Skip to main content

I Eat Sugar, They Eat Sugar, Why Can't You?

The polite brush-off answer: because I'm not you or them.

Answers that require more thought:

Metabolism doesn't improve with age. I could eat crap, or have nothing but a bun or soda for lunch, when I was nineteen and it didn't bother me. Much. Most people that age can say the same. Now that I'm 44, I usually can't fast and more than a little carb makes me tired and hungry and gives me a stomach ache. A high-nutrient, low-carb diet and three meals/snacks a day is my way of dealing with it.

Genes. I'm from a family full of diabetes and hypoglycemia and used to have most of the symptoms of hypoglycemia listed in Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. Expecting someone like me to do well on a "balanced diet" (i.e., lots of starch, little meat) of three meals a day is like putting gasoline in a diesel truck and wondering what's wrong.

Natural and Artificial Selection. Richard Dawkins has written about animal species undergoing natural selection within a few generations of living in new conditions. Why would humans be different? In isolated places where a high-carb diet is all that's available, people who can't tolerate such a diet from a young age are winnowed out.

Culture. If you're hunting antelope or digging up and carrying thirty pounds of roots all day, every day, like the Hadza (see Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham), you can probably get away with more starch and sugar in your diet than a suburban desk jockey. If you have to walk half a mile to the train station, pay dearly for food, and pack groceries and everything else up three flights of stairs to an expensive little apartment, you can probably get away with more Big Gulps than a New Jersey housewife, and might not be eating as much food.

Some people care more than others. Yes, I know diabetics who eat "normally" and enjoy crap in "moderation." They don't have any tricks--they're covering the carbs with medication, burning some excess blood sugar off with exercise, or having high blood sugar. Some of us know people who get drunk every night but go to work every morning. But just because you can doesn't mean you should.


tess said…
ALL very good responses (depending upon the recipient)! One more that occurs to me more and more as time goes by: i just don't LIKE it anymore! Other people's treats are usually not TREATS to those of us who use butter and cream and good-quality chocolate.
Lori Miller said…
Sad to say, I'd be face down in the chocolate cake if I could get away with it. But I never even think about Coke anymore (quit twice in 2007) and never liked most pastries that much. A lot of what passes for candy is just gross.
Anonymous said…
I've learned over the years to never discuss diet with anyone! A response that will shut most people up is 'it gives me gas'.
Which is actually true anyway.
Lori Miller said…
Ha! At least you're warning them.

Too much carb gives my dog enough gas to wake me up.
I find now that if I do eat more carbs than normal the result can be a bad head and feeling grotty, I can do without it.

All the best Jan
Lori Miller said…
And yet some people call carbage "fun food." Too much of it is about as much fun as an endoscopy in my book.
Galina L. said…
Conveniently for explanations purposes, I have migraines as an excuse for my sometimes socially awkward diet. I indeed feel wrong in my head after eating sugar or even "safe starches".
Lori Miller said…
Suffering with a migraine is a high price to pay for following the crowd.

Popular posts from this blog

Results of my Carrageenan-Free Diet

Readers may recall my ordeal last Saturday with a migraine headache and a trip by ambulance back to my parents' house. Thanks to one of the paramedics jogging my memory, I researched the almond milk I'd started drinking around the time I quit dairy. One of the ingredients was carrageenan, a substance used to induce inflammation, sensitivity to pain and other problems in laboratory animals. Supposedly, the "undegraded" form is safe for human consumption, but undegraded carrageenan has been found to be contaminated with degraded carrageenan, and there are ways that the digestive system could degrade carrageenan itself.

For the past few months, I've felt a little bloated, and was starting to have some mild pain in my lower stomach. I thought it might have been the effects of the antibiotics, oral steroids or decongestant (which gave me an allergic reaction) from back in February. I didn't connect it to the severe headache I had Memorial Day weekend. I've al…

Sausage-Induced Headaches: Another Clue Points to Carrageenan

A few years ago when I started a low carb diet and started eating sausage again, I found some sausages gave me a headache, but others didn't. At first, eating them was a crap shoot, but I soon found some I couldn't eat (Applegate Farms Organic & Natural Meats) and some I could (McDonald's Restaurants and Ranch Foods Direct, a local pastured meat company).

Some of Applegate Farms' products contain carrageenan (a highly processed, seaweed-based food additive used to induce pain and inflammation in research animals). McDonald's and Ranch Foods Direct sausage doesn't contain it.

Why put carrageenan in sausage? According to Applegate Farms' website,

Carrageenan, which is derived from red seaweed (Chondrus Crispus), activates extracted protein in the meat to help it bind together when formed. As the meat cooks, the heat forms a gel network, increasing moisture retention and improving the sliceability of the product. Without the addition of carrageenan, the…

My GERD is Cured! Low-carb Hits the Mark

It's a good day for paying your billsAnd it's a good day for curing your ills So take a deep breath and throw away the pills 'Cause it's a good day from mornin' til night
A low-carb diet has cured me of GERD! Thanks to the work of Dr. Norm Robillard, author of Heartburn Cured, I no longer have acid reflux--and I don't have to avoid "trigger foods" like onions, caffeine, chocolate (in the form of baking cocoa), mint, tomatoes and fat.
This is a big change from the Body-for-Life program I was on just a few months ago. Body-for-Life involves eating (among other things) six small servings of "authorized" carbs like whole-wheat bread, pasta, fruit, beans, brown rice and winter squash per day. Now I mostly eat meat, eggs, nuts and non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and green beans.
Low-carb diets defy just about every official dietary guideline out there. How often do you hear "eat plenty of healthy whole gr…