Sunday, 1 June 2014

A bit about sugar...

Yesterday we met up with Rob's family for a 60th birthday meal. The food hourglass way of eating went out of the window and we ate thai crackers, green curry and rice. Great. However, later that evening Dr Verburgh took me to one side and explained a thing or two.

When I eat stuff that's high in sugar, it gets absorbed into my bloodstream quickly. Insulin mops the sugar up, and gets it where it can be converted to energy to help my survive, or, more likely, to where it can be stored for later emergencies. If sugar is left to roam around free in the blood for long it does bad things. Ok so far, but what's so bad about bread, pasta, rice and that good old staple, potatoes? Well, here's an interesting thing. These foods contain starch which is really easily converted into sugar by the body. So when you eat these type of carbohydrates you are practically eating sugar. Your body responds to mashed potato in much the same way it would to a few spoons of white sugar.

Amazing! When these 'fast' sugars are mopped up by insulin they cause a dip in blood sugar levels pretty soon afterwards. That's the time you get so hungry you could eat anything, and often do, and because you are feeling desperate, you'll often eat more high sugar foods which sends the whole cycle off again.

So today I have eaten my oatmeal porridge, with a few blueberries, and a handful of walnuts. The sugar in oatmeal is released slowly so I didn't  get ravenous by 10 am. The blueberries have sugar in them but they are bound up with fibre and so again, the sugar is released slowly, the walnuts are apparently to prevent heart attacks. I haven't read up on this yet, but I'll take Dr Verburgh's word for it. Today I didn't get any of the highs and lows of energy I am used to. In fact I got glimmers of well being that I hadn't felt for years. Who would have thought that ditching sweet supermarket fruit juice and substituting it for water with a squeeze of lemon would taste so good?

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