I need to confess something. I have an addiction to a fine white powder, if I don’t take it regularly if feel awful, it results in an energy slump about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and without more I struggle to get through the evening. This has been going on for many years, and if I were to guess I would suggest that you suffer from the same addiction too. Ever since it was introduced in the 11th century we have been seduced by by its taste and versatility, it has transformed our horizons in the kitchen, and has created an epidemic of biblical proportions. It is perfectly legal, and we all indulge in it everyday. I am of course referring to Sugar, that simple substance that is found in every home and I think is as deadly as a class A drug.
For a long time our food industry has told us that fat is our enemy and we should eat low fat products but these products have sugar added to make them palatable. The problem with this is our bodies are designed to use sugar straight away so when we receive a sugar hit the body releases insulin to get the sugar into our blood and then to our muscles where it can be used quickly and if its not needed its is stored for another time. So why would you add such sugar to a product aimed at a dieter when it is almost certainly not required. Fat on the other hand does nothing to your insulin levels it does not cause any major issues in the body and just passes through. Fat is almost impossible to eat too much of without feeling full and is very dense calorie wise ,so you can leave it in the diet product. oh but then you couldn’t call it a diet product and make any money could you. Fat has been hijacked by the food industry, using it as a vehicle to obesity by taking away the elements of pure fat and making frankenstein trans fats. This is done to give a product shelf life, but but about our shelf life?
We get get enough sugar naturally in our food by eating carbohydrates- vegetables,grains etc, our body has to work a bit harder to get the sugar as they are more complicated and have to be broken down before they can be used and this is where the glycaemic index comes in. GI index is about how much you raise your blood sugar levels after eating (or how much insulin you will produce to counteract the sugar) food with a low GI is good and has little or no immediate effect on your blood sugar levels and this is a good thing to aim for. You can easily therefore assume that carbs are good and we don’t have to worry them but that would be a bit naive, as once the carbs end up at the liver, (where everything eventually ends up to be sorted) if it is sugar in any form that is not needed it will be stored as fat. ( the body is really good at saving for a rainy day)
That leaves us with protein, the bodys fixer, we need protein to repair our cells and muscles it comes in the form of eggs,meat cheese etc and it is the bodys main building blocks .
The problems come about when we start to mix these things up and have them as meals. I wouldn’t expect you to help yourself to the sugar bowl each time you go into the kitchen, or maybe pour yourself a glass of olive oil to have with your lunch? or I can’t remember anyone saying they had the urge for a slab of butter when they got the midnight munchies. its the combinations that cause the issues : a sugar in your tea 6 times a day, buttered toast, ice cream , chocolate, that slice of cake, a biscuit. When you mix sugar and fat it it always very appealing. All of these things cause your insulin levels to spike and then crash causing the slump of energy and the addiction to have some more and before very long we don’t even acknowledge the fact that it is an addiction, its just a way of life. The difficult thing is like any addict, admitting to your problem and then understanding what to to about it. I believe that knowledge is power and that if you know, then you can act.
So what are we going to do about it, well for me I have been completely sugar free for 2 weeks now. I have also avoided all grains This is the Keto way of eating. There has been a huge increase in momentum on the lipoedema sites I follow and although it seams counter intuitive and against everything we have ever been told by the food industry , I think It could work for me. The rules are quite simple, less than 20 grams of carbs a day only coming from veg ideally green. 50-60g of protein and a whole lot of fat. the fat fills you up and it is almost impossible to eat your daily 2000 calories a day when there is a lot of fat involved. and as long as you love cheese and bacon its great.
Once the body has run out of its sugar reserves it has no option but to go to its backup supply , your fat, I never cease to be amazed at how clever our bodies are and how they adapt to whatever we throw at them. so as long as you don’t give it the easy option of sugar as fuel you will continue to burn fat. if you do start trying to cheat you will immediately have more calories than you need. there is lots of information on the keto diet on the web and it can be quite daunting to get you head around it all as there are subtle variations. I have made Dave do this with me and he was doubtful that you could eat all this stuff until he weighed in 1/2 stone lighter and minus an inch from his waist after a week. I have also had the same result and after 2 weeks have lost 4kg -almost 9 lbs. this brings me back to the weight I managed to get to in July for my daughters wedding, after which I I stopped the Rad diet I had been on and reintroduced Grains back into my diet with immediate weight gain even though I was never over my 2000 cal/day limit. I am hopeful that this may be the right diet for me and my lipoedema, It is a challenge as I am a salad dodger most of the time but I have made a new friend in cauliflower rice and courgetti and can eat almost anything in a cream sauce I have discovered.
Interesting references I have found this week: