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Two Bad Boys

Friday, December 09, 2011

Dr. Weil and I are on the same page. (Won't he be thrilled to hear I agree with him? LOL) In an article on his site he says:

www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00685/high-c
holesterol


"Reduce the amount of sugar and flour that you eat. Recent evidence indicates that added sugar - in the form of table sugar (sucrose) or high-fructose corn syrup - is probably a greater contributor to heart disease than is saturated fat. In fact, certain components of full-fat dairy foods may be cardio-protective. As a general rule, don't consume foods with added sugars. In particular, don't consume soft drinks, which, because they contain no fiber to slow metabolism, cause rapid spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. The result can be overeating, obesity and heart disease."

Iíve been focusing for some time on sugar and starch, simply because my body tells me that while these taste really good and are fun to eat, they donít leave me feeling so good later. Dull, sluggish, heavy and WANTING MORE. They induce CRAVINGS in me. So I have been trying to replace sugar and starch with vegetables whenever I can. See my blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4376336


I admire Dr. Weil because he is an educated man, an expert in his field, yet he keeps an open mind and really looks into research that other ďexpertsĒ with more dogmatic outlooks will ignore.

I read a lot in books and on the web. Some of it is pretty flaky, some I take with a grain of salt and some I ignore altogether. If I can safely test it on my body, say by changing my eating habits a little, I do. So I can wholeheartedly agree that starch and sugar are dangerous to my health. They are definitely the two bad boys in my diet.

Karen

WOUBBIE added this link down in the comments. Making it live:
www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/
mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=2&ref=magazine&p
agewanted=all

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTJO66 12/12/2011 8:50AM

    I am in definite agreement with you. Now if I could/can just kick those "bad boys" to the curb forver. :o)

Thanks Karen, some really good reads.

Jo

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GABY1948 12/9/2011 6:44PM

    OMG THANK YOU for another outstanding blog! You could write a BOOK before it is over with. All these addictive things...and odd, I thought they only affected me that way! Not so I have so many "birds of a feather" in this! It makes me feel better but I feel bad for others that are like this! As always, Karen thank you! emoticon

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PJSTIME 12/9/2011 5:03PM

    THese two are bad boys indeed. I know I feel better if I stay away from them especially the sugar. Luckily I can easily not have soda but some of the goodies this time of year is another story. Thanks Karen for the good information.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/9/2011 3:07PM

    I totally agree about the flour and sugar. Even whole wheat flour spikes your blood sugar. My diet is chiefly fresh meat, fish, eggs, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, low carb dairy, nuts, seeds, olive oil, etc.

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DEC2DEC 12/9/2011 1:18PM

    It's great to hear that from Dr. Weil. After all the reading I've done in the past few months, I've found I tend to ignore most of the "official" channels of information because they're ignoring a lot of info in favor of the party line.

Sugar tastes great, but it has zero redeeming qualities.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/9/2011 12:35PM

    I've been reading a lot more about sugar lately also. Thank you Karen. I have never been a sweet eater, but around the holidays I do eat sweets, just because they are there. lol. Dumb. huh? I really appreciate this information and the added awareness of how bad sugar is for your body. My diet has change for the better, thanks to SparkPeople and you.

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DGAIL51 12/9/2011 11:25AM

    Good information! Thanks once again. Now to get that information past my skull to wherever those "cravings" come from. I will say that when I went through a recent problem with lack of appetite that I had no cravings for sweets whatsoever and now I definitely do not crave them like I have always in the past, so that is probably a good place to stop the trend & continue to limit any sweets. Realistically, I am not sure I will completely cut out sweets, but definitely like Sandra's story of her 85 y/o artist friend who cut down from 2 squares to 1 chocolate square, maybe that is something I can strive for.

Donna

BTW, I do understand being a sweets addict since I have been one for most of my life, it is just that for several months my appetite has been really off and the sugar thing went with it for the most part.

Comment edited on: 12/9/2011 11:27:53 AM

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VINGRAM 12/9/2011 11:10AM

    Sandra.........can relate to the not stopping with one piece! I, too, have been having major sugar cravings and unfortunately have caved into them most of the time! So sorry, Kren! I understand!

vista emoticon

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CAROLEE1945 12/9/2011 9:48AM

    I feel very lucky that I never developed a "soda habit". Unfortunately, though, I do crave sugar in all its other forms.

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ZEEDRA 12/9/2011 9:33AM

    YES...sugar is bad especially for those of us who can't stop at one little piece. I have an 85-year old artist friend who has been slim all of her life, has never been tempted to overeat or "oversweet", and walks everywhere for all of her errands except for Saturday when a friend with a car helps her get her heavier cat supplies (no...don't be silly: the supplies are heavier, not the cat!).
So this friend announced sometime this year that the two squares of dark chocolate she eats after dinner have now become ONE square (that's from a "good" chocolate bar) as she figured she was overdoing it.
I don't tell her about my problem with overeating the stuff because she wouldn't understand. Many people who don't have the problem just say: "Well, stop doing that!"
Keep up the great work, Karen. I will be joining you (I did it in October, I believe) when I work through my current cravings.


