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The News is Not Sweet: Sugar Has Got to Go
by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen™, May 27, 2010
Those on a fertility diet already know this: processed sugar has got to go. It negatively affects blood sugar levels, leading to hormonal imbalance, which you don’t want while trying to conceive. Sugar also causes inflammation and compromises are immune systems.
Giving it up is not easy, though, especially for those with a sweet tooth.
Sugar seems to be in everything these days, and I’m not talking about just the cookies and ice cream. Sugar gets added to breads, cereals and a host of other off-the-shelf products. It goes by many names, too: high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, brown sugar and cane sugar. (Side note: When reading labels, if you don’t know what an ingredient is, Google it to find out.)
What about artificial sweeteners? Quick answer: Don’t go there! They're artificial and you don’t want anything artificial in your body while trying to optimize fertility and get pregnant.
So what can you eat?
No, all hope is not lost. It’s OK to have natural sugars in moderate amounts, as they don’t adversely affect blood sugar levels. These can include honey, maple syrup and brown rice syrup. But read the labels to make sure they’re all natural (or better, organic) and that nothing has been added, like sugar (yes, it happens!).
Watch out for high concentrations of natural sugars, though. Eat whole fruits rather than drinking fruit juice, as the concentration of natural fructose is too high in the juice. Same goes for fruit-only jams.
A great, healthy alternative to sugar is Stevia, an herb said to be ten to fifteen times sweeter than table sugar. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood sugar (some reports say it even lowers it). It's sold in both liquid (in a dropper bottle) and dry powder forms. Read the label and opt for the pure extract version (with nothing extra added). Stevia is great for sweetening cereal, tea and more. You can even bake with it.
You may need to give yourself at least two weeks of no sugar before your cravings subside, but once you do, you’ll be able to taste the sugar in a piece of toast—and just maybe, that’ll be too much for you.
Your body will be getting plenty of sugar from natural sources, such as fruits, rice and other carbohydrates, so no need to worry. If you’re really missing dessert, try this: Slowly bake a green apple in the oven until it is soft, and then drizzle it with honey and eat. Yum!