I have gone from GI, to LCHF, to Wise Choice and during my food journey I have tried to keep myself informed about how my body reacts to especially carbohydrates, as I myself have had a strong feeling that carbs are the driving factor of my sugar cravings (disguised as chocolate, cookies, icecream etc).
Both GI and LCHF helped me to stay away from the sweets, LCHF with even better results. Right now I am trying to implement an eating habit that is not so high in animal fat and that still offers something for everyone in our family. The solution has been something inbetween LCHF and Wise Choice. Well during the past 3 years I have become increasingly convinced that the consumed sugar in our diets cannot be sane. When you try to eat low carb you really start noticing that HIDDEN SUGAR is everywhere. It is not only in cookies, candies and icecream that you find sugar, but it is also in mustard, in 100% fruit juice, in ketchup and all other spicey premade sauces, non-natural yogurts, fruits (!), in marinades, in most cereals. As said before, going to the grocery store has become a challenge - as most of the products on the shelves do not suite my aim to maintain a blood sugar level that does not fluctuate.
So while fat has been banned almost 30 years ago, sugars have increased exponentially. Isn't it crazy that the experts say that we get fat from fat but at the same time we have never been as fat as today? Wouldn't it be more logical to look for the vilain in the sugars?
Well someone did. After watching Robert Lustig's lecture on the harm of fructose (Sugar - the bitter truth ), I cannot get his message out of my mind. He makes a clear point, I am sure some of the issues can be debatable by practicioners, but really couldn't this just the bitter truth? Something that we all should know? But it isn't being debated because both food industry and pharmaceutical companies are to loose...
I am struck by the following facts/arguments presented:
- Fructose in the way it works is pretty much equal to alcohol with the difference that it does not influence the brain. When dealt with in the liver it turns into fat, fat that is stored in the body and that in the long run can cause a thread of deseases, the most common one in Western world today...
- Breast milk formula contains high amounts of fructose, and according to Lustig it is not uncommon to find obese 6 month old babies, fed on formula!!! Some time ago I remember having read an article in the local newspaper on the effects formula could have on obesity later in life...no wonder.
- Young children, even the fetus, become easily addictive to the sweet taste (no news in itself, but combined with the rest of the lecture, this is a BOMB). Lustig presented the case of chocolate milk with high dosis of fructose in it. Parents were feeding their small children with this stuff because "how else do we make them drink milk". Absurd for a parent in Finland; Children drink milk, with every meal. Even adults drink milk with their meal.... but is it so absurd after all, I admit myself to having fallen into the pit: I have spiced spagetti with ketchup so that daughter would eat at least something. I have added honey to the natural yogurt (high dosis) to make her eat at least something for breakfast. I know I am not the only sugar junky in the family and I get a bit of bad concious thinking of those pregnant days letting my cravings have their say in my eating habits...Could my daughter have been exposed to too much sweets already in my belly? Son never posed such cravings on me...and he does not scream for sweets in the same way either...at least not yet.
I gather we have another 5-7 years of time to make our kids understand that drinking soft drinks and consuming too much of candies is not good for them. Once they hit the teens, or even the preteens, they will have the opportunity to chose what they buy for their week allowance themselves. Because, in difference to alcohol, soft drinks (and other high fructose products) do not come with an age limit. This will be a tough job and question is, can we really reverse the sugar cravings already present? Well, at least I am ready to give it a try. Now more than ever!