Book Review - Becoming Sugar-Free
This was definitely a great book and she does a great job presenting facts and outlining things well.
I recently finished the book Becoming Sugar-Free - How to Break Up with Inflammatory Sugars and Embrace a Naturally Sweet Life by Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.
This was definitely a great book and she does a great job presenting facts and outlining things well. She discusses the impact of sugar on our body, she presents plenty of information to understand what sugar is, and then also shares a guide to natural sweeteners and sugar alternatives. After discussing all that, she lays out a plan for going sugar-free and provides a ton of recipes in the book. After skimming over the recipes, which do look and sound great, I will say that some of the ingredients are not necessarily things people regularly have on hand so they’re not simple/basic recipes. Some of them are more simple but some require finding specialty items. Though there are enough recipes that I think there would be plenty of things to try no matter what your cooking level is.
This book isn’t a keto/low-carb book per se, however she does mention things you should avoid if you’re keto and gives you some alternatives as she discusses certain sweeteners. In my opinion though, even though my husband and I have chosen to follow a keto/low-carb lifestyle, it’s more about eliminating sugar from our diet than anything so I wholeheartedly agree with the philosophies she brings forth in this book. If you reduce your sugar intake and eliminate the foods that are full of sugar, you’re going to do wonders for your health even if you don’t do another thing different besides that. (Of course it’s important to remember that lots of the simple carbs might not have “sugar” listed on the label but the minute you eat it, it turns to glucose in your body so it’s sugar as well.)
I think sometimes people have a hard time grasping exactly what’s happening in your body when you eat too much sugar and this was one of the things that she shared to explain that. I love how this gets the concept across in an easy to understand analogy.
Think of it this way: Imagine that your cells are a popular club, and sugar is the people trying to get into that club. When the club first opens for the night, people can get in with no problem. Similarly, our cells allow sugar access when they need fuel. But as the night wears on and the club gets busier, it cannot let people in at the same rate because the lineups get longer and only a couple of doors can be used to get inside. Eventually, the club has to close its doors because it’s at capacity, even though there are crowds waiting outside. That’s what happens when we have too much sugar. Our cell membrane says, “No, we’re too full, we can’t handle any more!” and we end up overproducing and under-responding to insulin, leading to a condition called insulin resistance. And when sugar stays outside the cell, that’s where it gets dangerous. It starts attacking areas outside the cell, and we end up with dysfunction and glycation (the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule). Sugar attacks our joints, and we get inflammation and arthritis; it attacks our skin, and we get wrinkles; it attacks our arteries, and we get plaque and heart disease. It literally ages us from the inside out.
From chapter 1 - The Impact of Sugar on the Body
One of the sweeteners that she recommends is a sugar alcohol called erythritol. This is the sweetener I have used from the beginning of our keto journey and have always been pleased with it. I did learn some interesting new facts about it in this book and also refreshed my memory about things I’ve read about this before.
- It’s naturally present in various fruits, mushrooms, sea vegetables, and some fermented liquids
- It is the best tolerated for most people of all the sugar alcohols
- It isn’t metabolized by oral bacteria and some studies even show it helps prevent cavities and could even promote remineralization of teeth
- It is an antioxidant
- Because of the way it is mostly absorbed in the small intestines, it rarely causes digestion issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea
- It has a glycemic index rating of 0 and insulinemic index rating of 2 - which is great news for diabetics and for keeping your blood sugar low.
- No carcinogenic effects have ever been shown from it
If you want a great book to understand how sugar works in our bodies and you want to learn how to give it up and find alternatives, this is definitely a great book for you. If you love having new recipes to try, I also recommend this book. I’m anxious to try many of the recipes myself! :)