A week without sugar

Julia Woods

This week I have undergone the challenge of eliminating all artificial sugars from my diet. Natural sugars from fruits were the only source of sweetness I consumed all week. As I began this challenge, I assumed I would be more manic and potentially senile by the end of the week. Although my addiction to chocolate would be jeopardized this week, I was prepared to fully commit myself to a week without sugar.

Shockingly, it became easier as the days passed to live without sweetness. The first two days were the toughest because I quickly realized nearly everything has sugar in it. Not having sugar doesn’t mean not having dessert, it means only eating produce and untampered grain. Foods such as salad dressing, salsa, and hummus that have the potential to make produce more interesting have sugar in them. I had to go to health food stores to purchase normal food items without sugar in them. It is ridiculous that I need to go to a health based store to escape America’s sugar addiction.

The toughest obstacle I faced this week was living without chocolate. By the end of the second day, I was ready to break the experiment in the name of dark chocolate. What I have learned is, eating chocolate is a mental exercise more than a physical need. It is habit for me to have chocolate in the evening, so climbing over that mental obstacle for seven days was extremely challenging. I could live without granola, yogurt, bread, and chai lattes, but not chocolate. This is the one habit I quickly returned to after the experiment ended.

By the end of the week, I didn’t even want sugar, words I never thought I would say (with the exception of chocolate). Going back to normal food was tough because my body can not handle heavily artificially sugared foods anymore. My body rejects any of the sweet taste that poisons the majority of American cuisine. This experiment opened up my eyes to how sweet everything tastes in comparison to grown foods.  American cuisine is built on a sweet flavor, where other cultures’ food are built on a spicy or savory flavor. Artificial sugar is not a dietary necessity. A week without sugar has made me realize it is not a taste necessity either.