Is Easter the best time to cut out sugar?

Well, why not?

I recently blogged about how I had a sugar free March. I didn’t find it difficult generally and lost a couple of pounds, even though I ate as much of everything else as I wanted. Mr S didn’t do it as strictly as me but he also felt a lot healthier.

I noticed that my IBS symptoms improved massively, which was a big surprise. There are a lot of foods that I now avoid (cabbage, onions, milk products unless they are Lactofree, cauliflower and highly spiced food are some), but I had never considered that sugar might irritate my sensitive gut.

I have allowed myself some sweet stuff again in the past couple of weeks – mainly chocolate, which I love – and have had an upset tummy most days. It’s hard to avoid the realisation that these two things are inextricably linked! 

We ate half a Lindt Easter bunny between us last night and I feel awful today, so I am going to cut sugar right out of my diet starting now. 

I now realise there is a whole area of research around sugar, candida and yeast infections which I intend to research. Perhaps that is the root cause of my IBS?

Speaking to a colleague today, he has also given up sugar and started to exercise and eat healthily as he was diagnosed with diabetes. A couple of months in, his blood sugar is normal, he no longer had diabetes and he has lost a stone! Living proof that a high sugar intake and a poor diet have massive health implications.

Sugar sneaks into many foods, even savoury. I bought some cup-a-soups on a whim recently as I had run out of home made for work and they are full of rubbish (plus they taste horrible). Sugar is the third ingredient! Whatever possessed me I don’t know but I won’t be buying them again. I will try to avoid refined sugar wherever possible. 

I have told everyone that I don’t want any more chocolate over Easter and we will have a fruit salad for dessert on Easter Sunday.

Has anyone else stopped eating sugar? How have you found it?

19 thoughts on “Is Easter the best time to cut out sugar?

  1. I was off sugar and white flour for years, kept weight down and felt great and had no IBS symptoms. Eating even small quantities of either affects weight, energy and other things and I am re-doubling my efforts though chocolate is my downfall, and I’ve even cut down on other grains. Sugar Busters is a good book for your research.

  2. I think that we are all coming round to the realisation that it is sugar, and not fat as we were told for so many years, that is the big baddie.
    Certainly, as I have got older, I have found my body to be much more reactive to foods than it used to be. Dare I say that it is a finely tuned piece of machinery! I finally accepted a couple of years ago that, regardless of calorific intake, I simply cannot eat bread other than on a rare occasion and then, only in small quantities. The price of not feeling bloated is worth paying. I’m not sure I could be so disciplined about chocolate…thank goodness it doesn’t seem to upset me!

    • I agree that sugar seems to be the “baddie”. My husband switched from Coke to Coke Zero last year, and lost 12 pounds without doing anything else (yes, I know it’s still a soft drink, but it’s a start!). I’ve been trying to cut back, but not very successfully. One thing I have done is switch from eating a sugary snack in the afternoon to a protein snack, and it has cured my 5pm shakes.

      • It seems harder to cut down than give it up all together to me. If people know they stop offering you sweet stuff which helps!

  3. Why on earth would they put sugar in soup?? Must be to mask the taste of other weird ingredients!

  4. I cut out all added sugar from 1st Feb-20 March and didn’t find it hard at all – partly because I was sick with the never-ending cold for the first few weeks and just didn’t feel like eating!
    Having stopped though I’ve found it very easy to go back to my bad habits, though once Easter is done I won’t be tempted with all the chocolate goodies around anymore!

    I know what you mean about hidden sugar in savoury foods. It was even worse in America. My dad is pre-diabetic and watches his sugar intake constantly. He found it always rose when visiting us out there, and on one occasion discovered that, on reading the labels, there was more sugar in the can of baked beans I’d bought, than in the packet of biscuits! 😮

  5. I too suffer from IBS and recently came to the conclusion that sugar is the main culprit. As a result I rarely eat any thing other than what I make myself and have had good results in cutting out sugar. As I made it my rule to only eat what I make from raw ingredients it is surprising what I can make avoiding sugar and wheat. My latest is Cracked pepper oat crackers from Frugal Queen recipe.

  6. I have read that a jar of apple sauce can be used to replace sugar in recipes…..always assuming that you can find a sugar-free one, of course!

