In a prior post, “Sugar, sleep, and Steve Nash,” I mention my resolutions to get more sleep and to eat less refined sugar. Here’s an update on sugar:
Steve Nash wrote here that if you stop eating refined sugar, you stop craving it. He is absolutely right. My tastebuds are extremely sensitive to sugar now, so a little goes a long way. Recently, I ran out of oatmeal and shredded wheat cereal, so I tried the Nature’s Path Pomergran Plus granola that I discovered in the cupboard. I’d long found packaged granola too sweet, but now the sugar was cloying.
I was reminded of an old college roommate’s story of living in Costa Rica for a year for her dad’s work. The toothpaste there was blander than the saccharine-sweetened Colgate and Crest. So, when her family returned to the USA, they found the mainstream brands overwhelmingly sweet!
Before, despite my healthy diet, I’d be tempted by the the dessert menu. I’d crave dark chocolate after dinner. I’d indulge in my mom’s homemade cookies (one was never enough!). Now, sweet treats are only occasionally, rather than always, compelling. And while I still appreciate a yummy muffin or scone, I wish bakers would tweak their recipes to use half, perhaps a quarter, of the sugar they add.
My palate now craves crunchy things, especially almonds. While I cannot resist the gingerbread at Sweet Adeline Bakeshop in Berkeley, on a daily basis the sweetness of fruit is often enough. Seriously. Trust me, I used to love gelato!
It seems that the negative sugar message is ubiquitous. When I mentioned it to my mom, suggesting that she cut the sugar in her phenomenal nutty oatmeal cookies, she mentioned a Bottom Line article, accessible online here.