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MAMABUGAZ 12/9/2011 9:32AM

    Yes; I've read a lot, during the past year, as well, that supports the concepts that we need to "reduce the amount of sugar and flour that we eat", and that "added sugar...is probably a greater contributor to heart disease than saturated fat".

In fact, these concepts have been great contributors to my ability to lose 60 pounds. Many of my meals focus on meats and vegetables and fruits. I'm not afraid of complex carbs,so i also eat some of them, but, I do my best to limit simple carbs.

~ Faith

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WOUBBIE 12/9/2011 9:25AM

    Surprisingly, fruit itself is not the "perfect food" that our culture is telling us it is. For a lot of us the high fructose content of modern hybridized fruits is as bad as a can of soda. Vegetables, particularly leafy ones, are MUCH more healthful than fruits.

Fructose is fructose, no matter what form it's packaged in, and it's essentially a toxin, more so even than sucrose. (The only thing your body metabolizes faster than sugar is alcohol, which is an obvious poison.) Check out this NYTimes article:

http://www.nytimes.
com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17S
ugar-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&p
agewanted=all

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SILLYHP1953 12/9/2011 9:05AM

    I'm loving all this sugar info!

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BUGLET- 12/9/2011 8:59AM

    Great idea to keep sugar and white flour out of our diet. I think they should require sugar,flour and even all things that are bad for us to post on the labels the dangers of eating them..(Like cigarettes)
emoticon emoticon

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Confessions of a - NO, Never Mind, lol.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I wanted to title this blog, Confessions of a Sugar Addict, but alas, I'm too ashamed to confess, lol.

I do NOT want to tell you how much pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, homemade fudge and ice cream I've eaten lately. Sorry, No confessions.

www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/
sugar-shockers-foods-surprisingly-high
-in-sugar


I do want to share this article (link above) from Web MD titled SUGAR SHOCKERS, written by a Registered Dietitian, to help make us all more aware of the sugar in our diet. Be sure to go all the way to the last page and see the grams of sugar in what we think of as "healthier" products!

So, that's all I'm gonna do, today.

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 12/8/2011 11:52PM

    I'm an addict. One friend once referred to me as "a crackhead for sugar." She's not far from the truth. I've found that eating lots of fruits and veggies on a regular basis for nearly a year now has REALLY helped tamed my sweet tooth, but it's an ugly ole monster always ready to rear its head. Thanks for sharing the article... I'm going to read it in just a minute!
emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/8/2011 11:01PM

    I don't eat a single thing that is on the entire list. LOL. Nurses know to avoid these products.

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ZEEDRA 12/8/2011 7:40PM

    I am not ready to read the article but thank you once again for the provocative blogs and thank you, also, for withholding your confession. Mustn't get too personal!!! ;)

Speaking of personal: I have no personal problem with sugar in it's basic form, i.e., the white stuff in the sugar bowl...never touch it.

However, if it's mixed into a Crispy Crunch, or a Kitt Katt (maybe I just like sybillance...is that the right word...that's what sugar does to my brain), a Turtle or any kind of cookie...well, that's a different story (and equally uninteresting!).

Right now I'm in a period of intentional ignorance to allow me to continue devouring my "treats". I'll be happy when this is over and I can go back to abstaining from the dreadful goodies.

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JUSTJO66 12/8/2011 10:03AM

    Yikes! good article. Yes, sugar addiction is a real thing and so many people are afflicted with this condition.
I'll meekly raise my hand.
Hi, my name is Jo and I'm an addict. Sugar is it's name.

Good job Karen. Keep getting us the information we need.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/7/2011 11:03PM

    OMG... Ouch. Yikes... I really don't eat a lot of packaged foods. Not even the WW brands. But I am eating more sugar than I thought. Thanks for this great article Karen. I have been checking labels lately. Thank you.

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THISISIT-PA 12/7/2011 8:25PM

    That was a good article, thanks for sharing.

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VINGRAM 12/7/2011 6:09PM

    YIKES!

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GEMINIAN1 12/7/2011 5:56PM

    emoticon emoticonKaren.
I'm sorry I can't really relate to Sugar Addiction; but, I don't discount it in any way.
I believe it is a real thing.

I am cheering you on my friend!
I think you are right to want to do less, or none.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DGAIL51 12/7/2011 5:15PM

    Karen, that is a shocking article. It really makes me nearly gag to think of the amount of sugar in some things that don't taste all that sweet & that you don't really think of as a "sweet treat". I will certainly be more careful & judicious in my choices.

Thank you for another good one!

Donna emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 12/7/2011 2:39PM

    Alright, alright, alright! I am getting on the wagon with you, and getting rid of sugar. If alchoholics can quit drinking, and drug addicts can quit drugs...then we can quit sugar.

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TUFFYBIRD 12/7/2011 1:49PM

    I'm lucky because I can 'take it or leave it' when it comes to sugar ... but I find salt really hard to resist.

