What to Expect:
“Geez, sugar is in everything!”
You may feel frustrated and annoyed when you go through your pantry and see how many food manufacturers add sugar (in its many forms) to their products. Use this moment to appreciate how much you are already learning from the program!
Where sugar hides
Even foods that are not considered “sweet” or “treats” can have sugar hiding in their ingredients! Sugar may be sneaking into your grocery cart through some unexpected (but very common) suspects.
Tale these three examples:
- Boxed cereals: Sugar is usually in these products—even those that are considered healthy—in at least two different forms, like honey or cane sugar and brown rice syrup.
- Salad dressings: Most pre-made salad dressings have added sugar. Even worse, the diet varieties have artificial sweeteners. To make your own salad dressing, you just need oil, vinegar or lemon/lime juice, spices, and maybe some mustard—not sugar! Use the recipes in the Daily Guide for any of your salads while on the 21DSD.
- Pasta sauces: Pasta sauce can be a perfectly healthy and delicious option when done right, especially over zoodles (zucchini noodles) and spaghetti squash. (As you probably guessed, pasta made from refined flour is out on the 21DSD.) But most store-bought pasta sauces contain added sugar: to cover up some less-than-ripe tomatoes going into the sauce, to act as a preservative, or even as a flavor enhancer. Any way you cut it, it's totally unnecessary.
Here's a super-sneaky sugar secret: food manufacturers often use multiple types of sweeteners to avoid listing a single sweetener as the first (that is, the most abundant) item in the ingredient list. In other words, if they were to use just one sweetener, it would be the first ingredient because there's more sweetener than any other ingredient. Using multiple sweeteners means there's less of each, so they're further down the list. Most people know to check the first couple ingredients, so by putting several sweeteners way down in the list, food manufacturers can make the food look healthier than it is. This is also a sneaky way to use less of an expensive sweetener, like honey, and still be able to claim the food is “sweetened with honey,” which sounds much better than “sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.”
There are also more than fifty ways to list sweeteners in an ingredients list without the word “sugar” ever appearing. It can show up as syrups, malts, molasses, sorbitol, juices, and way more. Use the Guide to Hidden Sugars* as your reference until you learn the most common offenders hiding in ingredient lists.
The Dish from Diane:
It’s important to spend this week “building your why”—exploring the foundational information you need to make your commitment (why the program takes twenty-one days, why it’s a “detox,” why sugar is harmful, and so on) as well as thinking about your personal why. Starting this program with a strong sense of why you’re doing it will help you stay motivated and inspired throughout the program. Is it to crush your cravings? To free yourself from the sweets and treats that call you into the pantry or fridge every day? Is it to gain energy? Improve your sleep? Feel better in your own skin? Support and inspire a friend who is also completing the program? Set a good example for your family/kids? What is your why? We’ll talk more about this the day before you start the detox, but spend this week thinking about it so you’ll already have some ideas when it comes time to fully articulate your why.
- Pantry clean-out day! Using the YES/NO foods list* and information on hidden sugars from today’s lesson, check your pantry and fridge for off plan ingredients and foods. Set them aside in your fridge or pantry and plan to remove the day before you start the 21DSD. If you do not want to throw the items away, you can donate them or set them somewhere safely out of reach for the duration of the 21DSD.
- Read and review the Guide to Hidden Sugars*.
- Follow @21DaySugarDetox and @DianeSanfilippo on social media!
*These are all available for download FREE in the Quick Start Guide. Download the Quick Start Guide here.
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