The Sugar-pushers Don’t Give Up!

Daily I see head lines, blog lines, suggesting low sugar, low carb, paleo ways of eating neglect carbs, that we need carbs. These are typical strawman arguments, for all these diets are about staying clear of processed faux-foods that are filled with cheap sugars like HFCS, and sticking to the healthiest carbs, those from nature: berries, vegetables, nuts.

The latest evidence of worry in the agri-biz world is that Coca-Cola is now buying scientists to try and tell us to just exercise more, and keep on drinking their totally empty calories. No reputable exercise physiologist agrees; while exercise is important for health, it does make you hungry. Further, no one need ever consume such junk!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift-blame-for-obesity-away-from-bad-diets/

The sugar-pushers don’t give up, and neither will we!

Yours in health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Yuk! Everything is too sweet.

I’ve been off sugar and most starches, as well as any artificial sweeteners but a little stevia and erythritol, for years now, and it is true that with time you will lose most of your desire for sweets, especially for sugaraholics. I always had a sweet tooth, but the longer I’m away from sweets, the less I want them. The real surprise, though, is how much I dislike most of the sweet things I used like.

Today, on an impulse while grocery shopping at my favorite Wegman’s, I got a bottle of diet iced tea, a brand I used to often get, but I threw away most of it for it was so overpoweringly sweet tasting. I said “Yuk!” right out loud.  Another thing I used to love was Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but the last few times I had a taste, it was really unplalatable.

Same goes for bread. For years I made most of the bread we ate, I loved bread, but really don’t miss it anymore.  So, given time, many things that used to be triggers become much less desirable. But the catch is, if you start to eat those foods again with any regularity, the old habit pathways will open right back up. At this point I can’t imagine doing that with sweets since most of those sweet foods don’t taste good anymore, but I wouldn’t risk it with good whole grained breads.

So that’s the good news: be patient, and sugar becomes much less potent in your thoughts, and diet.

Yours in patience,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Great New Sugar Science Site

This is a wonderful site to check in with, and get notices from: http://www.sugarscience.org

This site is staffed by several doctors of one type or another, all interested in working to help get us off the dangerous drug that is Sugar.

Spring at Last: Brings New Focus

We in the northeastern USA have gotten through a strange winter all predicted by climate change science a few years ago. But now, the snow is gone, and it is springtime. Like most creatures in springtime, I have the normal animal urges to get out, plant, be productive, and feel connected with the great cycle of the seasons. My beloved and I were both down with some version of cold-bronchitis-flu for most of a month, and that only increased my usual winter ennui. So just now feeling focused, wanting to do more, like reconnecting via this blog. I have been storing up a few possible posts to share, and hope to be more regular for a while.

Blogs are a bit like diets; there is an initial excitement and intensity, then you slowly move to a kind of burnout phase when your interest wanes. But what does not wane is my absolute belief that our people are being made ill, and dying of diseases, caused by sugars, starches, and most artificial sweeteners. Death by diet. Our big-agri business has co-opted the government and medical establishment into supporting a way of eating that is not only unhealthy and fattening, but ultimately dangerous. A look at the western diet prior to the 1950s and now is evidence enough; a look at the change in obesity and diabetes rates during that time is appalling. Take a look at the stats found at these sites, more than enough to be disturbing:

http://www.diabetesandenvironment.org/home/incidence

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9043-1/index1.html

Click to access stat904z.pdf

http://authoritynutrition.com/11-graphs-that-show-what-is-wrong-with-modern-diet/

http://mpkb.org/_detail/home/pathogenesis/mortality.gif?id=home%3Apathogenesis%3Aepidemiology

I am not a person who buys into conspiracy theories (they take a level of cooperation almost impossible for any group of people), and I don’t believe what happened in our western food realm was an conspiracy, except the ultimate one ruled by money. The same issues were at play in the cigarette industry for decades; not until there was no denying the obvious fact that smoking was killing people in droves did anything finally get done to show the public that tobacco kills.

Here is a good interview with a soda representative that shows it is hard for an abuser to defend his/her abuse: https://youtu.be/g4nTuSKEJug

I have a couple new recipes to add to my recipe blog, so take a look there.