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PJSTIME 12/7/2011 1:08PM

    I went to that potluck last night with good intentions and a spark soup dish to share. But alas the sweet tooth monster struck anyway emoticon

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STRNGNGRNDED 12/7/2011 12:21PM

    I love your background.
About the article, thank you for posting. So many people still are not aware or choose not to be.
Things supposedly healthy like milk, yogurt, and granola bars are also high in sugar.



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NAYPOOIE 12/7/2011 12:18PM

    I think I qualify as a former addict at the moment. No cravings. I do enjoy the stuff though.

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JEANNE229 12/7/2011 11:13AM

    I too am an unconfessed addict. One bite, taste, lick and I'm a gonner. I have found, however, if I stay away from sugar altogether, fruit is much more delicious!

Everything we read about sugar is so awful, not sure why I can't leave it alone. As Nell said, I KNOW better, but I never practice what they preach.

Working on it, though.

Have a great "sugar-free" day, Karen.

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NELLJONES 12/7/2011 9:59AM

    I think we all know this stuff but we don't KNOW it. It's very helpful to see it in number form to bring the knowledge to the front of our minds BEFORE we eat it. Thanks!

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MARGOMCP 12/7/2011 9:13AM

    Yes, we went to a family dinner last night and I ate the entire slice of too rich chocolate cake, homemade fudge, cookies, etc.

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GABY1948 12/7/2011 8:24AM

    THANK you! Another great one. I am right WITH you, Karen. I feel guilty that I am letting you do all the work though! emoticon

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WHY DO I FEEL SO GOOD WHEN I FAST?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Now donít get me wrong. Iím not about to give up food anytime soon! But once or twice a month I fast as a spiritual thing, sort of an aid to meditation and prayer and Calmness, letís say.

I NEVER fast more than 24 hours. Usually the last bite of food goes in my mouth at 6:00 pm and not another one enters my mouth until 6:00 pm the next day. (You didnít think I was going to miss dinner, did you? LOL)

So once I tried this a time or two, I began to notice that I feel so happy, so light and buoyant, mentally and physically. I just feel GOOD.

I believe in listening to my body. It certainly has something to say when I stuff it with pasta, pizza, pastry and ice cream, lol. I hear it loud and clear then, and even though I enjoy the actual devouring of that stuff, my body tells me, after Iím done, that itís not very happy. Sometimes it is still telling me that the next day, lol.

But when I fast for this short period of time, my body is wearing a big smile, no doubt about it.

Just wondering what everyone else thinks about this. Have YOU ever tried a short fast?

PS Ė When I do this fast, I drink lots of water, as always, and I drink a cup of coffee when I get up. That one cup of coffee is my vice and Iím not ever giving it up, lol.

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/7/2011 2:34PM

    Hmmm...I believe I'm going to have to try that. I've thought about it for years, just never tried one. Do you pray and meditate more during those 24 hours?

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/7/2011 9:33AM

    emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/8/2011 11:03:52 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/7/2011 9:26AM

    This may sound terrible but I was thin most of my life (very thin when I was young as I weighed 86 pounds in high school) and I did this routinely and naturally with no conscious effort on my part. I didn't ever consider forcing myself to eat and only ate when I was hungry. So I never ate breakfast and sometimes skipped lunch so I often ate from supper to supper when I was finally hungry. And I had unlimited energy and was highly active. I think that had something to do with my not wanting to eat because the more I exercise the less hungry I am. At any rate the minute I reached menopause that all changed and I started eating more and eating more often and eating differently and the pounds piled on. They have proven very difficult to get back off.

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JUSTJO66 12/6/2011 1:56PM

    I have fasted in the past but not too often since I have began insulin for my diabetes (other than for test the next day etc). However, I once fasted for 30 days with nothing but water. It was not for spiritual reasons but for diet. :o( I ended up gaining a pound!! I do believe that fasting for spiritual reasons is bibical and has great benefits.



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ZEEDRA 12/5/2011 6:07PM

    Karen,
Love all these blogs you've been writing...gets us all thinking.

Regarding fasting: I've had friends who've been very successful doing it and for mostly spiritual reasons. One in particular was fulfilling a "favour granted" through her prayers.

I am now giving it serious thought and hoping to follow that up with serious action. I too like the idea of starting off with a coffee. Maybe following that up with a maple pecan Danish...just kidding!

Some people recommend that the day you pick to fast should be a day with very little activity.

I am now remembering that I did do a fast while living in a religious community years ago. This place where I stayed for six weeks was founded by a Russian Baroness named Catherine de Hueck Doherty. She married a famous newspaper reporter after she immigrated to the U.S. He may have been one of the characters depicted in "Front Page", a movie made a couple of times...Eddy something-or-other. OMG! Where's my brain? Eddy Doherty! They both moved to Combermere, Ontario where they started Madonna House.
Anyway, they built little cabins in the woods (this was/is a very large property) and people could, with permission, live in one of these cabins while fasting. The called it "going into the desert".
While fasting in the future, I would like to attempt some kind of a "desert experience" at home. It would be difficult to reap the benefits midst the hustle and bustle of normal life.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 6:10:58 PM

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CATHY629 12/5/2011 4:33PM

    Sounds like something i would like to try,just have to decide which day would be best,not one of the three days i look after my one year old grandson,he has just learnt to walk,and i need all my energy just to keep up with him.
cheers Cathy


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JSPEED4 12/4/2011 10:00PM

    I used to fast a day each week, but I did not drink any liquids during it. Maybe I should get back to that, but add the water. I have also done raw-food days, and felt quite well.

