Gary Taubes has been on the radio concerning his book about sugar. I haven’t read it but from experience, I can say a few things.
Sugars are carbohydrates (carbs) but carbohydrates are not necessarily sugars.
Vegetables and fruit have sugars. The sugars are combined with fibre and lots of nutrients. Whole grains have fibre, nutrients — and more complex carbs that digestion reduces to simpler sugars.
We need some carbs. Children apparently need more carbs than adults. Even more, we need the fibre and nutrients in fruits, vegetables and grains.
Cooking some vegetables and grains may improve their nutrient content or digestibility.
However, grains, vegetables and fruits that are reduced from their original condition through multiple industrial processes, to promote the sweetness, saltiness, flavour and storage life, are probably not normal in nutritional profile.
When we eat a diet of foods that have an abnormal nutrient profile, then we tend to develop abnormal profiles ourselves and abnormal intestinal bacteria. How can that be a good thing??
Craving for sugar is often driven by the intestinal bacteria that feed on it. Dr. Abram Hoffer’s opinion was that 3 days off sugar (the usual forms of sugar another sweeteners as well as fruits, processed foods, processed grains, etc.) would cause the craving to go away. The three days may not be pleasant because the bacteria that feed on sugar may die off and their dead bodies take awhile to be broken down and excreted. If the process is too painful, then the sugar reduction may have to be done in stages e.g. a day off, then next week, two days off sugar, then the next week three days off sugar.
When the craving for sugar is gone or reduced, then your head has to take over your food choices.
I was a working woman with children. I had about five weekday dinners that would take 30 minutes or less to prepare. The programmed oven, the crockpot and the wok were my friends. Leftovers were my friends for the next day’s breakfasts or lunches. Nothing was perfect, of course. Cookies and other treats happened but we had nutritious dinners. One green vegetable, one yellow vegetable, and protein were always features. A little butter or other oil was always there too.
If you cannot spare 30 minutes to feed your body well, then there is something to be addressed with your planning or priorities.
Or maybe your nutrient profile is so poor that you don’t have the energy to do anything but stare at your electronic screens. The ‘old person’ syndrome of tea and toast leading to not even enough energy to make tea and toast is more of a generalized problem now. Change tea for soft drink or coffee and toast for chips or pastry and you have the younger person’s version. There are lots of other versions like wine and crackers, beer and wings, energy drink and candy-bar-like energy bars.
The good news is that so many people are now aware. They are shopping the outer rim of the supermarket where the fruit, vegetables, proteins are located. (Not forgetting the good oils like olive oil and, yes, a little butter.)
Someone asked me about things to eat when there is no time to stop. Water (from home) with nuts and fruit (no sugar added) will provide lots of nutrients, some carbs, some fibre, and some good oils. You can even rotate the nuts and the fruits or veggies. Just needs planning by having a supply of each ready at home.
Phew! I didn’t think I had much to say but I reminded myself of so many discussions and experiences over the years. Thank you to the Founding members for 20 years (200 meetings) where we shared reading and experiences. Now the discussion has gone on-line to the Health Pursuits chat group.