Here’s a nice looking pasta dish suggestion for those trying to shed the pounds, right? The answer is nope. Far from it. Your enemy in your weight loss or anti-aging program is sugar, and it lurks in some of the lesser obvious places too. I have a few ideas here for painlessly eradicating – or at least lessening it in your healthful diet plans.
The average American consumes approximately 150 lbs of sugar annually, our ancestors had a meager ten pounds or so. This is like comparing a wheelbarrel full vs two small 5 lb bags. And of course our ancestors were the ones who actually needed the stuff, as they typically spent all day toiling in the fields, hunting or building things. In this day of excess we get to see the results of this abuse graphically displayed on our bodies, and what happens underneath should be of even greater concern for us.
So what’s so bad about sugar anyway? Is it just the calories involved? Sugar does make many foods taste better. It isn’t “toxic” as some experts would suggest. It does have its place. But going way overboard as we do poses some potentially disasterous consequences, far beyond merely adding an extra roll on the belly:
- Cronically high blood glucose levels can destroy the sugar sensing cells of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that is our bodies natural thermostat, or sensor for homeostasis. It also controls the pituitary which in turn controls most of our hormones. Not a good idea to abuse it.
- High glucose spikes your blood insulin levels, which can over time destroy cells of the hippocampus, a critical part of the brain involved in memory and other functions.
- The insulin stimulated from high carbohydrate in the diet also leads to a preponderance of 2 series prostaglandins, and the negative ramifications of high inflamation, pain, constriction of arteries and bronchial passages; glucose also lowers blood levels of testosterone, growth hormone, dhea, and basically overall health.
- High glucose leads to increased glycosylation, a general gunking up of various bodily systems, and aging in general. This is explained a bit in an earlier post.
Of course we also know that it stimulates fat storage, and the potential for type ll diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It goes on and on and… I guess the case is pretty much closed. We need to find healthy alternatives to the high carb/sugar foods we so often reach for through habit.
If at a restaurant you opt for a large plate of pasta or other starchy food like the dish above you might as well just tell the waitress “I don’t want an entree today, just give me a double dessert serving as my meal”. That is essentially what that dish represents. Complex carbohydrates do not get you off the hook as some people say. They are only multiple sugars chained together. Try to elliminate or minimalize them in your diet; at least insist on whole grain.
What if you have a chronic sweet tooth like me? What can you do about that? I think again the answer is substitution. Here are a few suggestions to have after that big meal. The sweetness of these healthy alternatives kinda kills the desire for more. You dump a temporary tsunami on those taste buds. Give em a try and tell me what you think!
(Chocolate or caramel whey protein shake, frozen blueberries, dark chocolate covered almonds, frozen blueberries[on anything], plums/apples, etc.) All healthy and satisfying if you try them.