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Sugar rant

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Been a while since my last post. A LOOONG while. I've missed SP, and I'm glad to be back.
My sugar rant; so I managed to lose just 5lbs since January - actually closer to 9, but I gained back about half of that :-(. That's not bugging me as much as it might have (mostly because I've learned a lot through trial and error). What's got my goat right now is how much my white sugar/white flour addiction has helped to hold me back. Flour we'll tackle later. Today sugar's in the hot seat.

Who knew? That sugar was such a bad boy. Since my sleeve surgery almost 20 months ago, I haven't been able to each much of anything, so portion control isn't a big problem. But I've learned that while a smaller stomach may guarantee smaller portions, it doesn't guarantee that you'll fill it with the right things.

I didn't realize just how bad sugar is, and that many of what is out there on the market as sugar substitutes are even worse - I'm talking about YOU Splenda. And Nutrasweet. OK, before I get bashed - I believe that when one is severely morbidly obese, and has so many weight challenges, it makes sense to tackle them slowly, one at a time. And for those times, and people with such situations (I used to be one), sugar substitutes IN LIMITED AMOUNTS can help cut the sugar craving. And because they are not sugars, they also help you avoid the problems with insulin and diabetes and all that fun stuff white sugar delivers to us.

Bottom line though, none of these are good substitutes for sugar. They're not evenfood, in as much as they doesn't provide any nutrition for the body. Mostly, (Splenda anyway) they just pass through the gut virtually unabsobed (hence the low to zero calories). That doesn't mean they don't do any damage.

Allow my Biochemistry degree to flex its muscles: yes, Splenda is made from sucrose. But in splenda, 3 of the oxygen molecules are replaced with chlorine. That's right, the same stuff in your swimming pool. That makes Splenda more like a pesticide than a sugar (please google this stuff - I'm not that much of an expert!)

What is a good substitute for white sugar? Well, non-white (i.e. 'raw' or little processed) brown sugar. Or honey. Or Stevia (which isn't a sugar at all, but is all natural, and doesn't have the side effects.

I'm not really ranting against sugar. I'm just mad at myself, because I should know better. I guess I did know better but wanted not to know, if that makes sense. Not just because I'm a biochemist, but also because I've seen the effects of these non-food sugar alternatives - in my own body. I've experienced all kinds of intestinal disruptions, general weakness, migraines etc which I attribute to the consumption of copious amounts of these non foods. Worse, i've foisted them on my friends - and in some cases their unsuspecting children (splenda-ed chocolate cake, anyone?). So mostly what I feel is guilt. But I'm done bashing myself over it.

So yes, I plan to make good, natural, unprocessed sugar and honey part of my diet - in moderation. For those days when moderation is a struggle, I may help myself out with some Splenda - but I'll do it knowing exactly what I'm putting into my mouth (a non-nutritious chlorinated hydrocarbon) and why.
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