Tag: sugar

How to Stop Eating Sugar

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

The average American eats approximately 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is a tragedy because added sugars in processed foods are known to increase inflammation in the body and are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tooth decay. This single so-called food is largely responsible for much of the sickness and misery that our society is experiencing today. Here are ways to reduce your consumption of added sugars.

1-Don’t drink your calories! So many of the drinks that most people consume in a day are full of added sugars. Liquids don’t satisfy hunger like solid foods so these empty calories are just added calories with little to no satiety factor. Instead of sugar-laden liquids drink water, flavored water, herbal or fruit teas, coffee or other unsweetened teas. Alcohol is a sugar based drink.

2-Avoid the traditional grain and dairy based desserts that are so common in the United States. They have little to no nutritional value and make you feel tired and hungry. You just want more and more when you consume these concoctions. If you want something sweet at the end of a meal opt for fruit in it’s own juice or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and some cinnamon. I use Saigon Cinnamon for a sweeter, more pungent cinnamon taste. You can also bake apples and pears for a truly sweet treat. Skip the extra calories and add the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that you will get when you sub fruit for pastry.

3-You know, we are condiment crazy! A single Tablespoon of ketchup can contain a teaspoon of sugar! I use Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup. It has a great taste and my son has eaten this product since it hit the shelves and he won’t eat anything else. Now, he’s 27 but ever since his first taste of this product he has insisted on this ketchup. You might say that he’s a “Ketchup Connoisseur”. The boy knows his ketchup. It’s really good. Avoid sugar-filled condiments and try herbs, mustard, vinegar, pesto and a sugar-free mayonnaise instead. Dukes Mayonnaise has always been sugar-free and it’s delicious. If you don’t see it on the shelf, you can order it online. I think that almost all Dollar General’s and Walmart’s carry it though. Barbecue sauce is sugar-filled. I use Sugar Free G Hughes brand that is available at Walmart. It comes in three varieties and they’re all good!

4-Eat full-fat foods. Low fat versions of your favorite foods abound! The problem is, almost every time that a company reduces the fat in a product, they add sugar to make the product more palatable. Sometimes the low-fat version will even have more calories. Read labels and you will find this to be true.

5-Eat whole foods that you cook at home. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined. They don’t have any additives whatsoever. A lot of Americans eat a diet that consists mainly of ultra-processed foods such as cereals, pizza, pies and soft drinks. 90% of the added sugars in American’s diets come from these ultra-processed foods. You can make an Italian red sauce at home with no added sugar but if you buy it in a jar, it may contain as much as 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. If you eat canned fruits and vegetables always read the label and seek out a product with no added sugars.

6-Be mindful of so-called “healthy snacks”. I tried to work granola into my diet for years. If I make my own, I’m okay but it is nearly impossible to find a commercial granola that doesn’t contain added sugar in some form. Dried fruit is a nutritional landmine if you’re cutting sugar out of your diet. While it may not be added sugar, it is so sweet that it will cause an insulin spike and give you terrible cravings. I sometimes make my own granola with my favorite nuts and Saigon cinnamon and raw oats. A boiled egg makes a nutritious snack that will give you a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I always keep an apple in my bag. Paired with a handful of nuts, it will get me through until dinner. If you try to eat protein bars tread cautiously! Most are full of sugar. I like Quest Protein Cookies, not the bars, they have noadded sugar. Be very mindful of the pitfalls of “healthy” marketing. Quite often it is an illusion.

7- Breakfast is a minefield. Prepared cereals are loaded with sugars. Pancakes, waffles and muffins are sticky sweet unless you choose a protein, no sugar added pancake such as Birch Benders Keto Pancakes. You can read a review of Birch Bender’s here. Try Plain, Full-Fat Greek Yogurt with 0 sugar add-ins, oats or eggs with the meat of your choice. You can swap all that sugar for a good dose of protein if you’re mindful.

8-Read labels and watch for these words:


High fructose corn syrup

Cane sugar or juice



Invert sugar

Rice syrup



Always remember that if an ingredient is closer to the beginning of the ingredient list, the greater percentage there is of it in the food. Read carefully!

