A sweet life without sugar

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

I was a candy man, eating it all the time, desserts too. Making piles of sugary treats was one of my favorite pastimes. I'm very good at desserts; I even made our wedding cake, vanilla sponge with Tahitian vanilla buttercream and lemon curd. That was fine, but eating sugar all the time was not. I weighed a lot back then, and it showed. I was addicted to sugar, and I'm not alone. Most Americans eat too much of the stuff. If you eat, you are eating more sugar than you realize. Added sugars are hidden almost everywhere in today's foods. They are in bread, salads, soups, sandwiches, pickles, yogurt, crackers, cereals, sauces, snacks of every variety. We are bombarded by sugar every day in restaurants, schools, offices, TV, and online advertisements and even hospitals. Yes, hospitals. I ate piles of sugar that was on the menu in all forms in the hospital. The doctors even told me that it didn't matter.

The sugar industry has successfully brainwashed us into believing that fats are the culprits in all of our dietary problems. Seems logical that fats would make us fatter. Research proves that all of these added sugars are the reason behind our obesity epidemic and diseases such as diabetes and cancer. And it is proven that refined sugar is addictive and makes you eat more of it whenever it is present. When I searched for ways to get rid of my cancer and a bunch of weight, I decided to dump added sugars completely. I did it first by focusing on the labels of things that I bought. If it said any of the following, I didn't eat it, high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, molasses, barley malt, fruit juice concentrate, cane juice, maltose, dextrose, and many others. That eliminated a lot of foods. I'm never going to say that this was easy, but taking your health into your own hands is worth every effort. I didn't worry about cutting back on the natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. These come packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals which are great for you and do not make you eat more and more of them the way refined sugars do. I found that I kept losing weight even though I had fresh or frozen fruits without added sugars at any time I wanted. For breakfast, I switched to fresh fruit smoothies with added whole grains like chia, oats, and flax. Eggs, oatmeal, and plain yogurt with fresh fruit added are much better choices for breakfast than any packaged cereal out there. I eat most of my meals at home, but when I go out to eat, I carefully choose what I'm having. I avoid barbeque sauces and other sauces like teriyaki, which are loaded with sugar. I choose roasted items like chicken. I like to eat fish and other seafood without added sauces. I like salads, and I'm pleased with olive oil and vinegar, and herbs. I stopped using sodas and so-called energy drinks. I say using because these types of beverages are so sugar-laden that they are addictive. Now I drink fizzy water with natural essence, and no sugar added. I also make unsweetened ice teas or sweeten them with some of the healthy natural sweeteners that I have found. I have discovered great natural sweeteners with zero calories, which enable me to make desserts and sweet drinks again.

Monk Fruit is my favorite sweetener. Also known as Luo Han Gua, it comes from a small fruit-like pod that contains powerful antioxidants called mogrosides. Ancient Chinese monks cultivated the fruit over 6000 years ago. They dried the pods and ground them up to sweeten everything they wanted without any calories or glycemic spikes of sugars. Monk Fruit makes perfect sense to eat even if it wasn't so delicious. It is loaded with Mogrosides, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen. Mogrosides inhibit the growth of every kind of cancer in the body—mogrosides lower DNA damage due to free radicals by optimizing the entire body's antioxidant system. Monk fruit is safe for people with diabetes to eat. Monk fruit mogrosides bring down blood glucose levels.

Kabocha squash sweetener is another favorite of mine. Bocha Sweet is a brand name that I use; it's derived from a Japanese Squash called Kabocha. The squash is exceptionally high in beta carotene, which is excellent for immunity. Rich in iron, vitamin C, and B making it very nutritious. It does not cause blood sugar to spike because of its extremely low glycemic load. The powdered sweetener is derived from non-GMO squash by a slow cold extraction process which keeps many of the benefits of the whole squash intact. When you metabolize this sweetener, many of the nutritional values remain unchanged. Also, it tastes fantastic and causes a Maillard reaction in baked goods. That means nice browning on your cakes and cookies. This sweetener is my favorite one to use in most of my baked goods.