Yours in the burgeoning of spring,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Sugar in Salt! Rant of Rants

We know sugar hides in many places under a surprisingly long list of aka’s. I thought I was pretty savvy to the hidden or simply unrecognized sources of sugars like dried fruits, but I was blown off my knowledge perch when I rushed into my local market, picked up a couple boxes of salt in order to make some fermented cabbage/sauerkraut. When I got down to the job, I picked up the familiar round blue box I’ve known all my life as salt, and read the label. My jaw hit my chest, there was dextrose, the most well known of sugar’s alternate names! When did they start putting sugar in salt? The claim is that it help keep things like salt free-flowing, but it is not necessary, and was not in salt until fairly recently. I usually buy sea salt, that has lots of additional minerals, though still basically just salt, which is how I suppose this sugary salt got by me, but still, sugar in salt!? Totally unnecessary.

For those of us who are very sensitive to all sugars, regardless of type, the tiny milligrams and grams add up quickly. So yet again we are reminded to read labels, all labels. I returned that sugar salt the same day, and while reading several labels was to learn that many of these salt packages contain dextrose. You have to read all food labels–EVERYTHING. Now I’m wondering how many other seemingly harmless cooking items, say baking powder, have added sugar. Time to clean the pantry and learn the ugly truth.

Yours in aggravation,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Willpower: Maybe, Maybe not

I grew up with the notion that you only had to have enough will to accomplish almost anything. Willpower, though, while good on many levels, on others it may not be quite all it’s cracked up to be. Will or willpower can help us achieve many things, but there are definitely limits to how far willpower can take us, especially if the root of a particular problem is adequate or correct information; or deeper in the brain than the part that deals with willpower.

When it comes to sugar, starch, and artificial sweeteners that act on our limbic brain, we no longer are dealing with the frontal lobes where everyday thinking occurs. We have to get at the root of our sugaraholic behaviors by eliminating the offending substances, which can take some willpower, but to try to have these substances and hope to exert control via willpower over their actions in our brains is nothing short of foolhardy.

Willpower is good, it pushes me to walk that extra mile, or push that heavier weight, or sit through a boring lecture, but there are limits to what the will can do when it comes to many of our health issues.

Below are some interesting articles that look at the subject from different angles, and I recommend Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, which deals with willpower as well.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-willpower/201212/was-the-year-in-willpower

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/opinion/sunday/willpower-its-in-your-head.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/books/review/willpower-by-roy-f-baumeister-and-john-tierney-book-review.html?pagewanted=all

Exercise is Good, But not for Weight Loss

The old myth that you can exercise your way out of excess fat has finally bit the dust since you would have to run like a demon all day to burn off a cheeseburger. For example, all things being equal, if you are lean, a runner or any do any serious form of exercise regularly–especially if you are female–and continue the same eating habits, most people will begin to gain weight with age doing nothing different but getting older. That said, we still need exercise for strong bones, a sharp brain, and over all better physical health. So get out and walk, do some weights 1-2 times a week, do any exercise you like, and you most likely will want to be more thoughtful about the food you eat– and you might get a little help on the weight front, after all.

Yours on the move,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

More to read on the topic:

Exercise Benefits and Weight Loss

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1914974,00.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/AN01619

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/dieting-vs-exercise-for-weight-loss/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/is-30-minutes-of-daily-exercise-a-sweet-spot-for-weight-loss/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/the-appetite-workout/

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/exandwtloss.html

More Information that Sugar is Addictive & Damaging

Research into the foods we regularly consume has been improving the last few years, and as noted researchers like pediatric specialist Dr. Robert Lustig have been beating the drum that we are causing our children great damage with all the sugars we are giving them, that core of proof is growing and lends support to the assertions many of have been making that sugar is simply bad for human consumption.

If you are interested in learning more, you might find these of interest:

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/10/15/Oreos-just-as-addictive-as-cocaine-in-rats/UPI-76821381873121/?spt=rln&or=1

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2006/12/which-drink-causes-gout.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedDb=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12055324&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Low Carb-Paleo-Primal Bump

I have written on this topic before, but with some amendments, I offer it again, since there are still many people trying to learn about this new low carb/paleo/primal way of eating.

No doubt some people may not be aware of or into the whole low carb/paleo/primal way of eating, meaning eating foods more like our prehistoric ancestors, eating foods we evolved to eat; simple clean diets with grass fed meats if possible, some roots and berries equivalents, and very few if any modern processed foods.