9-Most people are not getting enough protein. Protein helps curb food cravings and has been proven to reduce appetite and hunger. Eat protein at every meal and snack.

10-Consider trying the natural sweetener, erythritol. It’s found in “Swerve” products. They have granulated, confectioner’s and brown sugar replacements. It doesn’t create cravings and has no calories. Most of our dessert recipes use this natural sweetener.

11-Don’t buy it. How many times have you lied to yourself or others and said that you were buying that bakery sheet cake “for the kids”? Don’t believe for a minute that anyone except you believes that. The “kids” don’t need it either. Leave the desserts in the store.

12- Catch some zzz’s. Sleep deprivation causes cravings. A tired brain craves energy and sugar is a source of concentrated energy.

13-Read about “glycation”, the way that sugar damages your skin. That in itself should be enough to make you stop.

Abandoning sugar was one of the best things that I have done for my health. I rarely go to the doctor and have no known health issues. I lift heavy weights and work full-time at a very stressful job. I am a nurse and it’s a demanding field. I don’t ever remember missing work due to sickness. While I make my health my number 1 priority in every way, abandoning sugar has made a difference in my life. If you have considered cutting it out of your diet, talk to your doctor and get started today. You’ll be glad that you did!

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-eat-less-sugar

Sugar Rush

To lose weight, it is not enough to think you can just cut back on the amount of foods you are consuming each day. It is foolhardy to believe you can also out exercise a bad diet. Face it, most of us who have ever had a weight problem also had a problem of craving simple carbs and sugar too. I would be willing to place a bet you never had the same type of cravings for broccoli or green beans, unless you are serving them up with a dose of sugar too. I recognize it is not enough to just say do not eat sugar to those who desire weight loss. We have written quite a bit about why we need to cut sugar out of our diet, but I truly feel we can not address this problem enough. You must also understand why we advocate a sugar free lifestyle in order to move forward with following our methodology here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

The Emotional Connection

Free stock photo Flick

Very often, our appetite is triggered by emotions that coax us to wolf down every simple carb we can get our hands on.  While the emotional connection to obesity is not always understood, they are a huge reason why people tend to overeat. A part of your brain called the hypothalamus is where your brain and body connect. The hypothalamus works together with the pituitary gland which sends chemicals to the rest of the body.  This is one of the areas where your weight loss battle is either won or lost. This is where the psychological and physiological need for eating comes from.

You and I both know that when you are eating away your emotions, there is little chance that you are munching down stalks of celery. The reality is, you are far more likely to be snarfing down every cookie in the bag because they look good. When we get emotional, our cravings, almost without fail, will lead us to starchy, sugary, or salty foods loaded with fat. There are five different chemicals we produce naturally which influence our emotions, they are also the key reasons why we tend to eat junk foods.


This is our fight or flight chemical. It tells us to either high tail it from bad situations or to stand and fight.


This is a feel good chemical which is also the major target of antidepressant drugs.


This one drives our pleasure and reward system and is particularly sensitive to addictions. It also helps you to feel no pain.

GABA (gamma-aminobutryic acid)

This one can make you feel like a zombie and is one of the ways that anesthesia may work to reduce your responsiveness to the outside world.

Nitric Oxide

This chemical helps to calm you. This powerful neuropeptide is usually a very short lived gas that also relaxes your blood vessels.

How these chemicals affect you.

What do these chemicals have to do with whether you snack on a cupcake piled high with frosting or a brussels sprout?

Photo by Alex Boi, FLickr free stock photos

Picture your brain as an arcade game. You  have millions of neurotransmitters that are sending messages to and from each other. When your serotonin transmitters fire their signal, they send the message throughout your brain that you feel good. The more this signal is being triggered, the better you will feel. But when your game is lost, that “feel good sensation” is now lost too. Now you can either walk away feeling all bummed out, or you can feed some more coins into the game. We do this to our body by eating more junk foods in order to counteract the drop in our serotonin that we now feel. The temporary relief that sweets provide, can, and will make you more reliant on sugar, which raises your risk of obesity and its related diseases.

