I’m reading a book right now called Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan MD & Luke Shanahan. I love this book. This is by far my favorite book about nutrition. This is a book I have to read for my class. I remember when it came in the mail, I took one look and thought ugh. I thought it would be boring and full of really hard to understand information. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The information is so interesting and well written that I can’t put it down. I told my husband this morning that I was going to be sad when I finished the book in the same way I’m sad when I finish a great novel. Really! I suggested he read it when I’m done but he just gave me that look that says “only YOU would find that book interesting”. Not true. If you have any interest in nutrition and the time to read a book, make it this book. You won’t regret it.

Wow, that was a really long introduction to my “Sugar” post. I think I’m going to have to rename this post “Deep Nutrition” and just give you the reasons why I want to do a post about sugar and then do that post another day.

I’ve been reading a lot about sugar, including the book by Nancy Appleton, Suicide by Sugar. I have learned a ton. If asked to boil down nutrition to one healthy change it would be to drop the sugar. For decades we have all been lead to believe that saturated fats are the big evil but in reality SUGAR is THE BIG EVIL. Eliminate sugar and change your life. It’s that simple. I feel like I’ve written those words before and I suspect that I’ve written the next sentence before too. It’s not really that simple because sugar is so addictive. Removing sugar from your diet is HARD but everyday that you don’t eat sugar makes the next day easier. You really can feel how your body stops needing it.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with my earlier gush about the book Deep Nutrition. Well, I just finished reading the chapters on Vegetable Oil and Sugar. Turns out sugar is evil and killing us but it’s really a one two punch. Vegetable Oil and Sugar. You really need to eliminate both from your diet. Vegetable oil is poison. Catherine Shanahan does a great job explaining the evils of both vegetable oil and sugar. I have read many articles and books that discuss vegetable oil and sugar but none have made the dangers of both as clear as the information in Deep Nutrition.

After finishing the chapters this morning I realized that I have to stop messing around. No more sugar. I really have started to slide. I eat chocolate chips by the handful. Somehow I’ve convinced myself it’s not really sugar. Not sure how I did that. The thought of stopping freaks me out which only proves that my sweet tooth is, once again, wide awake. I also have to be more selective about my fruit intake. I gravitate toward the sweet stuff, like pineapple, a sure sign I’m just substituting fruit for candy.

Last August my doctor ran all kinds of blood tests. At that time my fasting glucose was 54 – so EXCELLENT! I had been primal/paleo for about 5 months. I had completely kicked my sugar cravings and was feeling great. I recently bought a blood glucose monitor (because I’m a geek), the kind diabetics use to test their blood sugar levels. I think there is a difference between the doctors blood test and the home test but regardless, I think my fasting glucose level is high (for a non-diabetic). My readings have been consistently in the 90’s. My husband came in at 84 and my son, the junk food addict, came in with a reading of 64! Not fair!!!

Catherine Shanahan explains that “the experts” put the threshold for diagnosing diabetes at a blood glucose level of 125 mg/dl (I have read that people can be diagnosed with pre-diabetes when blood glucose levels are above 100). She thinks that is too high. She noticed that her patients usually start to put on weight when their fasting blood sugar reaches 89. She thinks a fasting blood glucose level of 89 or higher puts a person at risk for diabetes. Once a person’s fasting glucose level reaches 89 she recommends that they drop all sugar and try to keep their carbs to no more than 100 grams a day.

So, as of right now, I’m dropping all my sneaky sugar and watching my carbs. I haven’t monitored my macronutrients for months. It’s probably a good idea to check in and see how I’m doing. This is when my DailyBurn Tracker app comes in really handy. This whole idea is making me a bit nervous, to the point where I think I should run in the kitchen and finish off the chocolate chips before I start. Not good.

I do think I had things under control until last month. I was trying to finish up my last class and I had research to dissect and papers to write. I was stressed and as it turns out I crave sweets when I’m stressed. I never knew that. I also think better when I’m chewing. Those two things combined turned into hundreds of chocolate chips. Well, the damage is done. My sweet tooth is humming and the only thing to do is go off the sugar cold turkey. I’m a little weepy.

So, there you have it. No more sugar. I told you it was evil but I didn’t tell you how/why it’s evil. That’s what I’m going to do in the next post. I’ll cover vegetable oil and sugar. In the mean time, you might want to think about removing vegetable oil and sugar from your diet if you haven’t already. Remember, all processed food has vegetable oil in it, even (much to my dismay) the stuff in the pre-made food bar at whole foods.

Eat Well, Feel Good, Have Fun!


