Advice on why your blood sugar may be high

Of the three harmful foods — salt, fat and sugar — sugar has been the hardest for me to kick because, let’s face it, I love chocolate and chocolate cakes of all kinds. I jsut spent two weekends in my old home, New York City, where sugar embraced me everywhere I turned. Back in Illinois now, I have to get serious again about cutting the sugar.

My wonderful chocolate dessert at the Orrington.
A wonderful chocolate dessert I had in 2015. Cake is extremely difficult for me to give up.

So this piece is very helpful, 5 Sneaky Reasons Your Blood Sugar Is High. It turns out your sugar levels can be impactd by more than jsut what you eat.

Stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, even hormones can impact your sugar levels, the piece outlines. Medications you take also can contribute to higher sugar levels.

The article on Eatingwell.com concludes:

“Getting to know your body and why you may experience an unexpected blood sugar high will help you to be better prepared should it happen. It’s important to stay connected to your care team and seek out the help of your primary care provider when you experience unwanted or potentially dangerous symptoms.”

Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal Remains MIA — Here Are Some Alternatives

Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal has been missing from TJ outlets in the Chicago area for two weeks now and I’m becoming more and more convinced it is being discontinued. Store managers have consistently told me it would be in the next day only to not have any that day. This is a food disaster for me since that cereal has been my breakfast go-to for the decade since my first stent went it. I’ve written about how it is relatively low in salt and sugar compared with other breakfast cereals.

Nutrition information for three alternatives to Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal, which is gone from TJ stores in my area north of Chicago.

But facing the harsh reality that it may join a long list of low-salt Trader Joe’s products that have been dropped in recent years, I decided to see what alternatives are available on supermarket shelves.

I bought boxes of General Mills Fiber One, Kellogg’s All Bran Original and Kellogg’s All Bran Buds. A friendly woman in the store suggested the Buds to me, saying they are her husband’s favorite. Maybe he enjoys the added salt and added sugars. Buds has 300 mgs of salt and 12 mgs of sugar, highest among the three. Eating a cup of them left me extremely gasey as well, not a pleasant feeling to go through the day with.

Fiber One looks a bit like TJ’s except the strings are darker and a but thicker. It has very little taste but at least the nutrition numbers are;t bad, 140 mgs of salt and no sugar. The original All bRan has the least salt per serving, although the numbers are skewed a but because it and Fiber One considers a serving as two-thirds of a cup while the infamous Buds calls half-a-cup a serving.

All of these cost more than TJs, by the way. I paid $6.99 for Fiber One, $4.99 for All Bran on sale and $4.99 for Buds on sale (each was $1.80 off their regular prices). I’m going to keep an eye out for General Mills coupons for Fiber One.

I’ll be visiting the New York City area shortly, I’m planning to check there to see if TJ has in fact stopped selling the one item that would regularly draw me to its stores.


Healthier Baked Goods? Possible, if you can do the math

Some holiday cupcakes I made last Christmas. One of my few times baking.

Baked goods like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, eclairs, the list goes on, are the hardest thing for me to give up as I try to stay on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet. Truth is that, especially during the pandemic, I turned to cakes for solace. So I was intrigued by this piece offering a healthier way to bake.

The Cooking Light piece talks about how an award-winning chef reduced the sugar content of various cookies. There’s math and weighing your ingredients involved, but if done correctly you can cut half to 75% of the sugar a recipe calls for.

I find baking a little too much like chemistry, so I normally buy my baked goods already baked. But perhaps I can talk my wife into trying this and report back here. Stay tuned.

Trying to kick sugar — here’s one no-sugar diet plan

I’ve written many times that of salt, fat and sugar, sugar is by far the hardest for me to give up. I tried a no-sugar challenge in 2020 but the pandemic and its concurrent stress wiped out that plan. So I’m always interested when I see pieces like EatingWell.com’s No-Sugar Diet Plan.

MY half slice of Junior's chocolate mousse cheesecake, Mmmmmmm.
My love of such things as cheesecake make it difficult for me to kick sugar.

The plan includes a week of do-it-yourself meals and is based on consuming 1,200 calories a day, so obviously for women rather than men who should consume around 2,000 calories daily.

Some of the items mentioned, like peanut butter energy balls, I would never eat because of my aversion to nuts. But some of the dinner main dishes, like Mediterranean ravioli with artichokes & olives, sound worth trying.

I’d suggest giving the menu plan a look and picking and choosing what you like.

A reminder about sugar — it’s hiding everywhere in your food


It’s fairly easy to look at a food label and see how much salt is in a product but sugar is another matter. I’ve written before about hidden sugar and so this older piece from Cooking Light that popped up in an email recently caught my eye, 5 Ways Sugar Is Hiding in Your Food.

Cute maple syrup, who doesn’t like it? Well, surprise, it’s sugar!

