Hand pushing away sugar-heavy foods like a hamburger bun, fries, and a cupcake

Why I Limit Sugar

I have made numerous dietary changes in the past few years. All were made in an effort to reduce chronic pain from psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia as well as to improve my overall health.

Some of those changes included no longer shopping the middle aisles of the grocery store. Pre-made boxed or frozen meals were the first to go. Next up on the chopping block was anything that included high fructose syrup in its ingredient list. Then four months ago I began cutting back on carbs. That is when I noticed something very interesting.

Keto-ish

I did not and still do not follow the Keto diet. The rules I follow are similar, but not nearly as restricting. The only vegetables I exclude from my diet are potatoes of any kind. I allow for all fruit but am careful to not eat more than my body is able to tolerate. What I have cut out and greatly restrict are grains and rice.

Eliminating certain foods

The first thing I noticed after removing grains and rice from my diet was that I filled up quicker. At first, I found it strange how I could eat a hamburger with bacon and cheese without a bun and be full afterward when just the month prior I would eat the same burger with a bun, plus a side of fries or onion rings and still have room for dessert or seconds.

As time went on I began experimenting. First by having a hamburger with a store-bought hamburger bun that wasn’t organic. The second part of my test was to have the same burger on an organic store-bought hamburger bun. The results were eye-opening. I was ravenous after the first burger. The results with the organic hamburger bun were different. After that burger, I still had room for a side and dessert, but not as much as I used to eat. This prompted me to I begin examining and comparing the ingredients.

Paying attention to food labels

It all made sense after realizing that the ones that turned my belly into a bottomless pit were made with large amounts of sweetener. Whether it was sweetened with sugar, another natural alternative, or an artificial sweetener didn’t matter. They all triggered an insatiable hunger.

Once I honed in on sugar, not the grains being an issue, I was able to recognize another area in which sugar was creating problems with my health.

After a few months of not eating bread or foods that weren’t naturally sweetened, my husband and I feasted on warm buttery bread and decadent desserts as we celebrated our 20th anniversary at Disneyland.

Paying attention to my sugar intake

The next morning we both felt like crap. My body ached and my brain felt like it was filled with sandbags. Brain fog was strong that day and my energy level was non-existent.

That is when I knew that restricting my sugar intake was doing more than helping me lose weight, it was helping me feel and function better.

A new way of eating

As much as I hate food restrictions, I despise an increased pain level and brain fog even more. And although I now prefer a bowl of strawberries over a piece of cake, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy one now and then. If I want a churro at Disneyland, I get one. Some days I am satisfied after one or two bites and other days I devour the whole thing. But most days I just walk on by and get in line to ride my favorite attractions.

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