Saturday, December 29, 2007

about a book and sweeteners

I haven't always been into natural health and alternative stuff. In fact I am an RN, so I have been trained in the ways and thinking of the Medical World.

But when I was faced with gallbladder surgery, I was willing to try anything. That's when I started getting interested in these other options.

In the beginning of that change I found a book called The Liver Cleansing Diet by Dr. Sandra Cabot, and what I read really made sense to me.

I used to roll my eyes at people who said they didn't eat white sugar – only honey, etc. After all, I had taken science classes and I knew that all sugar metabolizes in the liver and becomes glucose for the brain and other bodily functions to use. All sugars do that.

But in Cabot's book, she says that because table sugar is so highly processed, it confuses the liver. Like what I mentioned with the transfat. The liver does its best, but it can't metabolize the white sugar completely. My nutritionist said that sugar is more to blame for high cholesterol than fat. Could be true. The liver makes cholesterol, remember.

And artificial sweeteners were not even created by God for food, so the liver really doesn't know what to do with them. I won't eat them. I will eat white sugar before I eat artificial sweeteners. Besides, I get side effects from all of them. Aspartame gives me headaches and dizziness and Splenda hurts my stomach.

What I do use is Stevia. Robin mentioned it in her comment. It does seem expensive, but it is so much sweeter than sugar that it lasts a long time. It does have a bit of an aftertaste that you have to get accustomed to. Some people just don't like it. I do. More for some things than others. I do have a cookbook for it, but it isn't great for baking, etc. This has no calories and does not affect insulin levels at all.

I also like to use Succanat. It is cane sugar, but it hasn't been processed as much. Follow the link and see for yourself what you think. It is delicious, like brown sugar and has most of the mineral content still in it.

I love to use honey and Agave Nectar.

All of these are still sugars and do turn into glucose in your body. Agave has a lower glycemic index than the others, though. And these all have calories. Moderation is the key.

When I eat white sugar, I feel terrible. I get irritable and tired. But these others don't cause me to feel that way, even the other cane sugar products like Succanat and Molassas.

I think it's the processing that causes the trouble, maybe.

I'm not saying that I never eat sugar, but for the past 3 or 4 years, I eat very little of it. Because I know how it makes me feel, I take everything into account before I decide to eat it. Is it something I really enjoy? I'm not going to feel lousy for something I don't even like. And will the thing I'm eating be worth it? Sometimes I say yes. Now and then I really want some good old fashioned ice cream. Or on a Holiday I might choose to have something. They all have sweets attached, don't they? This Christmas I made Mexican Wedding Cookies and I tell you they are nothing but sugar and fat. But oh, they were good. And they were worth it. I won't have them again for who knows how long.

Now I will have to deal with my cravings again. When you don't eat sugar, you don't crave it. But you have to go through the detox first. That's tough, but it can be done and the cravings really do go away.

Oh, I said I would talk about what the book says about weight. Basically, it says if we don't treat our liver right, we get fat. Or stay fat. And she gives some practical ways we can care for our liver and she has a diet plan – a twelve week thing, I think. I didn't do the actual diet, but I incorporate a lot of her principles.


Momstheword said...

Gee, where were you and what were you doing when that picture was taken? It looks very exotic there, doesn't it? Tell us about it.

Robin said...

I'm really going to like this blog Kay! I'm glad you started it. I'm very interested in healthy eating probably because I LOVE to eat also. I've been trying to cut the sugar and use healthier fats or using fruit or non-fat yogurt in place of fat. I also use whole wheat and oat bran and other whole grains. What I lack most of all is eating enough fruits and vegetables - shame on me... My daughter became a vegetarian when she was four years old after watching Babe. She is seven now and has held firm to her decision. I ate vegetarian for about a year when my daughter was about two years old, but when I was pregnant with my son I started craving meat. When I was pregnant with my daughter the thought of meat nauseated me. I felt the healthiest when I was eating vegetarian and avoiding most white sugar. I did use succanant back then also, but its quite expensive. All that to say I really want to let go of some of the bad eating habits I've allowed myself to fall back into (mainly sugar)and I want to eat less meat and more fish. I've started eating fist in the last year also. Three years ago I started exercising "religiously" at a local gym. I haven't lost any weight, but I feel stronger. When I complain about not losing weight some people get annoyed with me because they say I don't need to lose any, but I know it wouldn't hurt me to lose 10 pounds so I can feel better and healthier... Its a process and I'm excited to join you in the journey!

MondaythroughSunday said...

I have stayed away from Splenda and Mom uses Splenda like real sugar. I have not used only real sugar..not counting this past month..has been the my coffee creamer. Trying to cut back on that too. I plan to try to loose about 20 pounds the next couple months with exercise and no sugar and cut back on my bread intake.