Most people, I think, know about high fructose corn syrup being sugar. It’s gotten so much bad press in recent years, the word is out about HFCS.

But how about evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, honey, molasses and even maple syrup? They’re all sugars and all covered in the piece, give it a read. And be alert, read every food label.

Thumbs down on chocolate frosting mix with alluose

I came across a relatievly new non-sugar sweetener last year, allulose, and sent away for several products that use it to test it out. The latest I tried — a chocolate frosting mix with alluose. My verdict — thumbs down.

I pretty much had the same reaction to a brownie mix with allulose. Sadly, this does not seem the product that will ween me off of sugar. Of the big three devil products — salt, fat and sugar — sugar has been by far the most difficult for me to cut out of my life. Without it, I am chronically depressed.

I’m starting this year needing to lose weight again to counter rising blood pressure that medeications are not fixing. So I’m dropping sugar again, suffering through the pain that comes with that. Wish me luck.

If you crave chocolate frosting, this is not the product for you. It tasted a bit grainy and not like regular chocolate at all. I disliked it so much I scrapped it off three cupcakes I’d topped with it and erefrosted those with regular chocolate frosting.

Brownies with allulose — not exactly like regular brownies

Food processors are constantly looking for a sweetener that will make people think they’re eating sugar while not getting all the harmful side effects of consuming sugar. I wrote recently about one such sweetener, allulose, which some say is better for us than sugar.

I purchased a brownie mix with allulose from Lang’s Chocolates to see how this sweetener works in a baked product and how it tastes. The results were disappointing.

The brownie mix seemed very sticky while I was mixing it and the final baked brownie seemed the same. The end product did not taste all that chocolatey and it had an after-taste which I assume comes from the allulose. In short, it did not taste like a brownie made with sugar.

Continue reading “Brownies with allulose — not exactly like regular brownies”

Have you heard about allulose? I’m going to try it

Sugar is one of the big three ingredients we try to avoid but it is the hardest to walk away from. Who doesn’t love sugary things? So the quest goes on for a sugar-substitute that doesn’t carry the harmful side-effects of sugar. I recently read about one such alternative, allulose.

My test products with allulose instead of sugar.

Allulose is made from natural sources. It “is found naturally in very small amounts in foods like wheat, figs, corn, and raisins. It looks like sugar and tastes like sugar — really — but it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike and it contains just .4 calories per gram. That’s about 90 percent less than sugar, a stat that has contributed to its buzz.

“You’ll find it, like sugar, in most grocery stores, health food stores, and online. It doesn’t come cheap, though: A 12-ounce bag will cost around $10 dollars,” reports Cleanplates.com.

Supposedly, it has no adverse side effects. What I’m most interested in is if it causes gas and bloating like some of the substitutes used now in sugar-free products.

Continue reading “Have you heard about allulose? I’m going to try it”

The No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal celebrates a milestone — 800 posts!

What you’re reading now is the 801st post in the history of the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal. When we started in late 2012, we never imagined we’d still be going all these years later.

Our initial goal was to help people who, because of heart disease or other ailments, had to radically change their diets to cut salt, fat and sugar. Those three things are in almost everything Americans routinely eat, so eliminating them is a herculean task.

But we have persisted and you have responded, making our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page the most popular thing on our site. Do a search for such recipes and we will be at the top of your search page just under the paid placements.

Happy 800 posts to us!!!!

When the Pandemic hit, we pivoted to posting recipes that would work for families stuck at home together. We also starting labeling posts with topics such as Pandemic Shopping, to let you know about which no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar items were disappearing from local stores shelves and how to find them in alternate outlets.

We’re on track for a record year for views, thank you, and keep coming back! And tell your friends.

Eating less salt, fat and sugar can benefit anyone, not just those with health conditions already. Hopefully eating healthier can help you not get some of the health conditions that originally prompted the launch of this blog.

Stay safe, stay masked, get vaccinated and stay no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar.

The ‘Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets’ — handy for those cutting sugar

Jayne J. Jones went through a harrowing health crisis before being diagnosed with diabetes. It prompted her to change how she eats and to create the Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets and to dub herself the No Sugar Baker.

If you can’t eat sugar but crave baked goods of all sorts, this book will interest you. The baking section is extensive. Actually, you could say two sections are devoted to baking — one for brunch baking and another just to baked goods.

As someone who doesn’t bake, I was most interested in the sections entitles Salads, Sides & Soups and Family Dinner Time Treats.

Those sections are a reminder of how difficult it is to cut, salt, fat and sugar from recipes you love and still have something you love. The recipes in those sections cut the sugar, but include butter, bacon, pork rinds and other ingredients that are high in salt and fat (specifically bad fat).

So if you need to cut sugar, this could be a cooking guide for you (I’m actually sending my copy to a friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and is scrambling to change how he eats). If you want to cut sugar, fat and salt, check my recipe page as a start, and also look at some of the other recipe sites I have here.

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