Fed Up: 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge

This week I embarked on a 10 day long sugar free mission/ challenge, inspired by the documentary: Fed Up.

Briefly, Fed Up is a documentary that brings light to our nation’s dietary guidelines and the continued dismissal of sugar’s role in the associated health risks of obesity and diabetes. This film takes a closer look at these health risks in children. Our current dietary guidelines disregard the need to decrease the daily-recommended amount of sugar and by doing so allow virtually unlimited amounts of (added) sugar in foods, which are primarily consumed by children.

Due to this neglect, sugar consumption has increased dramatically and consequently rates of obesity have also increased especially within children. This documentary further shows us that as the relationship between a high-sugar diets and poor health occurred, sugar industry interests with unlimited financial resources have been there to crush attempts by parents, schools, states, and Congress to provide a healthier diet for children.

Even if you don’t do this challenge or attempt but don’t complete all 10 days (that’s okay), I highly recommend watching this documentary.

Helpful tips (courtesy of the the challenge website) to think about when preparing for this challenge or wanting to make overall better choices:

1. Take inventory of your fridge and cabinets – check the labels on boxes, bags and cans. Familiarize yourself with other ingredients that mean “sugar” and throw out (donate) anything with added sugar.

2. Cook together – include the whole family in the cooking process. Plan your meal for the week ahead, go shopping and cook/eat together as much as possible. Sit down at the table, turn all screens off and enjoy the food together.

3. Eat a Rainbow – plan ahead and cut up fruits and vegetables of every color on Sunday for healthy snacks all week.

4. Drink water – make sure everyone has their own reusable water bottle. If you’re not a fan of “plain” water you can add flavor via lemons, strawberries or other fresh fruits.

5. Know where food comes from – visit a farmer’s market. Grow herbs on the window sill.

6. Talk about the challenge – make a commitment as a team or community to go sugar free. Discuss what you will learn and how you can support each other. Share your commitment with others.

I attempted this challenge and managed to successfully complete 3 full days without the consumption of sugar (that is any sugar added foods so fruit does not count and is okay). Although I was unable to go 10 consecutive days without sugar I am still continuing on with the challenge and doing my best not to consume sugar. This challenge has made me more of aware of  the sugar that surrounds me on a daily basis whether at home (which I can control and am improving) or outside the home (which I some control over but less than at home). Sugar is literally in EVERYTHING. It is so crazy how much sugar is around us and we don’t even notice because we have become use to it or desensitized.

I would encourage you to at least attempt this challenge, if, for anything else the chance to open your mind and awareness about what it is that you eat and where it comes from.

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