Frequently Asked Questions:

Diet

What sugars do you eat? Honey? Coconut Sugar? Why?

I don’t eat any honey, agave, coconut sugar, or syrups of any kind. I also don’t eat sugar alcohols or substitutes like splenda or xylitol. The only sweetener that my body hasn’t reacted negatively with is stevia, and I still use this in small amounts. I prefer using sugars from whole fruit. I don’t have a specific method of figuring out which sugars I eat and which I do not. I simply go by what by body tells me.

Do you ever eat sugar/dairy/gluten in small amounts occasionally?

Rarely if ever. I might sample something that contains dairy or gluten if I’m eating out somewhere special, but I’ll only take a small bite of someone else’s plate. I never sample sugar-filled desserts, though.

How do you deal with negative comments about your diet? I’m assuming for the most part people are supportive but do you ever get weird looks or judgey comments when talking about how you eat?

I really don’t get many negative comments about my diet. Most people are very supportive of my healthy lifestyle. People are usually shocked that I can even survive in this world without sugar, but they are not negative at all. I do receive comments about my “weird” diet a lot, but no-one is ever really ‘mean’ about it. I’ve pretty used to other’s comments, so it doesn’t bother me.

Do you think you’ll continue this way of eating for… ever? 

As far as I can see, I will continue to eat this way forever. I cannot see what the future holds, though, so I am tentative to say, “I will never ever eat sugar. Ever.” I don’t see a reason to go back to eating sugar because I know I can make healthy desserts, and I know sugar makes me sick.

Have you ever had to deal with emotional eating?

Not really, no. Of course, there are occasional times when I overeat or under eat when I shouldn’t, but this is probably typical for everyone. Sorry I can’t help you from experience with this!

Eating Out

Is it hard eating out at restaurants? How do you do it?

Not really. I pretty much know what dishes contain gluten, dairy, or sugar. Any breaded dishes have gluten, “cream-based” soups have dairy, tomato-based and fruity sauces usually always have sugar. Read about the places sugar hides HERE. I stick to fruit, vegetables, meat, beans, and nuts when eating at home and eating out. Salads with an oil and vinegar dressing and meat and veggie dishes are my usual go-to restaurant meal.

How do you find out what dishes are “sugar free” when you’re eating out? 

Most chain restaurants have ingredients listed on their website. Like I said above, though, I pretty much know which dishes have sugar and which do not. If there is a dish that has a trace amount of sugar in it that I don’t know about, it doesn’t bother me.

Sugar-Substitute Thoughts

What are your thoughts on agave? I am allergic to cane sugar and find that anything without cane sugar has agave instead and I’m suspicious that it is just as nasty to the body but have read conflicting conclusions.

Agave does not react to my body well, and it is an extremely-processed liquid sugar. Yes it does have a low-glycemic index and a high-fructose content; however, because fructose does not raise insulin levels, this strengthens your insulin resistance which can bring much more consequences to your body. You can read more HERE to decide for yourself.

What are your thoughts on stevia?

One of my earliest posts was my thoughts on stevia (this was when stevia was just coming onto the market), found HERE. I have not reacted badly with stevia at all, and it is probably the only sweetener I am able to use besides fruit. It is an herb, which I like, and is definitely better than using toxic no-calorie sweeteners like aspartame. Some brands have a bitter-aftertaste, but this is due to the processing the company uses. Also, make sure that the stevia you buy is made with only stevia. Some brands combine stevia with other sugar-substitutes like erythritol or maltitol. Also not that those with insulin issues should probably avoid sweeteners altogether, including stevia, because it can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.

Path to Sugar-Free

How did you find out you were sugar intolerant?

You can read more about my path to sugar-free in my About Page.

When you were little did you have a hard time avoiding sugar?

When I was little, I did not avoid sugar. I ate sugar like every other little kid. It wasn’t until about age thirteen when I realized sugar was affecting my health.

What symptoms do you get from eating sugar and what made you finally make the switch?

When I eat sugar, a bright red rash will shoot up the side of my cheek. Then I’ll get a headache and feel sick for the rest of the day. This really is not worth it to me at all, so I don’t eat sugar. What made me finally make the switch was when my symptoms started getting worse. When I was little, the rash was the only indicator to sugar sensitivities. As I grew older, this worsened and I realized I had to quit eating it. I don’t regret the decision at all.

