Back in January I decided to cut back on the amount of sugar I use.
I have osteoarthritis in my finger joints, and although it’s not too painful or unsightly at the moment there is no cure and it will get worse over time. A bit of googling suggested that cutting back on the sugar in my diet could slow the process down.
It’s been two months now.
I haven’t been able to cut sugar from my diet completely, and I’m not sure it would be a good idea to do that anyway. But I’ve managed to cut it down considerably.
I have half a spoonful of sugar in my tea and coffee (down from a full spoonful). I don’t dip into the sweetie stash at work. I’ve drastically cut down the number of biscuits I get through – I have one a day.
I’m paying more attention to the hidden sugar in the foods I eat too. Shocked to find that Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are 35% sugar and Alpen is 21% sugar compared to Mackies ice cream, which is only 12%!!
Instead, I’m eating more fruit and more savoury snacks but also trying not to have too much salt!!
Is it working? Well, like I said, the finger joints aren’t too painful anyway (yet), the whole point of this exercise is to stop them getting to that point. In the two months of my low-sugar diet, I’ve only had one episode of pain, and that only lasted about 5 minutes. If that’s down to the reduction in sugar, then it’s definitely working. But this isn’t about a short-term fix, this is about making a change that will benefit me, hopefully, a long way down the road. It could be ten or more years before I’m able to say it’s worked, or not.
Apart from the initial shock of tea without a full spoonful of sugar, I’ve surprised myself with how easy I’ve found it. I guess realising that it’s not doing you any good kind of puts you off. That’s not to say there hasn’t been the odd glitch.
The most interesting moment was on Mother’s Day. I’d bought my mother a box of chocolates, as you do. And being a polite and well-brought-up person, she offered me one. It would have been rude to refuse, so I said thank-you-very-much and ate it. I didn’t enjoy it – it just tasted, well, not as great as I expected it to.
And there’s been a bit of a side-effect. I appear to have lost weight – I have to hitch my trousers up regularly, and I just feel my clothes in general are looser. I’m not too sure how that’s happened, as the chocolate biscuits have mostly been replaced with cheese and crackers!!
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