10 Responses to Deep Nutrition

  1. amy2 says:

    GREAT post, Amy. I don’t know if I’ll read the book, but I appreciate you telling me about it. Hmm, I’ve had the same issue w/choco chips. Do you think it’s the sugar or the choco? I tend to crave sweets when stressed. And I have adrenal issues and the caffeine in the choco helps perk me us (so neither are good for me). When I have the choco cravings, I monitor my magnesium intake. How do you monitor your micronutrients??? VERY interesting that you monitor your blood glucose. You are making me think it would be a very good idea to do the same, but I HATE the pricking part. One side of my family has a big problem w/diabetes (cancer on the other), so that is why I would do this. And since hitting my 40’s (a few years before actually) I’ve had weight issues – since I had to stop running and some other issues. 🙁 Now you’ve got me curious about what mine is. Any particular brand you recommend? I hear they are cheap, but the strips are quite expensive. Hmmm, do you suggest monitoring every day (maybe to start) then taper off???? THANKS for a most interesting, informative post!

  2. arlene Tuttle says:

    Amy!! I just came in..”tis fairly late and I went , as I usually do for COOKIES to munch on..Opened up your message and it is really great!! I may not cut out sugar but I will DEFINITELY cut it down..I DID NOT FINISH MY COOKIES!! What power you have. I also do not have vegetable oil in the house any more. No I do not follow the whole program..but there are MANY bits I find so interesting..Whether I read the book or not..Well..I “might”..??

  3. amy says:

    That’s so interesting Amy, I never thought about if it was the sugar or the choco in the chips that I was craving. I also was wondering about my magnesium. I haven’t monitored my micronutrients. I do have the FoodWorks software (for my class) and I could monitor my micronutrients with that. I may. As far as the blood glucose monitor, I bought the FreeStyle Freedom Lite. As far as I can tell it uses the smallest blood sample of all the monitors. I got it on Amazon. It was $10. I do need to buy strips and needles but I’m hoping my local Walgreens has those. If not I’ll get them on Amazon. They are much more expensive than the monitor. I’m not testing daily. Probably a couple of times a week. I’m curious to see if my number goes down as I remove the sugar from my diet. I think I read that the number can be 15 points different than a doctors test. Even if I subtract 15 points it’s still a lot higher than 53 🙁 I really need to drop my white wine. If my number improves without dropping the wine I’ll be really happy. I was drinking wine when the doctor tested me last August so my fingers are crossed.

  4. amy says:

    Hi Arlene! So glad you liked the post and you find some of the things I suggest “easy” changes. All the little changes add up. Thank you for reading and commenting it always makes me day to see comments.

  5. Andrea Groves says:

    I buy unsweetened baking chocolate bars. When melted in cream with a few berries on top, it doesn’t really need sugar!

    I haven’t eaten sugar or vegetable oil in months…but today I went out to eat and drenched my iceburg lettuce in what I was told was olive oil. I really hope it wasn’t vegetable oil, because I know some food services ‘blend’ their oils with cheaper ones to spread it out! I really don’t trust restaurants.

  6. amy says:

    I was out to breakfast today and the bacon tasted off. It was weird. It didn’t taste like bacon grease. Hmmmm

  7. amy2 says:

    Whoops, I mis-read “macro” as “micro”, my mistake! Ten dollars is not bad for the monitor at all. I’ll check into it; Amazon is a good idea. I really think this might be helpful, and will keep the “off” amount in mind. I hope you can drink your wine, too. I have found that since drinking kombucha, I no longer crave wine (well, mostly), and actually prefer it to wine (most of the time). I have even made my own Kombucha wine/sangria (but wonder about the sugar content).

    Andrea – GREAT idea about the unsweet. choco & mixing with cream! I am going to DO THAT!!! And yes, I have had the same thing happen with “olive oil”. I love Jason’s deli because they have good stuff, organic, and REAL olive oil (at least it seems to be and I think they are trust-worthy). It is hard to eat out. 🙁

    By the way, I remember reading/hearing (Sally Fallon?) that when you don’t get enough good fats in your diet you WILL crave sweets/carbs because your body can use those to convert them to…can’t recall; it’s the things you need that you get from the good, saturated fats (help me out here, Amy?). Learning this was a real eye-opener for me for why low-fat diets always left me so HUNGRY and CRAVING!

  8. amy says:

    Not sure what you are referring to “it’s the things you need that you get from good, saturated fats”. Ugh, I’m trying but I’m just not sure. Frustrating 🙁

    • amy2 says:

      Hmmm, maybe it makes saturated fats from them. I can’t recall now, I’ll have to re-listen to that (I think it’s from an interview she gave, it’s very informative & I go back and re-listen to it every now & again.) Can I blame the time change for my forgetfulness? 😉

      Here’s the link to the interview/transcript, btw, in case you’re interested: http://renegaderoundtable.com/fallon/replay.php?vbt=827655

  9. amy says:

    Thank you! I’m listening to the interview now. This is great.

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