In case you haven’t heard, I’m kind of obsessed with the documentary “Fed Up.”
After watching it last week, I became inspired to do something. Actually, lots of things.
On a larger scale, I’d like to advocate for healthier foods served in our schools and food labels that clearly depict how much sugar is inside.
But I’m going to start small– with my own family. We are going to do a no added sugar diet for 10 days, as per the Fed Up Challenge.
A common question about this challenge: What about the sugar in fruit? Can you eat fruit as part of this challenge? The answer is yes, you can eat fruit. The sugar found in fruit is a naturally-occurring sugar, plus fruit has fiber and nutrients in it. Milk also has naturally-occurring sugar. If you see sugar listed as an ingredient in a product, then it is NOT a naturally-occurring sugar.
For example, let’s say you have two jars of applesauce and both say on the nutritional information that they have 4 grams of sugar per serving. But when you look at the ingredients, one jar has only “apples” listed, while the second jar has both “apples” and “sugar” listed. The jar with only apples as an ingredient has 4 grams of naturally-occurring sugars per serving, so that is allowed on this no sugar diet. The jar that lists sugar as an ingredient would not be allowed, because that is an added sugar.
Another common question: What about diet soda and other foods labeled “sugar-free” because they have fake sugar in them– can I have those? NO, NO, NO! Artificial sugars are even worse than real sugars.
Here are some tips to help you stick to a no sugar diet for 10 days and successfully complete the Fed Up Challenge…
1. Allot time to plan. Don’t decide that you’re doing the challenge and then attempt to start that same day. You will be setting yourself up for failure. There is sugar in SO many foods that you don’t even realize. Planning a sugar-free diet, even for one day, takes time and planning. I’m giving myself a week to make up my meal plan and grocery list and then I’ll start on Sunday.
2. Go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry and look at the labels on your food. Guess what? There’s sugar in your sandwich bread! And your tomato sauce! Even your pasta! Be sure to check all the labels before you put an item on your menu. Sugar is tricky and it’s hidden in tons of processed foods. Check out this list of 56 different names for sugar.
3. Plan out your meals, drinks, and snacks. Some websites with nutritious, sugar-free recipes are:
*Sometimes a recipe might not be 100% sugar-free, but you can tweak it to make it fit into the sugar free diet.*
On Wednesday I’ll post the meal plan that I’ll be following for the 10 day no sugar diet.
4. Drink lots of water. This will cut down on your cravings and help you snack less, regardless of whether or not you are on a no-sugar diet. I have been drinking a gallon a day for the past few months and I can attest that it definitely fills you up.
5. Get support. Try to find a friend or family member to do it at the same time as you. You can text about your daily progress and give encouragement to each other.