Why quit sugar, you might ask? Sugar’s natural! Well, yes. But so is petroleum. And surely you don’t mean fruit and honey? Yes, yes, I do.
Let’s be clear: it’s fructose that’s the enemy when we talk about sugar. Your body transforms table sugar into fructose (and glucose), and the sugar in fruit is also fructose. Honey’s 40% fructose and agave is up to 90%. Now here’s the untechnical gist of the matter: every single molecule we stick in our mouths has a corresponding appetite hormone that, when we’ve eaten enough of said molecule, tells our brains “OK, we’re full now.” Our bodies are good that way; we’re designed to eat only as much as we need.
Every molecule, that is, except fructose.…
This is because back when we were cave people, sugar was both highly valuable (as insta-energy for chasing wildebeast) and extremely rare (a berry here and there). Thus we evolved with no fructose "full switch," so that when we did stumble on a berry bush we could gorge ourselves silly (and store it as instant fat). Our digestion and metabolisms haven’t changed in over 100,000 years. Our sugar intake, however, has. In just 150 years it’s gone from 0kg to about 60kg a year.
But here’s part two of the dastardly deal. The way fructose is converted in our bodies means it’s not used upfront as energy, but converted directly to fat. It also becomes like a porridge in our arteries, leading to cholesterol and cancer. And the rest. Eating fructose is like eating fat that your body can’t detect as fat.
Essentially, quitting sugar means quitting fructose, for good.
If you're looking to give it a try, why not start with some simple swaps.
The top five foods you need to ban from your plate when you're quitting sugar are: