Well we are now into week 3 and I think this past week has been the hardest by far! Obviously my body was well adjusted to me lasting 2 weeks at something with the knowledge that by week 3 I’d be back into my previous habits so said body was happy to go along for the ride. SHOCK HORROR!!! when I went into week 3 and no sugar or treats were coming its way!
The cravings for something sweet have driven me up the wall and I’m constantly thinking how crazy I am for starting this ‘no sugar’ way of life only a few week before Easter. I haven’t been that hungry between meals though so have actually dropped having morning and afternoon tea as I really don’t feel like food. Breakfast is all good afterwards and Lunch is so so, as far as wanting something sweet go however tea………..Oh my God?! All I can think about all evening is having some kind of sweet treat which means that I have been having lots of other stuff instead. Oats and rice milk – actually I do love this so not too crazy for me to eat breakfast food at any hour of the day ;), cheese, crackers, toast and nuts have all been consumed in copious amounts over the past week in a bid to curb the crave.
I have even been trying out a recipe of Sarah Wilson’s for Raspberry Ripple (yes I finally got a copy from the library) which I turned into Berry ripple. I think my little one summed it up nicely with his ‘hmmmm……. it is kind of yum and kind of yuck’. Yep that sums it up nicely though it has to be said that I didn’t have any rice malt syrup so used glucose syrup and in lieu of raspberries we used mixed frozen berries so maybe Sarah’s is actually a whole lot more ‘yum than yuck’. 😉
Which brings me onto another topic of replacing sugar with glucose syrup and dextrose. I’m not a big fan of overly processed foods yet I did actually buy some glucose syrup the other day because I happened to see it while shopping in my craved state and used it to create our substitute chocolate dessert. Glucose syrup is used extensively in the food industry as a substitute for sugar as it gives food a better texture and shelf life. It mostly derived from corn and it also has sulphites (which people can react to) as a preservation which is the part I keep wondering about. There is nothing on the container to say where the ingredients originate from, aside from ‘Packaged in Australia from imported ingredients’, and I keep wondering just how modified the corn is and just how much processing is needed to make corn into a syrup. Even on a gluten free site it tells followers that glucose syrup is so highly processed that any gluten that was there is sure to be ‘null and void’ by the time the syrup is consumed. Not that reassuring really. I have e-mail Queen products (the makers of the glucose syrup I purchased for less that $5 NZ) and I’m waiting for a reply from them about the origins and state of the corn they use. Dextrose fairs no better on the processing stakes and even the beloved Rice Malt Syrup, while available in organic forms, as had its share of controversy when a 2012 US study stated that consumers were ingesting potentially harmful levels of arsenic via rice and rice malt syrup. Others have had similar findings too while studying Organic Brown Rice Syrup.
So if we know that fructose is harmful to our bodies it makes sense to me to limit the intake of fructose however there are ‘issues’ around these substitutes for fructose such as over processing, sources of the ingredients and the state of the ingredients which cause me far more concern than having natural, fresh fruit and honey coming into our bodies. Sure there is up to 40% fructose in honey and varying amounts in fruit however the fact that I can obtain these without any processing (ok, technically the bees process the nectar into honey and who knows what is on fruit that is non-organic) by people makes them far safer options for me and my family in the long run. We still haven’t used honey as I did feel that we were over-dosing a little on it, even prior to reading David’s book, and I’m also enjoying the reduction in the shopping bill at not having to buy it each week – yes we really did power through it. So far I have managed on fresh fruit in our baking or simply omitting the sugar from the recipe, with the exception of my craving-crazed bid to make ‘fake’ chocolate 😉
Well that is my ‘food for thought’ or ‘thoughts for food’ this week. I’d love to hear your thoughts, options and links to good research as I’m really enjoying learning more about what our family is ingesting.
Hope this finds you all enjoying a sweet and delicious day – with or without sweeteners.