These days, I do my best to avoid sugar, but it wasn't always that way. When I first became vegan, I felt so good from giving up meat and dairy that I didn't notice how sugar was affecting me. As you change the way you eat, to healthier habits, you will become more and more sensitive to how foods are affecting your body. Ultimately I believe giving up dairy and meat may be more important, and have a bigger impact on the planet, but giving up sugar definitely has its benefits. You will recognize eventually that sugar is not your friend. When I do eat sugar from time to time I usually:
A) get a headache
B) feel nauseous
C) gain weight
Sugar is high in rapidly absorbed calories that are completely devoid of vitamins or minerals. Sugar has no nutrition at all! This means sugar serves no other purpose except to convert to fat. Sugar, also like salt, can cause you to retain water. Usually right after the initial rush I feel from eating sugar, I get kind of moody and edgy. I also crave more sugar. That is how I know sugar is an addictive drug. Real, unprocessed foods nourish the body and satisfy my appetite, but sugar always leaves me craving more.
What do we mean by sugar?
White Sugar: Obviously you are familiar with sugar, but all ingredients ending in "ose" should be avoided and considered in the sugar group. Examples would be dextrose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, and fructose are all simple sugars that show up on our food labels.
High Fructose Corn Syrup - HFCS may be nastier for your body then actual sugar! Stay away from this sweetener at all costs!
Organic Evaporated Cane Juice - Yes, it is slightly better for you then sugar, but will still make you feel like crap if you eat it. It is just as addictive as sugar.
Honey - I am still on the fence about honey. It acts very similar to sugar in terms of raising your blood sugar levels. From the cruelty level, most vegans stay away from honey since it is an animal product and being mass produced in order to reach your grocery store shelves.