October 30, 2005

Food Cravings and Sugar

We've been on something of a diet. Web geeks sit too much, doncha know. Not an "eat less" diet, but one that has you eating quite often but losing weight on a regular basis (more about that one of these days) — and all based on your particular metabolism. Thing is, as it turns out, this method of eating was something that "sat well" with our bodies; it just felt like the right way to eat for us. Feeling better. Clearer heads. No starvation.

The diet comes in a boxed package containing a wealth of information, and is probably the first time I've seen what goes on with food, digestion, the body, metabolism and even hypoglycemia explained in a way that actually makes sense according to observation rather than just because someone told you so. Well worth the price, if for no other reason, and there are plenty of other reasons, like feeling better.)

Yes, there are certain things we haven't been eating but, as we near the point where that's just about enough weight loss, thank you, we've started to look at what kinds of things we might add back into our daily diets. And so it begins.

The first thing that entered our minds was some kind of treats of the sugary-sweet variety. Of course, we've been eating pretty much organic; why try to improve your health while consuming foods laden with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, etc.? But anyway, sugary-sweet: and so we started looking at oil-based foods and types of sugars. Clearly, the answer had to be something other than white sugar.

I should state that I'm not a doctor or nutritionist; just someone who's found some interesting data that has changed my view of these issues.

First, the definition of "glycemic index":

"The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels."

Next, SugarBusters.com states that "low-fat foods are full of" sugar:

"… The culprit isn't too much fat, it's too much sugar."
"… Sugar causes the production of insulin, which, in large amounts, keeps you from losing weight, no matter how strictly you diet or how often you exercise."

Then, from carbs-information.com:

Over-consumption of high-glycemic-index foods has been linked to food cravings and disordered eating patterns, as a result of repeated surges and falls in blood-glucose ("sugar spikes").

Get the picture? It's entirely possible that the relative "addictiveness" of certain foods could be caused by no more than added sugar, or sugar inherent in the food itself. And that the craving for certain foods could be caused by the fact that they jack up one's metabolism — temporarily — bringing on the later precipitous drop in blood sugar which then causes a "need" for more. Anyone who's experienced hypoglycemia knows how intense that can be.

I don't drink, but does alcohol jack up your blood sugar level or does it not?

I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, but hey, you know?

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