As Dr. Hyman bluntly puts it, ” Here’s the not-so-sweet truth. We are killings ourselves by consuming truckloads of hidden sugar.” Sugar is dangerous, yet, the average person consumes 3 pounds in a week. That’s equal to 152 pounds in one year, and “healthy” dieters aren’t exempt either as it’s in everything from bacon to a salad dressing. That goes for fruits and vegetables too. Even cavemen and women had a problem with the white stuff.

But, before you try to cut it out or replace it, here are four things to understand.

Sugar Is Everywhere & It’s Sneaky

Saying “I’m going to cut out candies and sweet stuff” and believing the job is done is flawed. Sugar lurks in surprising places and this includes meat and vegetables. In fact, I had major culture shock when I moved back to the USA after living in Australia for 2 years because I couldn’t understand why we needed corn syrup in sausage links and more.

Review labels, and be a detective when reading the ingredient list. Avoid high fructose corn syrup and products with sugar in the list. Also, be aware that the food industry is sneaky and they have 50+ different words for sugar. As well, target the things which are harmful, such as fructose.. Organically found in foods like honey and berries, it was believed to be healthy yet studies show in abundance it leads to an increase in fatty liver disease. It also boosts the production of ghrelin which increases your appetite and encourages you to eat more.

There Are Three Ways To Look At It

You see it as a small, white grain yet sugars come in all shapes and sizes. So, it makes sense to treat it with broad strokes rather than narrow ones. Overall, do not eat a carb (fruit, grains, legumes, starchy vegetables) naked. In doing so, the carbohydrate-rich food digests more slowly when a protein or fat is combined with it, making it more gentle on blood sugar levels and can aid satiety. So for example, it’s better to eat an apple w/ nut butter than an apple solo. Also, check out whether it’s chemical or non-chemical and take a look at the info on the packet.

Alcohol Is Complicated

There are more cons, than pros, when it comes to alcohol, and all in all, moderation and responsibility is key when consuming it.  Yet, when reducing or eliminating alcohol, you are likely unaware of what happens when you stop drinking as the body creates extra insulin. So, it’s smart not to give up cold turkey for the sake of your diet. Instead, gradually wean your body off alcohol to prevent any unwanted hiccups or do your research and source high-quality wines, that don’t have fillers or sugar. Wine is one of my favorite consumable pleasures, so I find a way to make it fit with my lifestyle and goals. 

Substitutes Exist

It’s important not to see it as an impossible challenge. The sugar element of a real food diet is difficult yet doable, and it’s because of healthy substitutes. Raw honey is one of the most popular, but there is also Stevia which is made from the plant of the same name and a lot healthier. Compared to regular sugar, it’s 45 times as sweet yet contains none of the additives.

Whether you think it’s healthy or not, you should always understand the facts first.