Earlier today a friend of mine challenged me to give up sweets for a week. Always one to step up to a challenge, I have surrendered to the task and decided to keep away from the haribo, bon bons, fruit pastilles, fried eggs, sour cherries, jelly babies, dolly mixture, hard gums……oh my mouth is watering!
Now, I’m not quite sure what the rules are for this challenge so I guess that I should lay down the guidelines for myself:
1. No pick-n-mix even the chocolate ones;
2. Obviously no gummy, boiled, liquorice or sherbet sweets;
3. Chocolate or cakes not allowed – I don’t tend to eat other sugary things like chocolate or cakes but without sweets I might crave them, I think that it would be cheating to give in to them;
4. Allowed: yogurts, dried fruit, honey.
In all seriousness I find it hard to keep off sweets because I have a pretty small stomach, which means at meal times I don’t really get enough energy to keep me going for more than a few hours, I am a little and often kind of girl, otherwise my stomach is just too full. If I snack before my energy levels drop right down, generally mid-afternoon, then I can keep away from sweets, but I quite often suddenly get a sugar low (more about that below) and that is when I end up on the sticky gummy treats. However, I think that the main reason that I eat sweets is because of habit!
Can one week off sweets break a habit? Or change my life?
By not eating sweets I will give my teeth a break – bad bacteria in the mouth feed off the easy sugar in sweets, and multiply, how gross, my mouth feels icky just thinking about it.
Sweets are high in simple carbohydrates (glucose) when this enters the blood stream insulin is produced by the pancreas, the insulin then allows cells to uptake the glucose and use it for useful things like providing the energy our body needs to live. However, when we eat very simple sugars like sweets our blood sugar levels shoot up causing an insulin spike. The blood sugar then disappears very quickly, as the insulin does it’s job, leaving us with what is commonly described as a sugar low. The extreme of this is hypoglycaemia which can be very serious, as diabetics know. However, the symptoms of a non-diabetics sugar-low can be pretty unpleasant include palpitations, sweating, hunger, anxiety, tremor and a pale complexion. I get all these things, but perhaps if I don’t rely on sweets to perk me up then I can have a more sustainable, steady blood sugar.
Also I am a vegetarian and sweets are (generally) NOT! So for some reason I give up my values for these bacteria-breeding, bright coloured, cow-gelatin filled, balls of anxiety disguised as candy!
I will report back on my capability to stay away from sweets and tell you about any benefits that it brings. I’m going to stop talking about it now because I am salivating for a cola bottle.