Six reasons this feminist isn’t giving up sugar


Tracy and Anita are giving up sugar. You can read all about it here.  I like a good challenge too but I won’t be joining them and here’s why.

First, they didn’t ask me! To be truthful, they knew I’d decline. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to agree. I’m offering up my reasons not to quit sugar to explain how I think about it. But I don’t mean to say that those who decide otherwise are wrong. YMMV.

To quote another popular saying, You do you!

We enjoy exploring areas of disagreement around here whether it’s biking (I’m keen, Tracy’s not), nutritional tracking (again, I’m keen and Tracy’s not) or now taking a break from sugar (Tracy’s keen and I’m passing.)

Second, I am usually not a moderate person but I aspire to be a moderate when it comes to food. Generally though if I like something, I like it a lot.  COFFEE!! Also chocolate, raspberries, bagels and croissants. Bike riding, dancing, Aikido, and boxing. And if I don’t like it, I want none of it at all. I don’t drink. I don’t watch network TV, hate shopping malls etc etc.

That said, I’ve been been aiming for more moderation in my life when it comes to my food choices. I eat dessert, but not with every meal, and not even every day. I eat vegan meals about half the time.

Third, I like my carbs fast and simple when I’m running or riding. That means sugar. Yes, of course you can eat dried fruit but gels and shot blocks and sports drinks are easy and efficient. My favourite are the maple syrup shots designed for sports. Other stuff takes time to digest and I like fast acting carbs when I want to go fast.

Fourth, it’s also beach body season! This whole thing smacks of the ritual spring diet to me. I strongly associate the “it’s spring, let’s give up sugar for our health for 30 days” with the quest for the better beach body. It’s a ritual in which I choose not to participate. I gave that up a long time ago. Like people who give up carbs for “health reasons” (what health reasons exactly?) this whole thing sounds like seriously restrictive eating to me. No thanks. Repeat after me: A beach body just is the body you take to the beach.

Fifth, I’ve read a bunch of stuff about sugar and I am very skeptical it’s the demon it’s made out to be. We as a society eat far too much of it. Yes, yes, yes. But I don’t see a need to give it up entirely. That’s the kind of all or nothing thinking about food that I try to avoid. I’ve got a partner with diabetes and so I’ve read lots about carbs, sugar, and insulin. Unless you’re going to give up fruit and other carbs, I don’t quite get the point. Jam sweetened with concentrated fruit juice isn’t that different from jam sweetened with sugar. See In Defense of the Sweet Stuff. Also in my own case I’ve had enough people look at my blood sugar levels to know that I’m at no risk for type two diabetes. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Sixth, and finally, joy and cupcakes! Human celebrations that involve delicious food aren’t trivial things. They’re deep and meaningful. And they bring joy to our lives. I already miss out on social times that involve alcohol and meat. I’m not about to miss out on birthday cake and pie for Pi Day. Come join me for a cupcake!

Additional Reading:

Sugar is not evil and you don’t need to avoid it entirely (unless told otherwise by your physician) nor should you eat it in copious amounts throwing caution to the wind. As in many cases, moderation is the key.

You don’t have to quit something altogether to improve your health. Are you going to be that much healthier if you never eat sugar versus if you cut your sugar intake way down but still can enjoy sweets sometimes? I think you know the answer to this question. Not depriving yourself altogether of a single nutrient can help your diet be more balanced and enjoyable. You won’t have to feel a sense of dread anytime you want an ice cream cone or when you’re out with friends; you can eat like a normal person and not try to find the lowest-sugar item on the menu which you probably don’t feel like eating anyways. Trying to avoid sugar in all situations can be more stressful than you imagine. Not worth it.

Sugar is one of our main sources of energy when broken down in to glycogen. We hold about 350g of muscle glycogen, 90g in the liver and about 5g circulating in our blood. We replenish it when we eat. Predominantly we break sugar down from carbohydrates (not just sugars) so grains, potatoes, vegetables, pasta and rice among other sources provide our dietary intake to keep us well stocked up on energy. Sugar is just classified as a carbohydrate- we were made to use sugars as an energy source, completely ignoring it as a way of producing energy you could argue is like driving a car with three wheels- it’s possible but it’s not exactly going to be a comfy ride and is going to cause some major damage to the road as well. – See more at:

Vegan Cupcakes,


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