrup
- Fruit (ie. bananas, raisins, Medjool dates, dried fruit *note: only dried fruit that doesn’t have added sugar, like a lot of dried cranberries do. Look for dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice.)
Everyone’s different and this is what works for me, and has very successfully, since January 2015. Interested in more about my refined sugar-free journey? Looking for tips or other resources? You may want to check out:
- Sweet Without the Sugar: My Go-To No-Guilt Recipes
- One Year Sugar-Free
- Turning Sugar-Laden Sweets into Naturally Sweetened Treats
- Sugar-Free Snack Swap
Other posts and articles:
- Gretchen Rubin: The Answer to a Question People Keep Asking Me: What Do I Eat Every Day?
- Gretchen Rubin: “We’d Be Better Served Watching the Carb Content of the Diet Rather than How Much We Eat and Exercise”
- Gretchen Rubin (Facebook Live): How I quit sugar – it’s not as hard as you may think!
- Sarah Wilson: How 3 Years With No Sugar Changed My Life
- Time.com: Sugar is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says
- Prevention.com: 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar
- Globe and Mail: Pass the butter: The experts were all wrong