Eat More Fruit — Same Theme As My “I Am Diabetic — I Eat Fruit — You Should Too”
Tremendous detail and the same theme as my recent article.
These are my highlights from How Much Sugar Can We Eat:
- The history of how sugar became the target of sugar social justice warriors is always worth repeating. Something that I notice is that we never seem to acknowledge in fad-oriented debates about a specific chemical thing in food e.g. “sugar” that what surrounds and binds the “thing” in real food has a role in how our body uses it. Those extra binding elements are not there when the “thing” is made in a factory or extracted e.g. “sugar”. For example, eating “sugar” in a peach a carrot or a banana is not not just eating refined or extracted sugar. There’s very little research about this factor that I can find.
- Glycemic Load is certainly an improvement on GI. What’s still missing (speaking as a Type 2 diabetic since 2000) is the complexity of the food load. When I was diagnosed — besides almost fainting with fear — I started measuring my blood sugar 7 times a day. Before and after every meal and before I went to bed. I came to realise that it was not the GI factor nor the GL factor that most “moved the needle”. Neither was it the “average” complexity of what I had eaten. It was the food with the lowest GL factor within the meal. The more complex the meal the better and the more it had one component with a low GL factor the less time sugar spiked in my blood.
- Giving up added sugar, as I did when I was 20 — see the story behind that in my article — was hard. I didn’t drink tea or coffee for months until I realised that I could add lots of water and start again from there. Gradually, as the authors say, I was able to drink coffee with no sugar (and even no milk) and really taste the flavour. I was able to taste the flavour in all foods — that is something worth having in your life, coming from me who has a poor palate. Now I know how the average Japanese can taste the difference between sashimi from a pregnant fish or non-pregnant fish. (And why any establishment serving sashimi from a pregnant fish will be severely-marked down.) Oh — the answer is that their palates are tuned to real food and seasonal food, and sashimi from a pregnant fish has much less fat and hence less natural sweetness. Get started with no-sugar in your coffee, and you’ll progress from there.
How about the family, when they don’t all follow “Dad’s advice”.
People sometimes burden their decisions with all of the surrounding complications, and “what ifs”. You might be thinking about this in relation to the big change you face in giving up added sugar.
In this case, something like this:
- I now buy this “no-added-sugar” argument.
- I really believe that I should be doing something about it — to be healthier.
- I want my family to come along on the ride as well — it is a much healthier life for me and for them.
- How do I get them to change, what if they don’t like the change?
- Oh, this is very complicated. I’m not sure how I can really get it to work.
Get it to work for yourself. Don’t take on other people’s jobs.
The article points out the huge sugar load in tomato sauce, which my 10-year-old daughter pours on many things.
She knows that it is “just liquid sugar” and “limit it, no not that much” but she doesn’t take too much notice. I stopped saying those things a long time ago, she knows them off by heart. No sense saying stuff that will make her meal unpleasant.
I don’t use it. By hey, I use HP Sauce. Everything has some added sugar — protein powders have plenty.
She eats too many lollies. I don’t eat them, except if she teases me too.
I don’t drink Coke or any of those sugar-laden beverages. I ask her not too, but she does (you can guess where she sees all this stuff lined up and thrust at her when she is out with her friends and they have a “hamburger”). “Dad, I drank Zero-Coke” — “Great, good girl”.
Just last night she finished Karate and we went across the road to the pizza shop. She wanted a pizza to celebrate recent Karate medals, and she took home a small pizza.
Her mother had already eaten and I cooked my own dinner and she had the pizza. While in the shop the owner was impressed with her Karate wins and said “grab yourself a free drink” — and she grabbed a standard coke. She looked at me, I said: “enjoy”.
I make a point of avoiding added sugar, but it's not my job to make her live that way. It’s my job to set an example.
Get on and do your best to avoid added sugar, eat more fruit, and enjoy the real taste of food.
Offer helpful advice to your kids when it's appropriate.
Remove things that tempt them and that you feel strongly about. (I throw accumulated sweets and cookies out when I decide that they have become too much the go-to-choice for my daughter. That way she has to ask her mom to buy them again and that places the responsibility back on her.)
Then just eat the way you want them to eat. Leave them alone.
I’m Walter Adamson. I write about life, health, exercise, life and cognitive fitness to help men and women over 50 live longer better. Get my free, weekly newsletter → here. (Relevant to this article — I have a Professional Diploma in Sports Nutrition and a degree in Mathematical Statistics).