I think that when we eat things that don't agree with us, a day off helps so much. I found foods ,over the decades, that I need to avoid. A blood-type diet book helped me do even better.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/4/2011 8:59PM

    I am so impressed with your blog. I read the responses too. I do fast, but more for spiritual reasons than health reasons. When I feel I am slipping away from my inner self, I fast and pray to get back on track with my heart and soul. As you said it is "an aid to meditation and prayer and Calmness". I always feel so rejuvenated after a fast.
I refocus on eating to live, not living to eat, and feeding my stomach when it is hungry, not feeding my mouth because the food taste good. Thank you Karen for always reminding me of my health and your friendship. God Bless

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LADYFOLDER 12/4/2011 7:52PM

    In my church, we fast from the end of dinner Saturday evening until dinnertime Sunday afternoon/early evening--two meals, once a month.
We donate the money that would have been spent on those two meals to the church as a fast offering, and the church uses the money to provide for families in need, paying for utilities or helping with food or other needs.
The fast helps us both physically and spiritually.
I have medical issues that limit the time I am able to fast to one meal, but I feel better when I do fast than the occasional months when I manage to miss doing it. It helps me know that I do have power over my body, when I fast.

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CAROLEE1945 12/4/2011 7:12PM

    Yes, I have tried a fast, and i could not get past 2pm!!!

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RR1_RR1 12/4/2011 4:44PM

    Just about to do a fast! Going to shoot for 3 days, recommended by people since I just developed asthma and people are telling me maybe because of excess toxins. Never done one before but this is encouraging. Thanks.

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CAROLJEAN64 12/4/2011 4:24PM

    I am intrigued by your blog and all the responses so far. I think I might actually try this once a week this month. Actually this time of year in the north is supposed to be a time of quiet, reflection and low energy usage.
When I first read the title of the blog I was going to flippantly answer: "You feel good because you have the illusion of being in control." While I still think there may be a bit of truth in the remark.. obviously there is a larger story here.

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GABY1948 12/4/2011 3:57PM

    Again, your blog caught my eye...we have always seemed to be on the same track...mothers, and sugar and keeping track of nutrients etc. (but it TOOK YOU to get me started wanting to really TRACK sugar!) But, like you, I actually do fast for Spiritual reasons and I have always felt good doing it...crazy, eh? Also like you I simply feel one day is much better for me than 2 or 3 days (did 3 days the first time).
Great blog, Karen, KEEP 'em comin' you make me THINK...that's GOOD emoticon emoticon

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WOUBBIE 12/4/2011 3:46PM

    I've been tempted to try this myself, but I'm hypoglycemic, and more than 6 hours without food usually makes me feel woozy and weak. However, I did read a little bit on the Protein Power blog by Dr. Eades that "intermittent fasting" is probably very natural for our bodies and apparently very doable, at least if you're not scarfing up the carbs beforehand. :) I can easily do the 6 hours now, whereas in the past 3 hours was pushing it.

I've mentioned in other comments/blogs that the Orthodox church expects us to fast from many different foods for fully half the year, and your diet ends up relying heavily on grains. If you want to see an ad for low carb lifestyles, Google "Orthodox clergy" images. These are pious men, and not likely to be pigging out when they're supposed to be fasting, but their thick waistlines tell the tale of too much starch!

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DGAIL51 12/4/2011 3:25PM

    I totally agree -- I feel much better when I fast occasionally. In the past I did it on a fairly regular basis, 1, 2 or 3 days at a time, but now usually for only 24 hours. Scheduling a 1 day fast 1x a month is a great idea & I may try it. Spiritually, it helps me to stop, be still and get my perspectives straightened out. It may seem like it would be a difficult thing to fast for someone who has never done it, but when you do it does help you in areas of self discipline, self control, peace, etc. If you are medically able to do it, it only takes making the decision to do it, plan it, then just do it. You do have to look at your schedule too and find a day that will least likely be sabotaged by other things going on.

BTW, I drink lots of water but have not done coffee. That would certainly help or hot tea, so I may try that this week. I believe I will choose Tuesday this week.

Donna

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VINGRAM 12/4/2011 3:05PM

    I've never tried it.......maybe I should! vista

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BUGLET- 12/4/2011 1:49PM

    I fast often, though not lately, and when I do, I go all day with no food until the next day about 9am. I find that drinking my water helps me through the day and I often use a fast to jump start me back on track. (I did just that this week) I always feel much better when I'm restricting calories so I know what you mean. If you think about it, shoveling the food down does make you sluggish because your body uses too much time processing the extra food so it doesn't have as much time to repair our damaged cells. Right now they have learned that just eating the right things can help cure cancer. It's been proving that by eating less you can extend your life span. I am happy I've learned this although like you I succumb to excess food.

