Daily Archives: 01/02/2014

Sugar cravings

When I discussed physical preparations for stopping drinking, or to help you maintain your non-drinking if you had already stopped, I briefly discussed sugar and how it had replaced alcohol as my ‘go to’ substance.  There were quite a few comments related to this and then two nights ago I caught this on tv:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03t8r4h/Horizon_20132014_Sugar_v_Fat/

What’s worse for us: sugar or fat?

To answer the hottest question in nutrition, twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken go on month long high-fat and high-sugar diets. The effects on their bodies are shocking and surprising.

But they also discover that in the debate about fat and sugar, the real enemy might have been hiding in plain sight.

This programme is really worth a watch and was very well made with both this short term small sample study and also findings presented from a 10 year longitudinal study being run out of Oxford University.

When I gave up smoking, and now again when giving up drinking, my initial concern was always would I gain weight?  Being honest this was always a bit of a red-herring excuse not to change also!  What this programme researched and showed is that it isn’t sugar that is the obesity generator but that it is a diet rich in processed foods that are exactly 50:50 fat to sugar.

KK-Doughnuts-original-glazed-22

The Krispy Kreme glazed ring is their best selling doughnut on both sides of the pond because it has this exact fat:sugar ratio.  What the programme discussed is that this ratio is as addictive as heroin or alcohol because it triggers our hedonic receptors, or pleasure system, in our brains.

I learned that sugar is a valuable source of energy for us and that our body will self-moderate if we eat too much of it, but that I should be really mindful of the type of sugar sources I choose.  Naturally occurring sugars, such as fresh fruit are better than the pure 50:50 sugar/fat sources, for example ice-cream, cheesecake and those lovely looking doughnuts.  Rats that they fed these types of foods to didn’t have an off switch to them and therefore became obese, much like many of us talk about not having an off switch to booze!!

I am happy to report that my fears about gaining weight were unfounded and blogged back in December about it here.  I weighed myself today and despite Christmas and the winter comfort eating of puddings, ice cream, cakes, biscuits and chocolate I remain 7lbs lighter than when I drank and eat like a queen 😉