No Refined Sugar

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Tobias Wissmueller, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Dekapon sorry for the rather harsh text, it is really nothing personal.

    Deamonizing single macronutrients/food groups was, is and will always be foolish and not helpful at all. It is all about the whole context.
    Why I don't tell personal examples? Well, because it is not too usefull. But speaking if myself, I eat around 2800-4000 kcal/day and oftentimes a good amount of those (~500-1000) come in the form of cereal+whole milk/biscuits/candy once I hit enough cals (~2600) with healthier foods. I am 1,94; ~92kg with visible abs and great blood values. Is that good for everybody. No, def not. It just works well for me. If I eat below 2600 I feel like a zombie.

    The comparison between an alcoholic and sugar simply is not valid. Alcoholism alters your brain physiology/biochemistry. Sugar does not.
    It is almost impossible not to eat sugar at all (even on a keto diet you will have some sucrose). And again, why would you (if not for brainwashed ideologic reasons)? Why not establish good habits and an healthy relationship to all foods, rather then dictatoric restrictions?
    On the other hand, avoiding alcohol completely is feasible (and necessary if you are a dry alcoholic). what's your take on DEXA scans?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  2. Dekapon

    Dekapon Triple-Digit Post Count

    It's fine, I found it funny. It's like in that Will Ferrell movie when they keep saying "No offense, but you're a total f-ing a@$hole!". :D
    Sorry, but you are wrong. Here is an article on brain chemistry from Harvard neuroscience.
    Sugar and the Brain | Department of Neurobiology
    Eating sugar affects your brain in many many ways, realisig dopamine and endorfins. And diabetes is real.

    But then again, sugar might not be "addictive" depending on your definition, but that is more a grammatical or philosophical discussion. In my native language the term "addiction" is an overall term that can mean "dependency, abuse, disorder or addiction". In my country you can be treated for "food addiction" if it's an eating disorder you have, like bulimia or if you have depression, like me, who uses food for comfort you get treated for depression, or if it's just stress eating. Since WHO recognized gambling addiction as an "addiction" the term is beeing debated if they should include "sugar addiction".
  3. More than 500 posts

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  4. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Dekapon I really didn't and don't mean to offend you personally (and in fact I did not use any ad hominem phrases).
    But I think the content of the advice given by you is questionable and not very useful.
    Of course sugar releases dopamine and endorphines so do all other highy enjoyable compounds/activities. But that's not a reliable indicator for addiction.
    If you do not suffer from any psychological or physiological ailments that would keep you from enjoying these activities/compounds I see absolutely no reason not to take them/do them in a reasonable way.
  5. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I don't know about sugar, but am pretty sure I have an addiction to butter.
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  6. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    But don't you think the root cause for many overweight people are the psychological or physiological ailments?

    If I again, make a comparison to alcohol, some people try to have a single beer and end up having 20. Some people try to have a piece of chocolate and end up eating 20. I won't say how alike the mechanisms are, but both things happen.

    I don't think anyone is saying that everyone should abstain. It's just that for some people it is the easiest route. Even if it is not the end goal.
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  7. Snowman

    Snowman Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    To your point, @Antti, if you had asked me two years ago if I would ever consider long term abstinence from starch and sugar (processed and non-processed), I would tell you that it was very unlikely. Then I temporarily cut them out for reasons not even related to my own health. Lo and behold, I felt great and my cravings went away. That was a little over a year ago, and I'm still at it. If the carb cravings are only there when I eat carbs, and eating carbs makes me function noticeably worse, why would I eat the carbs? Seems silly.

    Obviously, not everyone responds that way, but it's a little irritating when someone says "I'm going to do this for a bit" and people tell them it's a waste of time. It's not like @Tobias Wissmueller is contemplating drinking a mercury and arsenic smoothie each morning. Theories and data are very useful for predicting things, but if you want to know what's actually best for you, then you have to experiment with your life. Every time you change what you eat or how you train, you acquire more data that allows you to make more informed decisions about your life. I would never tell someone they need to never eat sugar again, but it also doesn't help me to know that "most people" can eat a small amount of sugar without it causing problems. Guess what? I am not one of those people; sugar is straight up bad news for me, even in very modest amounts.

    The time is going to pass one way or another, you might as well spend some of it learning about yourself.
  8. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I agree about experimenting. It's as a whole a good attitude, a good way to live.

    My experience with sugar and sweets has also changed. I believe the consistent and frequent exercise with decent hypertrophy has improved my insulin sensitivity or such. I no longer feel as good while eating sugar, nor so bad. My experiments such as a month on carnivore - which was great - may have also in some way helped my situation. I'm still overweight, it seems to be a long way back for me. But I rarely anymore feel the desire to eat anything sweet, and I don't binge when I do.