Playing another round of our arcade game is little different than how we also use junk foods to provide an immediate rush of serotonin. We can provide ourselves a good rush with a dose of sugar which releases our serotonin. Insulin facilitates serotonin production in the brain, which in turn gives us a boost in mood. It makes us feel better, it masks our stress, pain, boredom, anger or frustrations we may be feeling. However, serotonin is not at work by itself during this process, Those other four chemicals are also fighting to send your appetite and cravings into overdrive.

When our serotonin and dopamine levels are elevated, we feel good. But when these levels come down, we now find ourselves feeling bad. When this occurs,  we often go in search of sugary foods, or those high in simple carbohydrates in order to get back to feeling good. This is no different than how illegal drugs and alcohol work. The user keeps seeking out the high, not always to feel high, but just to get back to not feeling low. When you have no control over your appetite, you are constantly fighting to get back to your place of neurochemical comfort. When these chemicals are depleted, we tend to reach for bad foods to placate ourselves.

When you are knowledgeable of how your emotions can drive you to eat, you can learn to resist your cravings, and ideally avoid them altogether. By eliminating sugar from your diet, and eating healthy, whole foods only, you will find that your feel good hormones will level out so that you always feel more satisfied and never experience hormonal highs and lows that make you seek out those junk foods that only serve to expand your waistline.

Quitting processed sugar might not be as simple as you think.

Withdrawing from sugar can actually cause side effects, such as:





This has led experts to look at how the withdrawal symptoms from sugar can resemble those of certain addictive substances. When someone misuses a substance for a period of time, like cocaine, their body goes into a physiological state of withdrawal when they stop using it. People who consume high amounts of sugar in their diets can similarly experience the physiological sensation of withdrawal if they suddenly stop consuming sugar. Like alcoholics or drug addicts, there is no acceptable amount of the drug or drink of choice for the user. By having a little bit after recovery, this almost always results in the return of a full blown addiction. This is why I do not advocate any diet plan which tells you that you can continue to eat sugar so long as your track it. This is as nonsensical as giving an alcoholic a glass of beer, or an ex-smoker a cigarette and expecting them to stop at just one. If you had little control over sugar and simple carbs in your past, you are highly unlikely to control them in the future. This is just a simple fact of life my friends.

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PBfit Peanut Butter Powder Review

The first time I ever heard of powdered peanut butter, I could not help but to wonder just what in sacreligious, voodoo kind of malarkey could this possibly be. I have always been a peanut butter purist, my favorite being Smucker’s Natural Creamy that is only made with two ingredients — peanuts and a dash of salt. Before I quit consuming sugar, I was also partial to Jiff, Skippy and Peter Pan. I have loved peanut butter my entire life, and could not believe anyone thought a powdered peanut butter you mix with water could ever be a good idea.

I was wrong…

Powdered peanut butter is a great product, despite not being all that good in my opinion for a sandwich. It is more a texture thing for me than anything, since the flavor is still pretty good. I love adding it to oatmeal and protein shakes. I also find it to be wonderful on apple slices

I normally buy Walmart’s brand of powdered peanut butter as it is the best value for the price, and I can tell no difference in the flavor between theirs and others I have tried such as PB2 and Kroger’s Simple Truth. Saturday when I was grocery shopping my store had neither the Simple Truth or PB2 brands, but they did have PBfit on the shelf which I had never seen there before. Since I did not feel like driving over to Walmart just for powdered peanut butter, I bought the PBfit without even looking at the nutrition and ingredients label.

I never buy a new product without first looking at the label carefully.

I made the assumption that PBfit would be just like the other products I have used.

I know better than to just make assumptions!

I like to mix a little Splenda and Saigon Cinnamon into my powdered peanut butter and then spread it on an Ole Extreme Wellness, high fiber tortilla as a delicious and healthy snack. Since I had never tried PBfit, I decided to forego the Splenda and cinnamon in order to get a good taste of this product as it comes from the jar.