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NELLJONES 12/4/2011 1:49PM

    Fasting is an old form of spiritual discipline that we don't do often enough. Some of us fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, certainly not 40 days and 40 nights (I can't imagine!) In the old days we were supposed to go to Sunday Mass without eating anything after dinner the night before, but even that sacrifice is considered old fashioned.

As long as there isn't a medical reason to avoid fasting (diabetics shouldn't fast), I think it's a wonderful idea!

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SETAGOAL1 12/4/2011 1:04PM

    Hi
I share your feeling I am listening to MY body. This can be a challenge because sometimes I feel everyone has the answers but me.

After longing thru an illness I realize that the answer were within.

Thank you for sharing

Janet
emoticon

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Trying to Explain Myself!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I'm going to make this really simple.

Go to your pantry and pick up 3 or 4 canned items. I just picked up a Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup, Ranch Style Pinto Beans, Amy's OrganicTomato Bisque Soup, Del Monte Summer Crisp Corn..

Look at the labels on Your items. Labels in the US are uniform, per standards set by the FDA.

On the label of any item, you'll see Total Carbohydrates - Under that Dietary Fiber - Under that SUGARS. These are PER Serving.

Cream of Chicken Soup - 1 gm
Pinto Beans 1 gm
Corn 4 gms
Amy's Soup 14 gms!

None of these items are "sweets". All of these items have SUGARS. We don't have to agonize over dextrose, sucrose or glucose, or if all carbs have sugars or not. What I'm looking for is right there in the little box labled SUGARS.


SP Nutrition Info knows this too. Any item here includes SUGARS. You can see that when you look at the Nutrition Info for each item. It's listed just like the labels on products. But when you add the item to a meal, the SUGARS are no where to be found in any summary on the tracker page.

Thank you all so much for worrying over my frustration. I'm going to stop now because I can't believe how many people don't understand this simple problem on SP.

It's really a technical problem about the way SP transfers data from its Nutrition Info and puts it on your Tracker page.

All the info is there. SP knows it. The computer knows it. WE know it when we read the Nutrition Data of each item.

ALL I WANT IS FOR THAT LITTLE BOX LABELED "SUGARS" TO BE TOTALLED ON MY TRACKER.

This is the last I'll say on the subject of trying to track the SUGAR in my diet.

I guess I just thought that a site that focuses on Health and Fitness would give us a Food Tracker that includes grams of sugar in our diet.

I love all things SPARK! It's the best site around. But I still think it's important to track sugars. I'll just continue to add it up on an old piece of paper at the end of every day, since my Tracker won't calculate it.


Have a wonderful week and Watch those grams of sugar!

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/7/2011 2:36PM

    Have you posted this comment on the spark technical message boards? Maybe if we all mentioned it to them. Not all carbs are created equal, that's for sure.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/6/2011 11:19PM

    This is a great site but it's not based on a healthy diet per se. They promote a liberal carb regular diet basically.

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THISISIT-PA 12/4/2011 9:32PM

    Unless a product claims to be "sugar-free" or "reduced sugar", the maker does not have to include the grams of sugar on the label.

It's explained here:

http://www.sparkpeople
.com/community/help_answer.asp?
id=120

(full text of the article)

Q. Why can't I track sugar on my SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker?

A. While you can add a large variety of vitamins and nutrients to your SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker (click here to learn how), sugar is not one of them. There are several reasons why you can't track sugars.

First, sugars are a newer addition to nutrition labels. Like fiber, you'll find sugars listed underneath carbohydrates on the nutrition facts label, but sugars are not required to be listed on all food labels. Only products that make a claim about sugar or sugar alcohols on their package (such as "sugar free" or "reduced sugar") must list the sugar content (in grams) on the nutrition facts label. Foods and products that contain sugars but do not make any sugar-related claims do NOT have to list sugars on their label. Because of this, it is impossible to get an accurate picture of what you're really eating.

In addition, SparkPeople's nutrition experts do not recommend tracking this particular nutrient because it is misleading. Most carbohydrate-containing foods contain sugar. But the sugars listed on a nutrition facts label are NOT added sugars, as one might think. For example, fruit naturally contains the sugar fructose. Milk and other dairy products naturally contain lactose, which contributes 12 grams of sugar per cup of milk. None of this is added sugar, yet it is treated the same way on a nutrition facts label as table sugar or corn syrup.

If you are concerned about your total sugar intake, Registered Dietitian Becky Hand usually suggests that you track total carbohydrates and keep those in a healthy level, as indicated by your nutrition plan. And everyone should make a conscious effort to limit sweets, candy, pie, cookies, syrup, jams, soda and other refined sugars.