Life

How did you get that amazing ‘golfers’ tan’?

Ha! Well, I am a tennis player, so it is really a ‘tennis tan.’ Most people hate their tan lines, but I love mine!

What do you want to be when you’re older? (As a job)

I’d like to become a Registered Dietitian so that I can help others with their diets. I might combine this with fitness, too. I’m not completely sure what job I will get when I get older, but I am sure that I want it to relate with nutrition and food. We’ll see where life takes me.

If you have a question of your own, please comment below or email me at spoonfulofsugarfree@gmail.com.

 

14 Responses to FAQ

  1. Lou says:

    Love this page, really interesting stuff, nice work :)

  2. Love it, Alex! I’ve always wondered if you did coconut sugar :) Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our burning questions!

  3. Aw, I love it Alex!! And I feel pretty cool that I already knew pretty much everything on the page! ;) Devoted reader right here!!

  4. I’m glad you’re focusing on the agave myths – I try to educate clients whenever I can, but it’s not easy fighting the huge marketing budgets big companies have. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Jenn,

      Before I quite eating sugar and researching all of this stuff, I, too, fell for the “agave is healthy” myth. It just goes to show how easily we can be influenced by companies, and how hard it is to know the truth.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. brynda says:

    Alex,

    This is very helpful, and my hat is off to you for avoiding all sugar even synthetic “sugar free” substitutes. I have cut out cane sugar from my diet, but I am having a harder time with sugar substitutes such as Xylotol, Splenda, etc. Well, I don’t have your physical symptoms to sugar-the awfyk truth is sugar has no nuturitional value, our bodies do not require it, and sugar is an addiction I can do without. I love your web page; especially your recipies! You are a real inspiration.

    Thank you for the research regarding sugar, and the wonderful web page

  6. Beth says:

    I’m participating in a challenge from the Skinny Ms. website. I came across your blog the other day googling sugar free blogs. You have WONDERFUL recipes and I am planninog on making the chocolate peanut butter cups this weekend.

    I have a question for you that has some of us confused at the Skinny Ms. site.

    What are your feelings about malted barley? Do you eat foods with malted barley in it or avoid it? For example Grapenuts cereal contains it and some Ezekiel bread (i.e. their english muffins).

    Would love your take on it?

    Thanks

    Beth

    • Hi Beth,

      I’ve never heard of the Skinny Ms. website. Will have to check it out. I’m glad you enjoy my site!

      For your question, I do not have a whole lot of experience with malted barley, but here is what I can tell from looking at it: Malted barley is a grain that has dried. They develop enzymes that can turn starches into sugars.

      I don’t eat a lot of grains, anyway, but in my opinion it is fine to eat in small amounts (moderation is key!). Our body converts all food molecules into “sugar” anyway, so that we can use them as food and energy.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Leo says:

    A comment on making sure that stevia is “only stevia”: grow it yourself! The stevia plant has been showing up in nurseries all over the country, and grows quite nicely as far north as Nebraska. With a homemade PVC plastic greenhouse you could grow it even farther north.

    Here in Kansas (latitude 39 degrees) my stevia plants regularly reach three feet in height and two feet across, with three “cut back” harvests from the same plant during the growing season. I thoroughly dry the leaves and crush them into powder. One large plant yielded about four cups of green stevia powder, which is still about 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, two teaspoons of stevia powder equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. That much powder is the equivalent of 4 bags of cane sugar.

    Green stevia powder sometimes has an aftertaste. A teaspoon of vanilla masks the aftertaste in baked goods and lemonade.

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Leo,

      Thanks for the tips about stevia! I’ve had people ask me about home-grown stevia, and didn’t really know the answers because I am not much of a gardener (although I’d like to be). I will definitely look into growing my own, though, because it sounds pretty straight-forward.

  8. Bob says:

    Just found your blog through Tasty Yummies. I have been gluten free for 20 years, it is getting much easier, anyway, just curious have you ever used “real” stevia grow the plants, pick the leaves, steep in hot water, then use to sweeten anything. Ours is organic, all natural, and really good!

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