My first impression was it actually tasted better than the others.

It had a sweetness to it. That sweetness was a huge red flag that I had better check the nutrition and ingredient label. To my dismay, this product contains coconut palm sugar.

I am carb addicted, Type 2 diabetes runs strong on both sides of my family. When I was heavier, I was told by my doctor that I was prediabetic. Thank God, being prediabetic can be turned completely around through good nutrition and exercise. As a rule, I do not eat anything that contains added sugars, for any reason, ever…

The other brands of powdered peanut butter I have used only provided 50 calories per two tablespoon serving. If I had read the label and saw that PBfit provided 70 calories for a two tablespoon serving, I would have been going straight to the ingredient list, but I didn’t this time.

You might be thinking that 70 calories is not bad, and the sugar content is minimal.

You might also notice that at 5 grams total carbs, minus 3 grams of fiber for a net total of 2 grams of carbohydrates is actually pretty good. You would be correct!

 You would be correct also in that coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (35) than white sugar (60 to 65), meaning it doesn’t spike your blood glucose and insulin like table sugar does. Regular table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup don’t contain any vital nutrients and therefore supply “empty” calories. Coconut sugar does retain quite a bit of the nutrients found in the coconut palm such as the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants along with a fiber called inulin. But, it is still very high in calories (same as regular sugar) and you’d have to eat a ridiculous amount of it to satisfy your need for the those particular nutrients. It should not take being a doctor or rocket scientist to understand that added sugar is unhealthy because of how it causes a significant rise in blood sugar levels. Added sugars are calorie dense and nutrient poor,  it provides virtually no vitamins or minerals.

Table sugar has a high fructose content. Within your body, only your liver cells break down fructose. What happens to fructose inside liver cells is complicated. One of the end products is triglyceride, a form of fat. Uric acid and free radicals are also formed. None of this is good. Triglycerides can build up in liver cells and damage liver function. Triglycerides released into the bloodstream can contribute to the growth of fat-filled plaque inside artery walls. Despite claims that coconut sugar is effectively fructose-free, it’s made of 70–80% sucrose, which is half fructose. For this reason, coconut sugar supplies almost the same amount of fructose as regular sugar, gram for gram.  Over time and when consumed in excess, added sugars may cause all sorts of problems like metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. We can look around and see people with these issues everywhere we turn in this modern world. Just think of the percentage of people you know who have weight issues or are outright obese compared to those who are fit and trim. In western society, 68% of our population have weight issues and it is not getting any better.

You may or may not care about the sugar content in this or any other product. Maybe sugar has not had a negative effect on your body. However, for those of us who are carb addicted it is not good to make exceptions and consume any of it. Each individual has a different threshold for how much sugar and simple carbs they can consume without it causing ravenous cravings later. But for some of us, our threshold can be quite low. I am one of these people with a low threshold. For me to make an exception to consume sugar is no different that when an alcoholic makes an exception to drink a beer. Each time we make exceptions, it just becomes easier and easier to continue making exceptions in the future.

Because of the sugar, I am going to chuck the rest of this new jar of PBfit into the trash. However, they do have a sugar free version sweetened with monk fruit that I will be trying should I ever see it in my grocery store. Until then, I will stick to my other brands.

Junkies, Addicted to that Sugar

Addiction, what a wonderfully glorious, life ruining malady to suffer from. It is ever so easy to get used to that feel good rush that comes from hitting that glass pipe of methamphetamine. It makes you feel as if you can conquer the world while destroying everything about your life with a swiftness. Or, you might love the instant euphoria that comes when pushing heroin through a needle into your vein, that peaceful easy feeling is tough to beat even when you know the great harm which comes with the territory. The most common feel good substance you can find yourself addicted to as well, might be found in your kitchen cabinet for you and your family’s enjoyment. That addictive substance is sugar!