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FISHINGLADY66 12/4/2011 9:10PM

    I tatally agree. I have always wondered why sugar was not tracked on my nutrition. Since I am not Diabetic, I never gave it much more thought. I do watch my sugar consumption. I use the WW tracking and points system, therefore not paying much attention to the Spark People tracker, even tho I enter my food there, just for comparison. You are a smart little cookie.. (so to speak)

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GEMINIAN1 12/4/2011 3:39PM

    I believe, I totally understand what you are saying.
I agree with you.
Spark People lumps together "Sugar Grams" AND "Fiber" and calls it "Carbs"; in my opinion, they should *NOT* do that, no way. It doesn't even make any common sense to do that.
You want Sugar alone, separated out, I get it. What you're saying makes sense.
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... "We don't have to agonize over dextrose, sucrose or glucose"
I hear you ... loud and clear ... loud and clear.

Also, lets not agonize over, what food "turns into" after you eat it.
I mean if we're going to start "getting into that", that is a whole other Can of Worms!
I've heard people say, "Oh counting Sugar Grams doesn't mater because this and that 'turns into sugar' after you eat it" that is, so much, *not* the point here. Not the point.

In my opinion, you're asking for a very basic thing that somehow has turned into a very complicated thing, when it doesn't need to be ... at all.

I understand your frustration, I'm feeling it too my friend.
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JUDY1676 12/4/2011 1:36PM

    You are so right and if you are diabetic, it's really importamt!

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MELLISOND 12/4/2011 11:30AM

    Thanks for this info...I had not considered it before.

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-LINDA_S 12/4/2011 10:45AM

    Hmmm...never really occurred to me that sugar isn't tracked. I try pretty hard to avoid it. I do know that if it's low in carbs, it has to be low in sugar, too. I think it would be great if net carbs could be tracked, too. I dropped the diabetic plan because I knew the carb range was waaayyy too high for me. Almond Breeze makes some nice unsweetened "milks" that are very low in carbs and sugar. It frustrates me very much that fat is totally vilified here but sugar is generally fine in most of the recipes, like that one for chocolate meringues. A cup and a half of sugar? Really? I'm so tired of "low-fat" being equated with healthy. Sorry, getting a little off-track here. But I certainly agree we should be able to track sugar.

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FITB4-40 12/4/2011 9:55AM

    You're right, it should be easy enough to track. The information is there. However, I question whether there is any difference between grams of sugar and grams of carbohydrates ( with the exception of fiber) since it all turns to sugar in our bodies. As a diabetic, total carbs is the number I focus on.

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BUGLET- 12/4/2011 9:28AM

    You are right! I always loved milk, in fact, I wondered if I was addicted to it and I never could figure out why. Then my hubby became a diabetic and I started realizing how much sugar there is in things. I now know there is a lot of sugar in milk and I don't drink it much anymore. Instead I drink Silk Pure Almond and it's only 35 calories and 1 carb, 1 fiber. My fitday doesn't have sugar listed either and I'm out of Silk so I can't see how much sugar is in it. This is my theory, you know how things go, do you suppose the sugar industry has something to do with this? Remember Cyclamates? It tasted just like sugar, no after taste, the sugar industry got it banned because they feared the competition...
Just a thought.
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GABY1948 12/4/2011 8:52AM

    I do SO understand and I am WITH you! I want to do it now too!!!!!

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DGAIL51 12/4/2011 8:37AM

    I absolutely agree.... sugar (of all things) should be tracked! Sugars & fat (which is tracked) are the most detrimental things in our foods. Of course, we need some fat for proper bodily functions.

Anything we can do to facilitate a possible change??? I too love SP (& my team), but that seems like a huge deficit to not be able to track sugar.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Donna

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SUGAR! and the Spark People Tracker

Saturday, December 03, 2011

After gathering comments from SP members about this topic, I am better able to summarize my issue:
IF AN INGREDIENT IS ON THE SP "NUTRITION INFO" FOR A FOOD ITEM, IT SHOULD SURELY BE TRACKABLE ON THE SP NUTRITION DAILY LOG.

Really, it's a simple matter of transfer of data. The data is there in the nutritional info of each food item. It needs to be transferred to the daily food tracker when we add the item to our meal.
Look up an apple. Look at nutritional info. See the entry for SUGAR.
That info just needs to be transferred to the daily food tracker when we add the apple to our meal.
The protein info is added.
The fat info is added.
Etc. Etc.
Why not the sugar info?

---------------------------

I've been reading about nutrition a lot lately and one area of focus is SUGAR. We do seem to love it, don't we?

I read that eating sugar stimulates the same area in the brain that is stimulated by cocaine, heroin and nicotine. Scary, hmmm? Also, eating sugar makes us want more sugar. The more we eat, the more we want, just like those other substances that are not good for your health.

There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sugar. No one has ever said to you, "You need more sugar in your diet", have they? However, I think if we are on a journey to optimal health, we might want to know how much sugar we are really eating, don't you think?

www.sugarstacks.com/fruits.htm
This link just gives the sugar breakdown for a few fruits. It doesn't mention fiber or pectin or any of the other really good things in fruit, but it does give you an idea of the amount of sugar.