    But yes, I absolutely believe that for some people abstaining is the easiest and the most consistent way to go about the diet. I also don't see anything bad in giving up sugar. I wouldn't even compare it to something like abstaining from meat, though that may be a can of worms best left unopened.
  9. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Fair enough guys!
    Obviously, it is easier for some people to completely avoid some foods if you know that:
    a. You can't control your intake, i.e. eat 10kg of ice cream
    b. Don't tolerate a specific macronutrient or food

    And of course it is a wise thing to mostly avoid sugary foods in one's regular diet and leave it for special occasions without feeling bad or guilty about it.
    But avoiding sugar just for the sake of avoiding it is pointless in most cases because there is nothing inherently unhealthy in sugar per se.
    Look at it in terms of context.
    For example: pure sugar is disgusting on its own and you would be hard pressed to eat 100g. But eating 300g of biscuits is very easy and contains about the same amount of sugar and you really tend to overeat on those, even beyond the point of fulness.
    On the other hand eating 100g sugar from apples would require you to eat 4 medium-large apples. This is possible but you'd probably stop after 1 or 2.
  10. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    The same is true of almost all forms of fat as well - a chunk of dense gristle on your plate, a lone pile of chicken skin, a spoonful of shortening - none are very appealing.

    Bottom line is to listen to your body and if body comp is part of the goal, pay attention to the mirror. If sugar or carbs in general don't sit well with you, avoid them (though I'd consider seeing a Dr at some point if you haven't already, as carbs are a fuel source your body should really tolerate in quantity).

    As for the OP initial observation
    I'd start with table sugar and any and all added fats. Neither qualify as a "whole food" and one of the easiest ways to cut calories aside from portion control is to reduce/eliminate calorie dense condiments.

    If a given whole food has high fat or carb amounts, just take it into consideration when serving up portions and considering what you'll be eating for the rest of your meals - variety. This also speaks to a base level of discipline and meal planning - if you know you'll get into trouble plan accordingly.
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  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Everyone, we've strayed close to the edge of good manners in this thread. Thank you for your efforts to remain civil.

  12. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Plus, I got lots of answers and additional food for thought which I want to thank everyone who participated in this thread!
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  13. deviant

    deviant Double-Digit Post Count

    There was a really good Joe Rogan podcast episode, Gary Taubes against Stephan Guyenet. The former is "sugar (and insulin) is the cause of all evil", the latter - proper balanced view based on current evidence. The episode was the equivalent of a good UFC fight.
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  14. Abdul-Rasheed

    Abdul-Rasheed Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I thank every one too, in this thread and elsewhere, as a silent listener, it is great to learn of your experiences, insights and opinions. It is amazing how knowledgeable you all are about your own body, and about the subject matter under discussion. It is inspiring, and we learn a lot.
  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    This is, IMHO, a good way to look at things. Hunger is a habit as well as a real, physical sensation and I think it's good to talk about the differences.

    When the time comes that you're used to eating, you will feel hungry. There is no denying that.

    But one can change habits; as with many things, changing behavior is personal and requires commitment. Different aspects of this behavior, habitual eating, might be relatively harder to change for some people.

    I agree, and I think you, me, and @North Coast Miller are all saying the same thing here. My own experience has been that truly changing an eating habit takes at least a few weeks, and if you think you've accomplished that in a few day, you may be deluding yourself and find you "fall off the wagon" and return to your old eating habits.

    Marc, @Rif posted something on his Facebook page the other day - I went and found what I believe is the source of that quote, on Mike Boyle's Twitter feed:

    I don't think you're correct about sugar. Call it a habit, call it an addiction, call it what you like, but every time I have stopped eating sweets, I find I have a craving for them and only the passage of time makes that craving go away. I'll also add that what I perceive to be the beneficial effects of not having sweets take a while to kick in as well.

    I don't think anyone is talking about how many molecules of sucrose one has. Many items sold in the grocery store as "extracts" contain the same percentage of alcohol as whiskey, and I don't count those as "alcohol" in my diet.

    I claim no science here, but I do want to say that my personal experience supports that idea that approaching getting rid of "sugar", however we wish to define that, bears resemblance to what I understand to be addiction or, at the very least, strong habits that are hard to break.

  16. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    @Tobias Wissmueller
    If anyone commenting here has battled a Candida overgrowth you'll know what the candida diet is. The fungus Candida albicans is present in our gut biome always, through stress or other contributors it can bloom out of control eventually piercing the intestinal wall and entering the blood stream. From there it crosses the blood/brain barrier and this is where the misery really starts. Many people suffer from this problem and don't know why they feel so horrible all the time, I can tell you from personal experience, it's a living nightmare.

    The candida feeds on blood sugar and to knock it back takes a strict diet (among other things). It's one of the most bland diets on the planet and when doing it I got absolutely shredded as a side effect..

    Not many people are successful beating candida on their own, it took me 3 years of disciplined living to do it.

    So if you want to shred fat and knock down blood sugar in a serious way, try the candida diet, you'll hate it, but it works..

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