Last time: My Wife got sick this time its about sugar.
I have learned a lot about sugar in my dieting journey. It is Not in itself bad for you. We actually need it to live. But Too much IS a bad thing.
So how much sugar is good for you?
The World Heath Organization Recommends 12 teaspoons which is a wonderful ideal but in today’s society; apparently regardless of whether it is a first world or third world society, added sugar is in everything. And I Mean Everything!
It would seem that we as human beings are not content with what occurs naturally in our foods. We feel the need to add to it. In fact the current evidence would suggest that much of the weight problems that all societies are now confronting is that we are consuming too much sugar.
Low Carb Sugar Reduction, High Carb Fat Reduction: My Reaction
When I discovered this evidence about sugar I was most intrigued because the treatment of it with the Low Carb, Atkins diet and the High Carb diet was quite different at the time I did those diets. The the science was not the same either but the intention was the same: to reduce calories.
When I did the High Carb Diet we were told that sugar didn’t matter. The understanding back then was that it had a very hard time turning into fat. The problem was that if you ate it, the body used that first and so any other food you ate after that was not as readily used by the body but was stored in fat.
My understanding of what they were trying to say was that because you were only consuming carbs and little or no fat there was nothing for your body to store so it used the existing stores (fat) as it is needed. Hence you lose weight.
Even in this there were limits. Whilst we were told that it was Ok to drink any sweet drinks we liked that didn’t include caffeine; because they had no fat in them, I was also told to be careful of how much dried fruit I ate because it contained too much sugar.
When I did the Atkins diet I was told that artificial sweeteners are Ok but the real stuff was not.
There has been a lot more science done and the attitudes about sweet drinks and other forms of sweets have change considerably, although the battle between High carb and Low carb still rages.
We now know that whatever diet you are on the only way to lose weight is to reduce calories. Atkins does it through eating less because the high protein make you less hungry and High carb diet does it through eating more food that has: less calories, reduced fat and a whole bunch of other things that I think few people care about unless you are a vegetarian.
No matter what side you take, the important thing is that if you are going to reduce calories, reducing added sugar can only help.
That meant for me, not only reducing sweet drinks and other sweets but also I needed to avoid fruit juice as it is basically concentrated sugar.
This is in complete contradiction to the Low carb diet I did years ago were I could drink as much orange juice as I liked because it had no fat but I couldn’t eat too much dried fruit because it had too much sugar. Now I can eat as much whole fruit as I like; because you can only eat so much fruit but I don’t turn it into juice as that concentrates it and all the fiber in the juice does not compensate for the concentration.
If this seems impossible, it’s not and here is how I did it. I just make one day a week my sweet day were I can eat anything I like and the rest of the week I reduced my sugar one teaspoon at a time and other sweets a little at a time. I took me months but I now have no sugar in my tea and except for special occasions like parties I mostly avoid sweets of all kinds.
This has resulted in a slow but steady weight loss.
Something for you to think about?
Next time: Sugar and Carb Cravings