I think we all realize that many canned and frozen items contain sugar, even the ones we don't think of as "sweets". So you look at frozen dinners and canned veggies, etc. and check the labels for the grams of sugar inside.

This is all leading up to my QUESTION:

Why doesn't Spark People's nutrition log track grams of sugar? I found that I can add "sucrose" to the nutrients I want to track, but that is only one type of sugar, and after adding it to my list of items to track, I added 10 cups of various fruits to My Nutrition log for today (just to get an idea of the nutrients in various fruits) and only 1 gram of Sucrose showed up. I also found fructose and dextrose but still, there is no TOTAL for SUGAR, even though sugar grams are calculated when you look at the individual nutrition breakdown for each fruit.

When I look at the nutritional info on one medium apple, the SP NUTRITIONAL INFO says there is a little over 13 grams of sugar in it, but I can't seem to track that on my TOTALS for the day. What am I missing?

www.webmd.com/diet/features/sugar-fi
x
This link talks about sugar and that we shouldn't get more than 10% of our calories from it in any given day. (About 50 gms in a 2000 calorie diet.)

Sugar is important. I personally believe it doesn't add anything healthy to our diet and we need to try hard to avoid it because itís like ingesting slow acting poison. (Not that Iím always able to practice what I preach, but thatís my goal, lol.) I just want to know how to easily track the total on my nutrition report. I think it would be an eye opener, just like when you first began tracking calories and were so AMAZED at how much you were eating.

Anyone have the answer?

Do YOU track the amount of sugar you eat each day?

Karen, trying to be sugar-free.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/7/2011 2:31PM

    I'm trying to be sugar free, too. I read a book years ago called Sugar Blues and it really opened my eyes. The first "diet" I ever tried was the South Beach diet, and for the first two week you aren't allowed any fruit due to the high sugar content. You aren't allowed a lot of other things the first two weeks, either, and amazingly after 3-4 days I had NO MORE cravings!! It was a miraculous feeling. I never really wanted fruit that much before those two weeks, but afterwards it became one of my favorite foods, and still is. I even told my doctor to test me for diabetes because of how much sugar affects me, but I'm not diabetic.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/6/2011 11:16PM

    I totally agree and probably am even more adamant about sugar because I'm a nurse. The stuff is as evil as transfat and we need to keep it as low as possible unless it's coming from something healthy like veggies, dairy, or fruit. I monitor my carbs and realize they are sugar. Eventually it all converts to sugar even it it's complex.

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DEC2DEC 12/4/2011 10:27AM

    On SparkPeople you can track total carbohydrate and fiber. Subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate to get "net carbs," which is essentially sugar. If you're counting carbs, net carbs is what you want to count.

I, personally, try to keep my net carbs below 30 because I am diabetic. A lot of people find between 50 and 100 net carbs a day is the sweet spot. I also choose not to consume any added sugar six days per week -- meaning I make almost all my food, and I don't eat anything processed that includes sugar in the ingredients.

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BUGLET- 12/4/2011 9:36AM

    What an interesting thought~I've never given it more than a passing thought except how much there is in milk. I hope somewhere we can find a calorie counter that totals our sugar input..
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MAMABUGAZ 12/4/2011 12:35AM

    Kren --
I have not used this feature for sugar, but ...,
you can track glucose, fructose, sucrose.

Go to your Nutrition Tracker.
Near the bottom right, click on "Chage Nutrition Goals".
Clcik on "Add Another Nutrient to Track".
That will take you to the "Add Nutrients" page, and, you can choose which sugars you wish to track.

I haven't tried it, so I'm not sure if all of those sugars show up in the foods we enter or not.

~ Faith

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THISISIT-PA 12/3/2011 6:01PM

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/communit
y/help_answer.asp?id=120
>This article explains why. I remember wondering the same thing when I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Comment edited on: 12/3/2011 6:04:56 PM

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VINGRAM 12/3/2011 1:51PM

    Didn't know there is no tracker for sugar. That seems totally weird to me. Hope you get a good answer -- I'll be watching to see what others say.

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SOUPY18 12/3/2011 1:42PM

    Karen,
Thank you for the information and the various links.
Sue

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FISHINGLADY66 12/3/2011 1:35PM

    Very interesting Karen. I don't track my sugar intake. I don't eat sweets at all, but I know there is sugar in some of the packaged foods I eat. Thanks to making me aware of this concept. I did read the thread you posted about this subject.

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KICK-SS 12/3/2011 1:04PM

    I've been working at getting sugar completely out of my diet as well and I watch the labels on foods and if sugar (of any type) is anywhere near the top, I don't get it or use it anymore. As far as brown sugar like Chica_Boricua noted, it's my understanding that the brown sugars are nothing more than white sugar with a little molasses or something added to make them brown and "flavored" light or dark.

