A Wife Loved Like The Church

No Sugar is No Fun

Posted on: November 8, 2010

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I spent the month of October taking a break from sugar. I wanted to explore what effects sugar was having on my frequent headaches. I realized these two things:

1. Sugar DOES increase the frequency my headaches.

2. My headaches are linked to hormonal changes.

When I first started my experiment, I had no headaches for two weeks. Then as my cycle shifted, I got some intense headaches for two days. After that I was back to normal. Once I started eating sugar again {which was the last week of October} my headaches came back. This unfortunately coincided  with another hormonal shift, so I can’t fully blame sugar for the headaches. However, I can say that the duration and frequency were higher while I was consuming sugar than when I wasn’t.

Where will I go from here?

I’m not sure yet. I’m back on sugar for now. But I don’t want to be – I’d like to substitute with agave and honey. I’m looking into raw sugars and whether I might have more luck with it since it’s not processed as heavily {any thought on that??}. I’m slowly stocking my agave supply for cheap, thanks to Rachel. I think if I can get a good handle on not having sugar in the house/having a good supply of substitutes than I will make the switch full time.

What are your suggestions??

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16 Responses to "No Sugar is No Fun"

My thoughts- I would guess that you’re more likely to do better with honey and agave, as both are higher in fructose and thus metabolized differently (especially agave). And I would guess that raw sugars are not going to make as much difference, because despite the processing, the actual nutritional differences between raw sugar and regular sugar are pretty minute, and will be metabolized in your body in the same way. That’s my hypothesis at least from the scientific standpoint, but by all means, feel free to experiment! 🙂

Thanks for the info Alicia!

i love having a friend who knows what she is talking about with food:) thanks alicia!

I have no idea…you know that though…anyway, way to trace it- I can never quite do that when I am struggling.

Hi-
Found your blog through Suzanne Forbes.
I did the same thing- back in April our whole family went off sugar and I found the same thing with my headaches/migraines, which are also linked to my cycle.
I am back off sugar, but not as rigid as I was in April, where I was avoiding every processed sweetener. Mainly I’m avoiding desserts and sweet things.
I have learned that agave is processed very much like high fructose corn syrup and is better avoided. Both agave and honey are fructose, which I would like to avoid, but honey isn’t as processed so I feel better about it.
The other sweetener I use is pure maple syrup.
I’ve tried to avoid the most processed sweeteners, so I buy my honey local and mostly use that.
I wrote alot about our experience you can find it here:
http://rachelscooking.blogspot.com/search/label/sugar%20free%20challenge

I guess in my mind we weren’t created to consume as much sugar as we Americans are. So I try to think back to Bible times and eat that way- honey was special and was not consumed all the time either.

Rachel, good food for thought on the agave! I’ve had someone else tell me that too, so want to research it some more. I agree with Americans eating too much sugar. It’s a hard habit to kick!! 🙂

I agree about agave. I’m wary of it and don’t think it deserves it’s status as a “healthful” sugar. But I still stand behind the theory that it may make more of a difference with your headaches, because it will be processed differently than sugar.

You’ve inspired me, Sarah! I’ve had bad headaches since I was a little girl and they’re even worse now. I really should track them to find out the cause like you did–although your symptoms and patterns sound a lot like mine.

Do you have a price in mind for a good price for Agave? I found some on sale on Amazon a while ago for $.21/oz (by weight) and bought a six pack. I know it’s a better price than some other deals, but I still haven’t figured out what my real stock-up price should be.

I get it for a little cheaper. Maybe about $.19/oz. The total cost is $2.25 per 12 oz bottle refill I get. In an ideal world, less than $2 and I’d stock up big time. Still looking for that one….

Have you looked into stevia? The sweet leaf? I think it’s like a tea leaf, only it’s sweet and you can get it in a form you can use (other than a leaf) for baking and stuff.

We’ve used it a little but it seems to make things taste bitter. :/ I’ve not actually used it for baking, just sweetening drinks, so maybe if it’s baked it will be better.

I’ve heard that about Stevia too, and someone told me you should use less if it’s making things bitter. I have no idea about baking with it

Hi Sarah,

I have only one question: how exactly did you “take a break” from sugar? Did you ween yourself off it or stop cold turkey?

I am a stressed out (read: overeating) college student who is trying to get a handle on her addiction to sugar!
Thanks! Elizabeth

Elizabeth – I went cold turkey for the month. I think next time I’ll wean myself, just because of headaches. But cold turkey seems pretty effective to me.

And totally pull up a chair and join the club on overeating. *shameful face*

gah! okay, I’m going to resolve to give the no-sugar thing (ANOTHER) try. Thanks for the tip 🙂

Keep me posted on how it goes!

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