Many signs of addiction are easy to recognize, people neglect personal responsibilities, exhaust financial resources, and sometimes engage in criminal conduct to support their habits. But then, there are many addicts among us each day that may not show any signs at all. I had a brother in law years ago who was addicted to amphetamines and cocaine. He was successful in the banking industry despite  his addiction leading him to preloading two syringes each morning before work in order to have a mid-morning and afternoon hit before going home in the early evening. You would have never guessed that despite the super clean cut appearance, he had illegal drugs tucked away in his suit pocket.

We might think that addiction will never happen to us, we like to believe we are too smart to allow this to ever happen. I never saw myself as an opiate addict until I found myself trying to get off prescription pain meds following my spinal injury ten years ago. You might be thinking none of this has anything to do with you since you might not indulge in any of the obvious addictive vices life has to offer. If you are overweight and out of shape, you need to reconsider. Chances are, you are addicted to simple carbs and sugar and are as much a junkie as any drug addict or alcoholic. If this offends you then consider these questions:

  • Do you ever find yourself craving sugary foods?
  • Has your appetite for sugary foods caused problems for yourself and your family? Problems which have come from the impact sugar has had on your health? Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more?
  • Do you dress to highlight features of your body? Or do you wear clothing that distracts from unwanted bulges and rolls that embarrass you?
  • Have you ever hid how much you actually eat from family and friends?
  • Have you ever been ashamed of how your appetite has impacted your health and appearance?
  • Do you know that you need to lose weight and improve your health but feel unable to give up your junk foods?
  • Are you embarrassed by the number that appears when you stand on your bathroom scale?

Face it, it is highly unlikely you ever craved brussel sprouts or lettuce like you have simple carbohydrates and sugar. Sugar is often used to make foods more appealing, which leads to habituation and even in some cases addiction, thereby uniquely contributing to the obesity epidemic our society is experiencing. As with street drugs, the dopaminergic system gets involved in reward with the consumption of highly palatable foods. Recent research suggests that highly processed foods are addictive and the hedonic mechanisms (pleasure-seeking pathways) plays a critical role in obesity.

Have you ever noticed that decadent pleasure which comes from biting into a sweet treat?

Of course you have, who are you kidding…

Are you a junkie addicted to sugar?

The American Psychiatric Association has defined addiction as “a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.”

In today’s world, there is nowhere you can turn without the sight of people with a variety of weight problems ranging from minor to severe. Because sugar is in so many foods we eat, and on the shelves of every grocery store across the nation, we think of it as a harmless substance even though common sense says otherwise.  Cocaine used to be in Coca Cola and was thought of as harmless. At one time, even heroin was easily obtained for cold symptoms. Most recently, synthetic THC products could be found for sale in gas stations and convenience shops. Because it was legal, many young people thought it was harmless. Many learned the hard way that just because a product is legal, this does not mean it will not cause your body harm. Sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a number of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar also zaps your energy, increases your risk of depression, and contributes to poor dental health — just to name a few.

By cutting sugar, you can reduce your health risks and may feel better than you ever thought was possible. Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We have over 750 articles and healthy recipes to help you kick your sugar addiction. Subscription is free and easy. By subscribing you can receive each new article straight to your email inbox.

Be well!

Sugar and Disease

Almost all of the chronically ill people that I have ever known ate a lot of sugar. I noticed this when I was a child. I remember the diabetic ladies with the ulcers on their legs setting the cakes out on the dessert table at the dinners at church. As an adult I developed high blood pressure that stayed with me until I started living David’s Way and quit eating sugar. I was taking medication for high blood pressure, insomnia and depression. I take no medication now and don’t have those health problems. For me, sugar is a death wish.

