I live an unusual life. I'll give you that. I do not eat sugar at all anymore because I am a recovering addict to a white substance called refined sugar. And I write that in all seriousness. It almost killed me.
(Let me clarify what I mean by sugar-free. I mean foods that are whole not containing refined sugar or organic evaporated cane juice or malt or malodextrin or other processed, refined sugars. We do use slight, very slight amounts of local honey and maple syrup. I cannot emphasize enough that the portions are small, like one teaspoon if we are healthy and for me usually none. The children can tolerate one teaspoon or less per day or every other day. Then, of course, fruits and grains, milk and coconut have naturally occurring sugar in them along with nutrients and fiber. We do use extreme caution with raisins, dried fruits of all kinds, and anything else that becomes "too much" of a temptation. We have been able to fight our viral illnesses much more effectively. We still get sick. We just have shorter duration, no doctor visits, and lighter symptoms than before. Everyone is different and should evaluate their own nutrition needs with their family and holistic medical practitioner. )
I have always struggled with food allergies and I never listened to my mother that she could tell that it was sugar. I hated that she could look at my swollen face and see that I had been eating sugar, again! I had frequent sinus infections, all winter, every year. I had thyroid problems but was thin "enough" to get away with eating sugar in various forms. It is after all, in everything. Just reading labels for one shopping trip and I wanted to gag. Everything! I went to an allergist who confirmed that I do have an allergy to sugar but it doesn't stop there. Refined sugar or any kind of sugar in excess (even the "good" kinds like honey) disrupts everyone's immune system and endocrine system. It is poison. I believed it but until I got sick enough, I thought that I could play the odds and still eat what I wanted. I was wrong. Terribly wrong.
After my third baby was born, family brought over food. There was a store bought cherry pie that I had no restraint with eating. I ended up with walking pneumonia, not once but twice that summer. As I sprawled in bed with my newborn, praying that he wouldn't get as sick as I was, I realized my own insanity. I vowed that this was it, no more. My child's life was too precious for me to continue to feed my addiction. I finally asked God for help. I knew that if I asked Him, He would help me, but I would also have to take this seriously and obey Him. I am so glad I did.
That was 18 months ago that I went cold turkey and the withdraw was terrible. The cravings were amazingly strong. I educated myself on the addictive nature of sugar, how it changes the body chemistry and drains much needed minerals from all biological sources within the body. I learned how it was poisoning me and why I was so sick. Information helped me through the difficult time of finding alternatives to the poison.
I cannot emphasize enough how my sugar "allergy" saved my life and probably that of my children as well. I have charted exact lengths and types of viral infections, minor to severe since we went off sugar. Off sugar means a teaspoon per day of local raw honey is the max the children eat if they are healthy. I cannot even have that much. That means I cook from scratch, we do not go out to eat very often, and we have to communicate clearly with family and friends our special needs. I do use some organic dried stevia with no problems. The sickness has stopped. Praise God! I am healthier than I have ever been my entire life! I trained for six weeks for a marathon and got my PR even though I had not slept and had a minor cold. My time was 3:45:11. I say that, not to emphasize my greatness, but quite the opposite. I couldn't do that before. God has brought me to a place where with good nutrition, that PR was possible.
I know that it sounds crazy in our sugar-addicted culture to be sugar-free. I know that people are skeptical that it truly makes that big of a difference. I have detailed the evidence in our own family. It truly has made a life-saving difference to me.
For further reading check out Nancy Appleton's well documented book Suicide by Sugar or her website http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/