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!
Amy White MS HNC
I am a holistic nutrition counselor and believe real food is the true path to wellness. If you are interested in learning more about me and how I can help you, please see my story.
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