Monday, February 15, 2010

Sugar is sugar is sugar. Really?

3 weeks gone and no blog posts. I have been lame. But, and this is lame also, I wrote on someone's facebook trying to be funny and somewhat of a smart aleck and when someone whom I don't even know fired back at me, I had to take some time off to think about what it is I really believe. So here goes...
A friend of mine was writing on her facebook how she is becoming a flexitarian. I have never heard that term before and wondered what she was talking about. From her facebook entries, I understood it to be like someone who is gradually changing her normal eating habits, to adding a lot more vegetables into the diet. It was not clear to me if the person goes full vegetarian eventually or just consumes more vegetables and less meat. Anyways, after reading that I thought it would be funny to add a comment. I said something like... You should try Anti-sugatarianism. (If you read my blog, you'll remember this is a made up term for the pretend movement I am starting. My position is as one who enjoys meat and all food groups, sugar is the only one our body doesn't need to survive or thrive.) Not even more than 30 seconds later, someone who I don't know, and at 7:30 am in the morning, replied back with a thread for an article titled, "Diabetes-The myths about sugar". I was surprised at how fast this was brought to my attention. I read through the article and actually agreed with everything in it and even replied to this person who I don't know, that it was correct. BUT, it has continued to bother me for 3 weeks now, so read on if you're interested in knowing why. For me it will just be cathartic to get it out of my system. This is the article if anyone is interested in reading it. I've tried to pin point it down to the two paragraphs that bother me the most. It is this:
"All sugars are essentially the same and none offers significant nutritional advantages over another. Therefore, there is no difference between honey or brown sugar and table sugar. The sugar in fruit is no better than the sugar in a a candy bar. Fruit actually contains a combination of fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Fructose is very low on the gylcemic index and has a slower entry rate in the bloodstream than glucose. Also when you eat fruit, the fiber slows down absorption into the bloodstream. The health bonus that comes from eating fruit lies in their vitamin, mineral, and fiber content, not in the type of sugar they contain.

The body needs sugar. Glucose, the main sugar in the blood and a basic fuel for the body, is essential to the functioning of all cells, particularly brain cells. But you don't need to eat any sugar to supply your body with glucose. All you need is complex carbohydrates, also known as starches, which are found in foods derived from plants- grains, vegetables, and fruits. Starchy foods such as breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, corn or any food made with grain or flour, do not usually taste 'sweet', but they are changed into sugar through the process of digestion."

So I guess what is bothering me is that not everyone thinks the same way I do and I assume that we're all on the same page when we're not. Let me explain.
This article says "The body needs sugar". I say it doesn't. The article counts all kinds of fruits and vegetables and grains as sugar. I don't. An apple is a fruit. A carrot is a vegetable. And a potato, white rice, and corn are grains, milk is dairy. All the food groups are represented. The body gets what it needs. No dessert (or what I call sugar) needed. Maybe I'm just old school and just don't want to change the way I talk or think even though we are saying the same thing.

The other thing that bothered me is the part about high glycemic and low glycemic. What the article said about low glycemic is true, but we need to stress and understand the differences. I understand and agree with the point that some foods that don't appear to be treats, will turn into sugar in our body after we eat them just like we are eating a candy bar. I get that.
My whole point is that sugars are different. There is a difference between low glycemic sugars and high glycemic sugars. Anything with white or brown sugar, or corn syrup is HIGH glycemic and that is the sugar that gives a really bad reaction in my body. i.e. headaches, sweating, tired, sluggish, cloudy thinking etc. It also never satisfies. Which is why I want to keep eating, and eating until the whole package is gone. This is usually empty calories and does nothing for the body. This is what I am talking about when I say I am going without sugar for a year. It's the reaction that takes place in my mind and body. I do eat other things that have sweeteners in them such as honey, molasses, brown rice syrup, fruit, vegetables, whole grains etc. These are low glycemic. These can be tasty, and don't give the same reaction that the other sugars do. Also, it satisfies. I can eat one cliff bar, or one TLC Kashi granola bar and be done. I don't feel the need to eat another one, and then another one and so on until the box is empty. It's the same thing with fruit. How many people eat one apple and then another until all the apples in your house are gone? That is ridiculous. No one does that. The reaction is different even though "technically" it is sugar. Also, I still have a desire to eat fruit and vegetables and all the healthy things I am supposed to when I eat low glycemic sugar. When I eat the high glycemic sugar, I have no desire to eat anything healthy. The balanced meal thing goes out the window, and from then it's just eat whatever feels good. When you are strung out on high glycemic sugar you don't want fruit, vegetables, and healthy well balanced meals. You just want more of what you have been eating, treats! So my whole point is... I agree with the article about "fructose is very low on the glycemic index and has a slower entry rate in the bloodstream", I just feel the need to stress or add/clarify there is a difference between low glycemic sugars and high glycemic sugars. I wish the article would have discriminated between the two because to me there is an absolute difference in the way I feel and what follows after I have eaten whichever one.
Now I am considering changing my movement name. Since I know that Anti-sugatarianism has to explain itself every time and requires lengthy discussions usually to conclude that we are both talking about the same thing just different terms, I need a title that expresses my feelings of an anti- high glycemic sugatarian.
Anti- Treatarian?
Anti-High glycemic sugatarian meaning no white/ brown sugar or high fructose corn syrup?

Ahhh! See why this is so difficult and why I have been peeved for the last 3 weeks? Everything has to be so technical now. We can't just say sugar and people know we're talking about cookies, cupcakes, pies, candy, pop, and all forms of dessert. Some will be confused and think we're talking about potatoes, and carrots and I have to start this thing all over again.

Ok official name: Anti-HG Sugatarian or Anti-HG Sugatarianism. I'll shorten high glycemic to HG that way I'll just have to describe the initials and anyone who cares enough to have a discussion about it or fire off some article at me should already know what I am talking about.

Whew! I feel so better now. Now for the last 3 weeks:
My weight has stayed the same after 3 weeks of not writing. The first of the 3 weeks it went up 1.8, then the next week up .3, then the 3rd week it was down 1.8 which puts me almost to the lowest I've been. Total lost from October 26th: 14.5 lbs
I started running this last week any where from 30-60 minutes a day. I haven't really seen any results from it this week, but I know that consistency will make the difference. And really, what else am I going to do until October 26th 2010 any ways? So I'll just wait it out.
Side note:
This week my son and husband were watching the opening ceremony to the Olympics. They were complaining because of no treats or candy in the house. They wanted me to get out of my pj's, go to the store, and get them some ice cream. Ha! That was not going to happen. So in my sarcastic way, I told them we had plenty of potatoes, and white rice or apples they could go get, and I thought we had a couple of hot dog buns they could eat. To their groans, I added "Why not? It's all the same! Sugar is sugar."
Like I said earlier. It's not.

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