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!
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:
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.
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.
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:
While not common (some experts say it is not possible) it seems there are some people who are allergic to sugar, or have symptoms very like allergies to various forms of sugars. I know my mother was highly allergic to honey, which is also not all that common. Of course, many people are allergic to grains, especially gluten grains, which might appear to be an allergy to sugar, when the allergy is really the foundation the sugar may be laid upon.
As with many allergies, people often strangely crave the very thing that cause them problems. Why, no one seems to know. Here are a few studies I found relating to sugar allergies:
Those of us who have struggled with sugar don’t need a study to tell us that there is something different about sugar than other foods. Dr. Yudkin in the 1970s showed the addictive properties of sugar, and was bold enough to say that had sugar been discovered now it would be a controlled substance. Below is a link to yet another study that lifts up the problem with over use of sugar. While some people can handle sugar and not allow it to become a dependency, just like there are people who can smoke and drink without becoming dependent, there are some people who find they cannot stay away from the powerful draw of sugar. What starts as some overeating can eventually lead to binges, so there is a progressive element to sugar addiction that’s also present in alcohol abuse.
No one likes to think they are addicted to anything, but for those of us who have found ourselves constantly craving more sugar-starchy food even though we have just eaten a big meal know that there is something we have ceased to be able to control when it comes to those highly refined carbohydrates.
Once we accept we can’t have a little and go our merry way, the healing begins. For me it is strict abstaining from sugars, most starches, and artificial sweeteners. Sugar was the only thing in my life I could not control, and while it may not be how I expected to find myself as I aged, at least now there is a plethora of information to support why we struggle with this substance, and why we need to avoid it long before we find ourselves under its control.
Yours in learning and acceptance,
Nan aka Sugarbaby
Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12055324&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
The goal was to determine whether withdrawal from sugar can cause signs of opioid dependence. Because palatable food stimulates neural systems that are implicated in drug addiction, it was hypothesized that intermittent, excessive sugar intake might create dependency, as indicated by withdrawal signs.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:
Male rats were food-deprived for 12 hours daily, including 4 hours in the early dark, and then offered highly palatable 25% glucose in addition to chow for the next 12 hours. Withdrawal was induced by naloxone or food deprivation. Withdrawal signs were measured by observation, ultrasonic recordings, elevated plus maze tests, and in vivo microdialysis.
Naloxone (20 mg/kg intraperitoneally) caused somatic signs, such as teeth chattering, forepaw tremor, and head shakes. Food deprivation for 24 hours caused spontaneous withdrawal signs, such as teeth chattering. Naloxone (3 mg/kg subcutaneously) caused reduced time on the exposed arm of an elevated plus maze, where again significant teeth chattering was recorded. The plus maze anxiety effect was replicated with four control groups for comparison. Accumbens microdialysis revealed that naloxone (10 and 20 mg/kg intraperitoneally) decreased extracellular dopamine (DA), while dose-dependently increasing acetylcholine (ACh). The naloxone-induced DA/ACh imbalance was replicated with 10% sucrose and 3 mg/kg naloxone subcutaneously.
Repeated, excessive intake of sugar created a state in which an opioid antagonist caused behavioral and neurochemical signs of opioid withdrawal. The indices of anxiety and DA/ACh imbalance were qualitatively similar to withdrawal from morphine or nicotine, suggesting that the rats had become sugar-dependent.
I haven’t been blogging through the holidays, not because I have been so very busy, but that I am always one step from full blown hibernation through December until the middle of January. I don’t have SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which is associated with a low grade depression as less sun light is available. My issue is simply that I don’t want to do anything but sit in front of the fire reading, drinking many cups of tea, and sleeping a lot.
As a normally high energy person, I found this irritating during my clocking in years, since I couldn’t just go curl up whenever I wanted, but I was highly aware of my lower energy, and especially wanting to stay in bed or go to bed very early. My theory is that this is a common evolutionary response that most people connect with the cold rather than the lack of sunlight, and it may be both, but it seems logical that our ancestors would have huddle together in their caves to preserve warmth and to preserve their energy stores aka fat levels. They had worked very hard through the spring, summer, fall to put that energy on their bodies, and they knew that they would have to last out several months of very little food; obviously this would not be the case in warm regions, but true for those ancestors in the higher and lower regions of the globe.
A couple days ago I felt the lift of the lifting of the sun, and am now ready to get back to my normal activities.
I am happy to be reading that the no-sugar and low-sugar way of eating is getting more publicity with every day, which it great news. The doubters, along with those who benefit by our population being addicted to the sugars-starches-artificial sweeteners are not going to just step aside because the truth is getting some press. We still have to work at educating ourselves and those we care about if we want to have healthy lives unencumbered by the diseases of obesity.