You could be eating sugar in your salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, cough syrup, crackers, and barbeque sauce, without even being aware of it. One aspect of learning to stop eating sugar, and to end sugar cravings, is uncovering the hidden sources of sugar in your diet. Here are other names for sugar that appear in many processed foods:
Corn syrup solids
High fructose corn syrup
Maple sugar or maple syrup
Health food stores, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and even Costco are good places to look for sugar free options like salad dressings, ketchup, condiments, and other premade foods. At the same time, be careful. My husband came home with a case of organic tomato sauce from Costco, and it had sugar in it. Same for the organic salsa from our local health food store.
I’ve learned to read labels – even if it’s an organic food or from the health food store. I’ve also learned to make my own versions of foods that typically have sugar in them. We make our own salad dressings – super easy – pasta sauces, and Mexican sauces. We also cook – a lot. I can get tired of cooking, and I appreciate that it’s a lot of work to shop for, prepare and cook your own food. We also spend a lot of money on fresh, whole foods. At the same time, I appreciate how much better I feel eating my own cooking, as it nurtures my body.
When you’re not at home, do the best you can. In restaurants, I usually ask if sugar has been added to an entree. Restaurants are usually happy to omit it – such as the time I was served a baked yam sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. If a salad dressing has sugar in it, I ask for oil and vinegar on the side. I love eating at places like a Whole Foods buffet, where the ingredients are listed right on the dish.
Finding the hidden sources of sugar takes some effort, but over time, rest assured that it does become second nature. I eat and shop much differently than I did even 5 years ago. We can learn new ways of eating and shopping, and these new ways of caring for ourselves can become routine – routines that feed us in body, mind and spirit.
The harder part, I think, is with our heads – the feelings of deprivation, the resistance, the sadness in not eating sugar, and the frustration in having to pay so close attention to food. How do we cope with these? How do we care for them so we can make healthy, life affirming choices? This is why I wrote Overcoming Sugar Addiction, my story of creating a joyful sugar free life, and Overcoming Sugar Addiction for Life, the workbook and CDs that share the tools that helped me find inner freedom from sugar.
If you find yourself getting caught in feelings of deprivation, resentment, and unhappiness about not eating sugar, I gently invite you to use these resources. In these products, I share everything I’ve learned, so we may all find greater freedom from sugar addiction.