Breaking Up is Hard to Do - Ending Your Relationship with Sugar

Breaking Up is Hard to Do - Ending Your Relationship with Sugar


Speak to anyone these days, and they will admit to enjoying sugar in some form. Many of us still love to indulge in chocolate, candy, or even soda – even we feel guilty when we do, because we know they can pack on the pounds. But these are the “easy to identify, we know we shouldn’t”  sugar sources.  But how about the more elusive or rather, overlooked, sources of sugar?

Are you in an ongoing relationship with…

  • Ketchup
  • Breakfast cereal
  • BBQ sauce
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Yoghurt
  • Bananas
  • Coffee creamer
  • Peanut butter
  • Orange juice
  • Chocolate milk
  • Dried fruit

...This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the surprisingly high sugar content foods that you may overlook.

I saw this posted on Facebook today, and I don’t know who created it – but it was a great reminder.

The US Department of Agriculture published a chart that shows the sugar content of many foods. It would probably be a wake-up call for you to review your daily diet against this chart, or to simply start paying more attention to nutritional labels.

In prior years, you may remember the “anti-fat” brigade…when we all become paranoid about the fat content in food – and how it would contribute to high cholesterol and other health issues. We now know that’s not entirely true – there’s much more to it. Sugar is also a contributing cause of high triglycerides and lowering of the HDL (good cholesterol.)  I highly recommend you read/follow Dr Mark Hyman’s many podcasts on this topic. Here is a link to his e-book, specifically about cholesterol, published in 2018.

Healthy fats are such as essential part of our diet, in the right amount and in balance. Don’t just eliminate fat, but still eat sugar. You will continue to have cholesterol, not to mention other, problems.

In this blog, however, we like to focus on the aspects of inflammation, pain, and arthritis. All of these are also aggravated by both sugar intake and high cholesterol. Having chronic inflammation – true of anyone with arthritis of any form – can contribute to lowering the “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and increased the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, as well as impacting triglycerides.

Haraka is specifically formulated to give your body a natural support solution to reduce the level of inflammation in the body. But taking our supplement, great as it is, would have no benefit if you don’t simultaneously correct your diet, and practice healthy habits of exercise, mental health, and overall wellness. It’s why our Haraka talks address wellness lifestyle topics, as much as we address the cause and treatment of inflammation.

There have been numerous studies that confirm the relationship between sugar and inflammation. A 2022 Frontiers in Immunology review of the relationship between added sugars and inflammation found that excessive intake can increase inflammation. Cutting out added sugars can help minimize existing inflammation, as well as prevent new inflammation. T

The NIH published this powerful and substantive article.

Excessive consumption of dietary sugars is closely related to the occurrence and development of inflammation.

If you’re anything like me, I grew up with so many “comfort” foods that included sugar. As I’ve aged, I’ve been able to reduce my desire for sugar based treats, but still find it hard to resist things like ice cream and pastries – especially in wonderful bakeries! And who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh apple pie in the oven at Thanksgiving!  Halloween, Girl Scout cookies sales, and even Valentine’s Day – cause us to be tempted by sugary treats in all their splendor!

Managing your weight is one thing (and important as well) – but now that I know the relationship between sugar indulgence and my pain levels – it’s become easier to resist.

Here are some other ideas to help you "break up" with sugar:

Just don’t have it in the house.

The first step is to stop buying things that are high in sugar. It’s also a case of not replacing things as they run out, so that over time, you can eliminate all the high sugar culprits from your fridge and pantry. For example, I used to love jam or preserves on toast. I now only keep some locally produced honey, and make sure a jar lasts me for several months. I also stopped buying bread and swapped it out for Wasa crackers. This saved me the temptation altogether.

A little at a time.

Going from 2 spoons of sugar to zero is a big change, and one you probably won’t sustain. If you add sugar to tea or coffee, start reducing it a little each day. Your palate will adjust, and soon your will find you only ever have your beverages without sugar.  Same thing to any foods to which you add sugar, syrup, or some form of sweetness. Swap it for healthier options, or slowly eliminate it. If you simply can’t eat something without sugar, then stop eating it. (I did this with oatmeal – I couldn’t stand it without sugar and/or maple syrup, so I just stopped making it.)

Limit yourself to indulgences only on special occasions.

I think life would be miserable if we ever allowed ourselves some sweet treats now and again. Enjoy that slice of chocolate cake, or milkshake…but on rare and only special occasions. I personally love really good cake, or a custard slice… So, about once every other month or so, I will treat myself to a bakery visit for just ONE such treat. Better than buying an entire cake and having it on the counter for days…beckoning to me! (Bonus tip: When entertaining, send leftover desserts home with your guests!)

Counteract indulgences with movement.

When you have consumed too much sugar, counteract inflammatory response by taking a 20 minute walk, or swim some laps. Do some stretches…get moving. Drink lots of water. Help your body flush the sugar quickly, so that it doesn’t take up residence in your body, causing havoc.

Make healthy eating your new normal.

When you choose the right foods and follow a healthy diet all the time, high sugar foods will soon fade into the background, until they are almost non-existent. They become the exception. Over time, the longer you stay with a healthy regime, the more normal it will become. 


Breaking up with sugar is hard, but not impossible. Remember, you control your body, not the other way around. Manage cravings, by eating healthy alternatives, and stay with it. Soon, the body will no longer crave sugar at all!

 Here’s to your limber life!




Back to blog