  7. Stick with it if you can. I have lost 3 stones since January 2016 and the difference in my overall health is amazing. I am now on minimal BP medication and the puffiness has gone from all over. I do think cutting out sugar helps IBS symptoms as any time I have slipped, I have been plagued with stomach cramps and all the other yucky side effects. I have one square of Lidl’s 81% chicolate after my evening meal and it tastes wonderful. I’m 67 which is much older than you but the past year has seen me taking back control of my health and I feel well. Good luck from a fellow chocoholic! Catriona (here in wintry Scotland)

  8. Sugar is probably a trigger for me but I think more so wheat. I don’t know where I saw the recommendation but just the other night I watched the wonderful “Fixing Dad” documentary, and have signed up for them to “fix me” too. Anna

  9. This is a timely post for me too Jane.
    Via Ilona at Life after Money I came across Dr Michael Mosley and his blood sugar diet.
    I was so interested I bought the book which I’m reading now.
    If you want putting off sugar I suggest it as a good read :0)
    I have had a very carbohydrate heavy diet up to now and thought I was fine because I don’t like fizzy drinks or sweets and didn’t eat a lot of fat…wrong.
    I’m trying to follow a Mediterranean diet now…but I’m still getting my head around the lack of bread and potatoes. I’m sure I will adjust and actually I don’t seem to be getting “the munchies” like I did.
    I’m glad your symptoms have improved. Good luck with your new way of eating ( I don’t really like the word diet)
    Jacquie x

  10. It isn’t surprising that more people have allergies these days, the wide variety of foods we now eat compared with even 50 years ago, and also the processed food that we eat, with so many ingredients few of us would recognise as ‘food’. As husband is Type 2 diabetic (although this is not through obesity, he is only 75kg and 5ft 10in tall) but is now under what is considered diabetic, and not having any medication, we have cut a lot of sugar – although not all – from our diet. We only have very dark chocolate, though, I can’t stand that milky stuff that Cadbury’s and the cheaper brands produce, which is not really chocolate at all, it just doesn’t contain sufficient cocoa. Once you develop a taste for dark chocolate you won’t want to go back to cheap choccy bars! We buy one bar a week of Waitrose Dark Belgian Chocolate with Hazelnuts and this lasts husband and myself the week, with just two or three or even four little squares each evening. Once they’ve gone, no more chocolate until the next shopping trip.
    You were certainly brought up short buying those cup-a-soups! There is no substitute for real food, is there? And you can control what goes into them to a greater extent (but not the chemicals they have been grown in or sprayed with, but let’s not get paranoid!)
    When husband was told he was Type 2 diabetic, we attended two Diabetes Days where those recently diagnosed were advised about diet and so forth. The thinking then (three years ago) was to have carbohydrates with every meal, and so breakfast will be porridge, lunch something with potatoes or bread, and ditto in the evening. Now, I believe thinking the on carbs has changed, but we have tried to use our common sense and not have too much of anything.
    Like you, I don’t like the word diet as it implies something stringent to do with attempted weight loss. Also ‘healthy eating’ tends to sound as if we’ve become vegans (which isn’t possibly a healthy diet.) I think the old saying “everything in moderation” is perhaps the best way to eat unless you have something like a nut allergy which could prove fatal. But to your question, we haven’t cut sugar our altogether – I still bake cakes but we only have a small slice with tea in the afternoon, and not great squishy cream cakes, just a fruit cake or a walnut and banana loaf. But we never have sugar in drinks or on cereal.

  11. Hi, it is interesting about your IBS reacting to sugar. I have for some time woken each morning and my torso has been covered with large itchy hives. I am quite allergic to lots of things and just used to take an antihistamine tablet and they would fade by lunch time. At the same time I noticed any time I had something very sweet like jam, chocolate etc. I got really bad hiccups. I decided a couple of months ago to cut out anything with added sugar but still eat meat, fish, veg, fruit, plain yoghurt and the result no more hives or hiccups. I feel a lot better, don’t have headaches and I don’t feel so bloated after a meal. I did not eat a lot of sweet stuff but obviously enough to cause this reaction. I am planning not to eat anything sweet except fruit which does not seem to affect me in my daily food intake only maybe on the odd special occasion. Good luck with your abstinence Regards Sue H.

  12. I bought venison sausages from Morrison’s yesterday they had a lovely texture and were nice and spicy but they tasted as if the sugar bowl had been knocked over by accident on checking the label third ingredient was brown sugar. Will not be buying them again

  13. Sounds like you are on the right track. And it might not be so hard to quit since you’ve been cutting back. Good luck!

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