 Also, some people may not be aware that the old demonizing of fat is passe’ and that recent studies show that low-fat diets have run parallel to the increased fattening in the population–not surprisingly all low-fat processed foods have increased or added sugars and starches. Science reporter Gary Taubes does the best job of showing why low fat dieting is unnatural and unhealthy for humans.

There are now studies coming out with increasing frequency showing that lowering carbs to healthy  ones only, those non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits, does the best to improve all the significant numbers like blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.  Protein should be moderate, with adequate fats added to provide satiety.

High or higher fat is satisfying, and in fact winds up being less fattening than the average western diet which is heavy on fast-foods or prepared/frozen foods, foods which use poor quality fats to make matters worse. Our bodies were meant to use fat for all of the major functions, and used in place of sugar-starches-artificial sweeteners, high-fat low carb winds up being a much healthier way to eat.

Don’t be afraid of any fats except major vegetable oils like corn, soybean, cottonseed, and use olive and safflower oils, along with nut or seed oils from walnut, macadamia, grapeseed for salad or cold uses , along with butter, lard, and meat fats for cooking. Foods taste much better, and your hair, skin, nails, teeth really show the difference.

I avoid over-using cheese, but do enjoy brie, cheddar, and mostly goat cheese, several times a week.

Fats of course can be overused if there is still much carbohydrate present in the diet, so be aware of that for the combination of carbohydrates and fats is fattening.

Lastly this type of diet encourages preparing our own meals at home, which is less expensive, rarely more time consuming, and by far healthier. I check my blood sugar every morning while still in the fasted state, and also weigh myself then; if I have eaten out  the night before (and I always eat low carb) I will still see a big bump in both blood sugar and weight from all the salt and hidden carbs which frequently can be in the salt and other seasonings. Eating out also presents temptations we usually avoid at home.

We have half a century of bad information to overcome if we as a nation expect to curtail the rising obesity problem, and reclaiming our health.

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

On Sugar Addiction from Dr. Frank Lippman

I hope you enjoy this post which you can see in full at:

http://www.goop.com/journal/do/103/overcoming-sugar-addiction 

What we should know about sugar
from Dr. Frank Lipman

As a serious sugar addict still struggling with my “addiction” I know first hand how difficult it is to get off sugar, and to stay off it. Part of the reason it’s so hard to kick the habit is that over time our brains actually become addicted to the natural opioids that are triggered by sugar consumption. Much like the classic drugs of abuse such as cocaine, alcohol and nicotine, a diet loaded with sugar can generate excessive reward signals in the brain which can override one’s self-control and lead to addiction.

One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats (who metabolize sugar much like we do) were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose (sugar), the same preference was observed—the rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.

The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction to include three stages: bingeing, withdrawal and craving. Until recently, the rats had only met two of the elements of addiction, bingeing and withdrawal. But recent experiments by Princeton University scientist, Professor Bart Hoebel, and his team showed craving and relapse as well. By showing that excess sugar led not only to bingeing and withdrawal, but to cravings for sweets as well, the final critical component of addiction fell into place and completed the picture of sugar as a highly addictive substance.

In stark contrast to this clinical assessment is the fact that, for most of us, “something sweet” is a symbol of love and nurturance. As infants, our first food is lactose, or milk sugar. Later on, well-intended parents (me included) reward children with sugary snacks, giving them a “treat,” turning a biochemically harmful substance into a comfort food. We become conditioned to need something sweet to feel complete or satisfied, and continue to self-medicate with sugar as adults, using it to temporarily boost our mood or energy. But as any addict knows, one quick fix soon leaves you looking for another—each hit of momentary satisfaction comes with a long-term price.

The bottom line is that sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs. And, like other drugs, it can destroy your health and lead to all sorts of ailments including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, and premature aging. Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug, with deadly consequences—and like with any drug addiction, you have to have a flexible but structured plan to beat it.

Frank Lipman MD, is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC and the author of REVIVE; Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again (2009) (previously called SPENT) and TOTAL RENEWAL; 7 key steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health (2003). He is the creator of Eleven Eleven Wellness, Guided Health Solutions, leading edge integrative health programs to help you feel better than ever.