Why sugar free?
When we eat any type of carbohydrate it is converted by the body to glucose which stimulates insulin to be released (or it may have to be injected). It doesn’t matter whether it is a fizzy drink, sweets, table sugar or a complex carbohydrate such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice or potatoes.
It also doesn’t matter if it is ‘natural’ or ‘processed’. Honey, raw sugar, medjool dates, fruit etc all raise your blood glucose levels equally as processed sugars. Saying that, if you are able to tolerate carbohydrates then your choice should always be natural, unprocessed carbs.
Always go for nutrient dense, real food, whole food such as berries, non starchy vegetables etc. Choose complex colourful carbs where possible. They are absorbed slower and are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Eat a rainbow!
By maintaining a lower blood sugar level, you require lower insulin levels. Insulin is the major regulator of metabolism and by controlling insulin you stop fat from being stored, lose weight, allow fat to be utilized as fuel, improve your blood lipid profile, increased energy, reduce hunger, reduce risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and most importantly reduce inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer.
The modern problem with sugar is that it lurks everywhere. It is found in canned tuna, roasted chicken, peanut butter, baked beans, cereals, meats, healthy fruit yoghurts as well as the obvious places such as biscuits, cakes and fizzy drinks.
Marketing gurus have led us to believe many foods are healthy when they are not, this is called the “healthy halo”. Foods that appear to be healthy but are actually laden with carbs and sugar – cereals, fruit yogurts, dried fruit, muesli bars, low fat products, gluten free products. We are also eating more than we ever used to.
Cakes were once eaten for a special occasion but are now an everyday food for many. It is seen as the norm to have sugary snacks, high carb treats, fizzy drinks, after sports energy drinks. It is seen as restrictive if you politely say no. We need to change this around as see handing out sugar to our children as the exception, not the norm.
So by eating low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein, you will lose weight, stabilize hunger and improve health.
Eat whole food, real food.
The problem today is that after many years of eating a high carb diet, the body can become insulin resistant . The insulin receptors are becoming damaged due to the constant high levels of insulin and the receptors now require higher amounts of insulin to be able to respond. The pancreas has to produce higher and higher amounts of insulin until it becomes damaged and exhausted leading to Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics (which is an auto immune condition) who inject high amounts of insulin to cover high carbohydrate meals also can become insulin resistant.
The complications of diabetes Type 1 or 2 (blood glucose is too high and cannot be reduced without medication)
- fat metabolism changes and plaques start to develop in arteries. Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease with raised bad cholesterol, raised triglycerides, mineral and fat deficiencies.
- diabetic neuropathy – nerve damage mainly in the micro vessels in hands, feet and eyes become damaged from the high glucose
- weight gain
- constant fatigue
- poor circulation
- increased urination and thirst as the bay tries to excrete the high levels of glucose via the urine
- increased inflammation, especially in the small blood vessels, leading to circulation problems and tingling in the fingers and toes
Why wheat and grain free?
Since reading Wheat Belly, by William Davis MD (cardiologist), we have stopped eating any wheat or grains. Please read this and Dr David Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain, which is another eye opener. Eliminate the wheat, eliminate the belly!
I think Dr Davis sensationalises many aspects, but what is clear is that by eliminating wheat from your diet, it immediately puts a stop on eating processed foods such as bread, cakes, pasta, rice, biscuits etc, reduces the carb intake of your diet, reduces insulin levels, and stops a leaky gut (which most people have with/out symptoms) causing malabsorption of vitamins and minerals, and stops hunger.
The “Wheat Belly” or “Muffin Top”, is the result of the glucose-insulin-fat deposition on the abdomen.
Modern wheat and grains have “been genetically altered to provide processed food manufacturers the greatest yield at the lowest cost; consequently, this once benign grain has been transformed into a nutritionally empty ingredient which causes blood sugar to spike more rapidly than eating pure table sugar and has addictive properties that cause hunger, overeating and fatigue. ”
The Diet Doctor has discussed Wheat Belly on his site.
This new modern wheat is also linked to immunological diseases such as dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease.
Being a cardiologist, he has first hand experience of using the current dietary guidelines of reduced fat, high carb diet. He put “over 2000 of his at risk patients on a wheat free regime and seeing extraordinary results”. Patients returned with huge weight loss, energy improved, acid reflux gone, skin conditions gone, rheumatoid arthritis pain improved, better sleep, improved mood and concentration ……
Sadly wheat is found in so many foods we wouldn’t consider it to be and so many new products and new types of bread are being introduced. We have come to feel wheat is a necessary part of any meal. Eggs and toast, cereal, sandwich, pitta bread, hamburgers with buns, crackers for a snack, pies etc. It is eaten in greater quantities year on year. Add on top the increased sugar consumption and its not a pretty picture.
Modern wheat contains –
- amylopectin A which is efficiently digested to glucose rapidly giving blood sugar spikes followed by insulin spikes. Amylopectin C found in legumes is the least digestible (beans, beans good for your heart, beans, beans make you …). Amylopectin A in wheat causes you blood glucose to rise more than simple carbohydrates such as table sugar. The GI (glycaemic index) for white bread 70, whole grain bread, 71, fruit loops 69 oats 66, snickers 55!
- an apetitie stimulant
- gluten in wheat contains the family of proteins called gliadens and gluten ins. Gliadens (αβγ) are the proteins that triggers the immune response in celiac disease.
- Genetic modification has added anti fungal enzymes to aid texture and leavening.
- in conclusion, wheat is a rapidly absorbed carbohydrate with a high GI full of reactive proteins causing a leaky gut.
We have all been told to eat healthy, whole grains, and there is no disputing the science that when whole grain flour is substituted for white flour, there is a reduction in colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes. But by increasing your vegetable intake when eating LCHF, you far exceed any loss of fibre of Vitamin B group from not eating whole grain bread. Dr Davis explains that by replacing something bad (white flour) with something not so bad (whole grain) then it must be good for you, this theory should also work for cigarettes. If high tar cigarettes are bad for you, then low tar should be great!
A sandwich might have a little salad inside but the bulk of what you are eating comes from the bread, but by removing the bread and eating instead a huge salad with a variety of ingredients, you will be better nourished and more able to absorb the vitamins minerals it contains.
Do not eat gluten free products unless they are wheat free and grain free. By removing gluten from wheat, it is usually replaced with rice starch, corn starch, tapioca starch etc. Although they are now gluten free and may cause the same immunological response, the carbs (mainly the amylopectin A it still contains) will still break down to glucose and still cause an insulin spike and still cause hunger, fat storage, and gain weight (and the muffin top).
So by eating low carb, by removing wheat and grains, you remove the biggest source of carbs and processed food. Eliminating wheat and grains are an excellent strategy for rapid weight loss, appetite control, and blood sugar control.