Avoiding Sugar is Nigh on Impossible

When I said one of my news year’s resolutions was to go sugar free, I was mostly thinking about sweets and chocolate. But I also had in mind to minimise the amount of food I ate that had added sugar.

Now I consider that I most eat a Paleo type diet anyway i.e. meat, veg, fruit etc and little processed food; but I have been surprised by just what sugar turns up in. Take this morning’s breakfast for example:

– cold roast chichen
– cherry tomotoes
– pickled onions
– black olives
– almonds
– and a pickled gherkin

I don’t know if my sugar abstinence is making my taste buds more sensitive to sweet foods or not, but I noticed that the gherkin and pickled onions tasted a bit funny. My suspicions raised, I went to check the labels. You’ve guessed it, they both had added sugar! These are savory foods! Why is sugar being added to a savoury food? *sigh*

One of the things I’d like to do diet wise, is to cut down my consumption of fruit. Not something you hear too many people say I’m sure. On a week day however, I eat somewhere in the region of 12 portions of fruit, which make up about 80% of my daily carbohydrate intake. I’d like to get this % down and increase my intake of vegitables instead.

That job is not made easier when sugar is added to pickled veg, grrrrr! As I don’t have time to cook veg for every meal, fruit is the easy option, but what veg can be safely (and appitisingly) eaten raw I wonder? Apart from the obvious lettice / salads, any suggestions?

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Stephen J 24 January 2010, 9:26 am

    Sadly the sugar is added to take out some of the acidity from the pickling process, besides Colin, I’m not sure I’d fancy gherkin breath first thing in the morning.
    Why not get yourself a whole fruit juicer? I use it to get raw veg in my diet and it only takes a few seconds to create a tasty and healthy snack.

  • chris 24 January 2010, 1:32 pm

    carrots
    peppers
    broccolli
    spinach
    cabbage/sprouts
    baby corn (athough it is technically a grain)
    peas
    manges tout
    french or broad beans
    beansprouts
    radishes
    spring onions

  • Colin McNulty 25 January 2010, 8:01 pm

    Stephen, thanks for the idea but the problem with a juicer is it significantly increases the Glycemic Index of the food you eat, resulting in a blood sugar and insulin spike. Both of which are not desirable.

    Thanks for the list Chris! There’s several on there I never would have guessed. The carbs I bought today to last me 3 days are:

    – 2 round lettuce
    – a bag of baby spinach
    – a punnet of cherry tomatoes
    – 3 red peppers
    – 6 kiwi and a punnet of apricots (which is 1/3 the fruit I normally buy).

    Will see how it goes. I also reduced my carb intake today by about a third and *think* I noticed an improvement in the time I went before feeling hungry.

  • laurie gillies 8 April 2011, 3:06 am

    The trick to getting more vegetables into your diet is simple. You just make a shitload at a time and keep the cooked veggies in the fridge to mircrowave as needed.

    When I do it, I boil up a half a head of cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflower goes in first, when almost done, add the broccoli.

    At the same time grill up on the bbq or roast in the oven sliced red onions, asparagus, a skewer of whole mushrooms, yellow and green zucchini and all three colors of peppers.

    Seriously, I make about 6-8 cups of cooked veggies at a time, and I only have to microwave a cup or two to add to my meat……..

    Voila, simple and tasty. If done in the oven, add some fresh chopped thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss it all in olive oil beforehand so the herbs and seasoning stick……….

  • Colin McNulty 8 April 2011, 5:55 am

    A great tip laurie, thanks. These days I buy frozen veg from the supermarket in the form of frozen cauliflower, frozen broccoli and frozen spinach. These are easily bunged in a microwave then and cooked in 5 mins. I admit, not nearly as tasty as roasted veg though.

    What you describe above is typical Sunday roast fare in my family, though I admit to adding less desirable carrots and parsnip to the mix too.

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