Resolution 1

27 Dec

GIVE UP SUGAR

This one is going to be the hardest but in many ways is the most important.

I recently came across this video which is a lecture by a doctor (the medical kind) on how sugar (and more specifically fructose) is poison.  It is quite long but if you have some time I would really really suggest you watch it.

These are the points that really stick out for me:

  • Fructose does not metabolise in your body the same way that glucose does
    • glucose can be metabolised by all the organs/muscles in your body
    • fructose can only be metabolised in your liver, like alcohol.  When the liver is the only organ that can metabolise something that you eat it is considered a poison.
    • fructose is converted to bad fat (heart attack stuff) and urea (which leads to gout and hypertension)
    • fructose also block the hormones that tell you that you are full, so you eat more
  • Our bodies were not meant to eat the amount of sugar/fructose that we do
  • Basically, it is not what you eat but how your body metabolises it that is important.

This has prompted me to take control of my eating habits and kick my sugar addiction.

There are several blogs I have come across who will be my guides on this: Sarah Wilson (who has written an ebook about how she quit sugar), Scandi Food and EcoNest as well as David Gillespie (author of Sweet Poison).

Some of the benefits people have seen are really interesting and I would love to see if they work for me too.

The general advice is that in order to get it out your system it is useful to quit sugar completely for a period of time.  This varies from 3 weeks to two months and from a cold turkey approach to gradual decline.  As I am going away in the second week of February I have decided to go cold turkey! This means no fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, jams, sauces and condiments which have sugar, balsamic vinegar, low fat foods which replace fat with sugar, honey, agave, and obviously sugar and sugary snacks.  So I am giving these up for 5 weeks so that I can enjoy some fruit when I am back in South Africa.

So what will I be eating: lots of vegetables, some nuts and seeds, carbs, healthy fats and lots of veggie proteins.  See I won’t be starving.

It is going to be interesting.  It is going to be a challenge.  I will have to learn to bake in a whole new way.  But hopefully at the end of it I will be able to not eat a whole packet of biscuits just because they are there.  I think the greatest challenge is going to be my two month trip home to South Africa and Australia for two friends weddings.

If you have any great sugar-free baking recipes or any advice I would love to hear from you! I think I am going to need all the help I can get.

Original picture source (it might be the enemy but dang who doesn’t like a sugar heart)

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4 Responses to “Resolution 1”

  1. Amanda 27 December 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I am going to watch the video, but I read an article on The NY Times about the same subject, and was quite intrigued. Most of the research concluding that sugar is poison was done by feeding mice a diet that consisted almost 100 % on fructose / high fructose syrup / glucose. And it is a very well known principle in physiology and toxicology that for every substance the dose will determine whether it will act in the benefit or the organism, or on the contrary, become a poison. So if you feed mice *only* a random X substance for a relatively long period of time, the substance will most likely have toxic effects.
    And sure, our western diets include way more sugar/glucose than we actually need because it is hidden everywhere, but I do not think sugar is poison and I don’t believe in completely giving it up, but rather in going to a more balanced diet. Maybe limiting added sugar, or say, when baking, sweetening with mashed bananas instead of with actual honey / sugar, etc.
    Also, even glucose is transformed into fat when the body is faced to an excess of it. It is a metabolic pathway for glucose in the liver, after the liver can no longer store it as glucagon (the “animal” analog of starch, as a long chain of carbohydrates).
    So, all this to say, that though I believe in balance, and definitely lowering our sugar intake, I am often skeptical of finding 1 big cause of all the health problems, and calling sugar poison sounds like an exaggeration to me, but maybe they just needed a catchy title.

    Here is the article I read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage

    And if it is helpful, here is a blog of a girl on her attempts to live a life without sugar:

    http://notanothercupcakeblog.blogspot.com

    • Michelle Y 30 December 2011 at 7:36 pm #

      Thanks for the interesting comment Amanda. The article is really interesting. I totally agree with you that moderation is the best way to go, unfortunately I’m a kind of all-or-nothing girl and I feel I eat way too much bad sugar (biscuits, chocolate, etc). I am hoping that by sort of “detoxing” from all sugar for a limited period I will be able to take better control in the long term and have a healthier relationship with sugar.

      As the article says though it is difficult to say what is a “healthy” amount and I feel intuitively that it is probably far below what we (and more specifically me) currently eat.

  2. siobhan 27 December 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Woah, that’s pretty hardcore. Any recipes I know to reduce sugar all replace it with fruit or agave. Hope you find some good recipes though, look forward to hear how you get on. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas xx

  3. Rachel 1 January 2012 at 12:20 am #

    That’s legit. I’m not sure I could even do that, but I wish you luck with it. I had a friend who gave it up when she was pregnant with her son and then just never went back.

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