Some people believe that they can eat “a little sugar”. I can’t. My mom seldom had sweets in the home but she did make a cake most weeks on Friday during my early childhood. I looked forward to that cake and ate as much as I could get away with under my mother’s watchful eye. During those years, I was sick almost all Winter with tonsillitis and that tonsillitis almost always worked it’s way down and I had pneumonia twice before the age of six. I had bronchitis every Winter until about the time that my mom decided that mine and my dad’s weight problem did not need cake. When she quit making those cakes, my bronchitis mysteriously disappeared. Although my mom was not overweight, she did eat “a little sugar”. She was plagued with chronic health problems that ranged from rheumatoid arthritis to malignant hypertension and took multiple medications. My dad also ate sugar and he developed chronic cardiovascular disease in his thirties that has remained with him to this day at age 83. Various medications have been necessary for him to sustain life. Both of my grandmothers ate sugar and one was diabetic and both of them had chronic cardiovascular disease and died with heart attacks. They both needed multiple medications. In contrast, one of my grandfathers who quit eating sugar as an adult had no health problems whatsoever and took no medication.

Ingesting too much sugar curbs the immune system cells that attack invading bacteria in your body. (1) When bacteria invade the body and set up an inflammatory response, there is a perfect environment for almost all diseases, including auto-immune disease. (2) The question is how much is “too much”? A study of 29 healthy people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375 ml. can of soda per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol. These people tended to gain more weight too. (3) That being said, imagine what the typical day’s menu on the Standard American Diet, (SAD, rightfully named…) must inflict on the human body. A day that begins with sugary cereal or doughnuts followed by a burger and fries with a milkshake at lunch, a candy bar in the afternoon and pizza and brownies for supper can easily pack as much as 200+ grams of added sugars. The destruction caused by day after day of this debauchery is almost impossible to deduce.

More than 80 autoimmune diseases have been identified, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that 23.5 million Americans are affected. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that number is closer to 50 million Americans, citing incomplete data contributing to the NIH estimate. Anything that causes chronic inflammation in the body can eventually lead to the development of an autoimmune disease. (4) I recently had the chance to reconnect with an old friend who is undergoing extensive allergy testing to determine the cause of her multiplicity of new health woes. After testing, the doctor refilled her steroids and told her to come back in a year. As long as I’ve known this woman she has been determined to eat sugar, and plenty of it. She is unable to control her weight despite a disciplined exercise routine and consistently monitoring her food intake, but she has made the statement that she cannot resist sugar. I dare to say that she doesn’t want to abandon the sweet stuff and like so many, is determined to find a way to “have her cake and eat it to.” While I understand the attractiveness of a chocolate cake, I do not understand choosing to spend your time and money going from doctor to doctor and living with chronic low self-esteem. It’s all a choice.

Added sugars contribute to inflammation and inflammation is associated with many diseases including but not limited to: (5)

1-Coronary Artery Disease


3-Insulin Resistance


5-Alzheimer’s Disease

6-Psychiatric Disorders-It is also now established that inflammation plays a significant role in psychiatric disorders. (6) Levels of inflammatory cytokines, tiny SOS signals in the brain, are higher in people with mood and psychotic disorders. Those same people are more prone to infection and autoimmune disease. Refined carbohydrates and refined vegetable oils are the two most powerful causative dietary agents for inflammation. Refined carbohydrates include added sugars of all kinds. Refined carbs cause high spikes in blood sugar which causes inflammation by initiating the spill of free radicals from glucose overloading. As the free radicals damage cells, cytokines rush to the area to repair damage. This is inflammation.

Considering this list of diseases caused by inflammation and knowing that sugar contributes to inflammation, are you willing to sacrifice good health for the thrill of a dainty pastry?

I challenge you to quit eating added sugars. What do you have to lose, maybe a few extra pounds, maybe other health problems? What do you have to gain, possibly increased self-esteem, more energy and maybe more money in your pocket if you are able to stay out of the doctors office for a trip or two? The decision is yours alone. Always consult with your physician concerning decisions that affect your health. This is one that he just might be thrilled that you have made.

(1) https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/10-immune-system-busters-boosters

(2) https://medlineplus.gov/autoimmunediseases.html

(3) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugar-and-inflammation#section2

(4) https://www.healthline.com/health/autoimmune-disorder#causes

(5) https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Inflammation_A_unifying_theory_of_disease

(6) https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201712/cooling-brain-inflammation-naturally-food%3famp