The only sugar I have in any form is coconut sugar crystals, it's a lot lower on the glycemic index (so they say) I bought some "just because" I had to try it. I seldom use it at all though, just once in a great while.

About the only fruits I eat anymore are berries and not many of those. I do put some in a protein smoothie on occasion.........

I think we all get too much sugar in our diets, then we get this insatiable sweet tooth.. It's wonderful not dealing with that anymore........

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GEMINIAN1 12/3/2011 1:01PM

    I emoticon "I Liked This Blog!"

No, I, personally, do not Track my sugar, just because I know from the type of foods I am eating I am totally okay.
HOWEVER, I feel that "Sugar Grams" should be Track-able by those that want to because "Sugar Grams" are listed on FDA "Nutritional Lists".

I can hear the cheers from Diabetics everywhere ... :-)

Thank you for Blog'ing about this.
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NETTIEDEE 12/3/2011 12:39PM

    I read Dr. David Kessler's "The End of Overeating" at the beginning of this year. It is an AMAZING book. Ever since then I simply STOPPED using sweetners of any kind (read: sugar, chemical sweetners, etc.), stopped buying prepared foods (unless the "sugar grams" is zero), and started getting my palate used to appreciate the sweetness of fruit.

It took a bit to get used to it but now I "sweeten" my cereal with 1/8 cup of dried fruit, rarely use honey (the only sweetner I was actually using this year), and will have a Tbsp of low-sugar preserves as a treat once in a month or two.

Fast forward to today, for the first time in the last 10 years I have normal blood sugar levels; they were always "just a bit too high." And, on the rare occasion when I buy fruit juice, I always have to cut it with water to cut out the sweetness.

I wish SP helped me track sugar grams...but my natural approach to eating takes care of limiting the sugar I consume so, in the long run, it doesn't much matter.

Comment edited on: 12/3/2011 12:44:07 PM

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DGAIL51 12/3/2011 12:28PM

    Hmmmm.... thought provoking for certain. I do love fruit & make an effort to include fruits in my diet. I find they are especially good to substitute for nutrient empty sweets which I have a weakness for. I have to avoid citrus fruits b/c of heatburn, but I do find that I feel better when I have a yogurt and fruit smoothie for breakfast, more than anything else i have tried.

Junk sugary foods are certainly to be avoided.... thanks for the reminders. I certainly need the old Gibbs slap up the back of the head now & then (NCIS fans know what I mean) LOL

Donna

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WOUBBIE 12/3/2011 11:27AM

    Really interesting! I hadn't thought about how the tracker registers sugar, since I only really look at the carbs and fiber regularly.

I get a lot of flak for shunning fruits. First, they give me wicked heartburn, so I've avoided them for years anyway. And second, there's nothing you get from fruit that you can't get from veggies. Except less sugar.

Modern fruits are not the same as their original counterparts. They've been hybridized and bred over centuries to be sweeter and sweeter and have less fiber in them. If you've ever picked and eaten a wild strawberry you'll understand the difference immediately!

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NELLJONES 12/3/2011 10:58AM

    There are so many kinds of sugar, which are tracked as carbs right along with fiber. It would be impossible to be completely accurate. Every apple is different, every stalk of broccoli or potato. Diabetics track either "carbs" or "carb exchanges". Then there is the concept of "glycemic index", which tries to indicate the rapidity of metabolization of the carb: rice is higher than fruit which is higher than vegetables. You can drive yourself crazy with it. This is why I like exchanges. I eat 6 a day when I have to knock back a little, or 7-8 when I am happily maintaining. I don't care if it's potato or pasta or winter squash or peas. I get 2-3 fruits a day (weighed because 1 fruit is only 4 oz of apple: try to find a 4 oz apple!) and unlimited non-bread veggies. I know that if I stick to the exchange lists it all works out well in the end. Of course, there's no room for packaged or snack food, and precious little for desserts, but that's ok. I think too many people think that if something's "healthy" that you can eat as much as you want, but, alas, it isn't true for weight controllers.

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GABY1948 12/3/2011 10:47AM

    This was an outstanding blog! Absolutely outstanding and it gave me lots to think about...I also would like to track sugars in my diet. Though I try to stay away from KNOWN sugar and sugar foods. Ever since beginning spark, my interest in foods and nutrition has taken a new level. I would really love to be a dietician but at 63 I guess I won't go back to school now.

Thanks for such a great thought provoking blog. I will be watching your blogs for sure for more on this and if I find something I will send it along! emoticon

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CHICA_BORICUA 12/3/2011 10:09AM

  talking about sugar, have you tried light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, I stopped buying regular sugar and the flavor in food specially in oatmeals is incredible and in coffee as well. Also I stopped using Splenda.

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LRK4CHRIST 12/3/2011 10:02AM

    I don't track my sugar intake. But I do monitor what I eat and what I want. For example, if I want something sweet, I will eat something sweet but I will make sure it's healthy. I think it would be good to track sugar intake, but then again, if I stick to my daily necessary food amounts of protein, fat and carbs then I will be fine.

I pray this was helpful. May U have continued success!

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