Thursday, May 22, 2008

Washington DC and Why Vegans Eat More Sugar Than Meat-Eaters

It is possible to travel and not consume sugar! I've eaten at the same restaurant in Washington, DC three days in a row. "Big Buns" restaurant gives you the option of having your meat or fish on a bun (NO!) or in a salad bowl (YES!). Miraculously enough, the garlic herb hot sauce had no sugar either! I've hit a couple of grocery stores for fruit and while we were in New York, I bought fruit off the street. While I have been pretty alert and active, I have witnessed those around me (you know who you are!) crash immediately after a sugar rush from: donuts, milkshakes, mochas, brownies, ice cream, etc. Last night at Old Ebbots, a classic restaurant one block from the White House, I watched three hungry people devour two gigantic desserts. I sat and chewed on ice cubes, feeling slightly left out, but also very happy that I have gotten to this point. I was truly happy for the taste sensations of others, while maintaining balanced blood sugar.

One strange result of not eating sugar but getting coffee in the morning, is that I have to order milk for my latte, and not soy. Most soy milk that coffee shops use have cane juice, sugar, etc. I don't like milk but I must have my coffee and/or latte in the morning! I am concluding that vegans and vegetarians must, by default, consume more sugar, strictly because the milk and meat alternatives mostly all have sugar! This is a serious fault in the so-called "health-food" industry. Now that I think about it, I've had to search quite hard for alternative milk products that don't have sugar, and I have had to give up on tofu hot dogs, processed vegan chicken products, and my favorite product made by Gardenburger: Vegetarian BBQ Ribs, dripping with sugar-laden barbeque sauce. That was my favorite!


kaiser said...

my wife and i have been vegan for about a month now, and vegetarians 2 months prior to that. we are not fans of processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc., and i can tell you that from our experiences at least, vegans don't get more sugar than meat eaters.

the issue isn't in meat eaters & vegans, it's in how picky people are in what they eat. my wife and i are pretty picky, the more research we do (actually, she does most of the research).

once you've been able to exclude processed sugar as a daily routine, try avoiding unnecessary corn derivatives. :)

My Year Without said...

Congratulations on going vegetarian and vegan! That can be a tough transition but highly rewarding. From personal experience, I have found that it is easy to find foods with no animal products, but hard to make sure I get all the proteins and nutrients I need, in the right amounts. It takes research and dedication!

I agree that the issue is about being picky to begin with, and not just being vegan. However, what I meant is: much of the meat and milk alternatives that are available to vegans/vegetarians are full of sugar. Yes, there are some sugar-free choices, as well, (Yves "Good Dogs", and certain unsweetened rice, soy, hemp and almond milks) but the majority of alternatives all have sugar (including cane juice, raw sugar,etc). The obvious food choice to make, then, is to avoid processed food to begin with, which of course is healthiest. But a lot of the time, our food choices are matters of convenience and it is easier to buy packaged, processed foods. Having traveled non-stop for the last month, I have learned the easiest way to eat healthy is to prepare ahead of time!