Quitting sugar "changed my brain"

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Pasta really should not have any sugar in it, it’s mainly semolina, salt, water and possibly egg. Likewise, white bread can be made with simply flour, salt, yeast, and water. Unless he’s going on about carbs in general, which are part of the starchiness of wheat flour. But that’s not refined sugar. (but hey, given enzymes, it’s converted into one sugar or another reasonably quickly)

Packaged pasta sauces, yeah. Probably contain sugar. Sliced bread, also probably has HFCS. In fact, anything packaged probably has stuff you’d do better not eating. Ingredients, not so much.


I’d like to see a copy of the receipt he gets after buying all that fresh food.

Why does food that’s fresh cost more than food that’s processed, even when it’s minimally packaged? Especially fresh food that allegedly supposed to be free of everything except the type of food it is (apple, fish, et cetera).

Hard on the brain and the wallet, to quit refined sugar. Ugh.



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I was just telling my son I remember when carbohydrates consisted of sugars and starches, and filling up on bread before dinner was an accepted practice.


What’s the deal with checking urine for ketones? Are ketones wanted or not wanted? (Diabetics generally try to avoid ketones because it’s an indication of poor blood sugar control … how does that relate to a dieting scenario?)

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Because shelf life. Fresh food has to be chilled and shipped from coast to coast in a hurry, which means lots of fossil fuels. Canned food can sit around for decades. We are spoiled - peak oil does not bode well for whatever next year’s diet fad is.


Not a question of wanted or not; they’re a normal part of metabolism. But an excess of ketosis apparently has neurological effects…

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Ketosis is a sign that your body is breaking down fat to get at the sugar, is a part of high protein diet low carb/sugar diet. So if your goal is to lose weight, ketosis is a “good” thing. If its not, its not a good thing.


“bacon every day”
I’m amused by the dietary trend of replacing things that may be or definitely are not bad for you (fat, gluten, carbs) with things that definitely are (respectively: sugar, sugar, saturated fats and cured meats). From everything I read, processed meats are probably about the worst thing you can eat, particularly bacon. It’s very much the occasional treat (although the American Institute for Cancer Research thinks no amount is safe to eat), as daily consumption hugely increases risks of colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, etc. Better off eating a donut. Hmm, now I want bacon and donuts…


Thanks for that.
Yeah, processed means arbitrary storage, fresh means daily spoilage. HUGE profit margin differences.


:smiley: Very relevant! Let’s step back a moment to see why!

Most low-carb folks accept the “hormonal theory” of obesity, that says insulin levels along with leptin & glucagon are the markers of whether you’re over-storing energy. If you have high blood sugar, your body releases more insulin to clear the sugar from your blood by telling your fat cells to open up and take the sugar in, clearing it from the blood, and so gaining weight (to oversimplify here for a moment). So you want to avoid spikes in blood sugar & spikes in insulin that lead to a lot of swelling fat cells! (fat storage). Low insulin & low blood sugar leads to less fat storage in this theory.

Too many spikes causes too much insulin to be circulating all the time, so your cells stop “hearing” the command of insulin to avoid being overwhelmed. But you still have high blood sugar, so your body pumps out more insulin etc in a devastating spiral. A common problem overweight people have is that they are insulin-resistant in this way, and they have high circulating levels of insulin that their cells cannot “hear.” And thus also high blood sugar. But the body keeps putting insulin out, until the pancreas is exhausted, thus setting the stage for Type 2 Diabetes.

It’s hard to test for insulin at home, so instead most low-carb folks test blood sugar levels in its place even tho’ they aren’t diabetic. What we want is a stable even level blood sugar even right after we eat, ideally under 90 or so (some people argue for 86). But ketone testing is also useful, and here’s why.

As you reduce your carbs, you have less and less sugar circulating and your body does 2 things: 1 conserves blood sugar for those few parts of the body that truly cannot survive on anything else; and 2 - switches to burning your own body fat as its main source of energy to fuel the remainder of your body. The metabolism of body fat in this way produces what is commonly called ketones, of which there are a couple types.

Due to evolution, we humans have this secondary fuel source of fat/ketones because of course food scarcity was common in our history. Low-carb dieters want to turn on low levels of ketones - not enough to be dangerous, as happens in uncontrolled diabetes, but in low, safe, moderate levels. To see where you are with them, you measure them. Some still use urine testing, but most have moved on to the more accurate blood testing with a meter.

Low or moderate safe ketone levels are in a range from .5 to about 6 on the blood meter. In contrast dangerous ketone levels are much higher, like 15 or even 20, The range is wonderfully discussed in a book by 2 scientists called “The Art & Science of Low Carb Performance.”

Again due to evolution, it is likely we spent much of our ancient time burning stored body fat (because food was scarce) and likely evolved to live on very low levels of ketones in this way. Some of our tissues seem to prefer ketones as a fuel source, like the heart. So after some adaptation time, many people feel relying on our ancient ketone metabolic abilities is actually beneficial (ultra-marathoners love it) and prefer to stay there.

So they measure ketones. Hope this long answers gives a full explanation. :smiley: Think of low-carb as the ultimate metabolism hack, based on evolution.


Do you remember when flour became a carbohydrate? I think that was a big mistake.


That isn’t generally considered to be the case anymore, is it? I thought the link between high glycemic load foods and insulin sensitivity (and lipid levels and blood pressure) has been found to be weak at best.

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I just know that when the piss strips turn pink it correlates strongly with continued weight loss and not being mysterious hungry all day, every day.


I wouldn’t go for bacon everyday, but whether saturated fats are “definitely bad” is debatable. I can’t remember the exact study (but in Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food) he quotes a recent Harvard school of Medicine? study that shows no evidence of saturated fats being bad.

There has been a huge growth in the nutrition field in the past 40 years but often there is a lot of contradiction. Remember when margarine was supposed to be much healthier than butter, now as it turns out the hydrogenated fats in margarine are considered much worse than butter.

Or the checkered history of baby formula - which has been changing for a century and yet is nowhere near to mothers milk.

Having said that, I weaned myself off sugar in my coffee and tea, reducing it down to half a teaspoon and then finally nothing about a year ago and I feel a lot better, and have lost and kept off about 15lbs. I didn’t notice any withdrawal symptoms either.

(I didn’t drink many sugary drinks before, but have switched to club soda because I enjoy the carbonation).

I like Michael Pollans simple rules on eating. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
And don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.


But bacon is a good source of selenium.

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And don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.

My grandmother ate terrible food. Every meal was red meat very well done, some starch (almost always potatoes), and occasionally there would be a vegetable when they were in season, or else something pickled during the long winter.

She’s never had avocado ferchrissakes. You think I’m going to stop eating avocado?

My grandmother also ate (and fed my mom) lots of TV dinners in the 60’s and 70’s. The ones today are much, much better, but I still think they are kind of gross.


[quote=“tekna2007, post:7, topic:65048”]
What’s the deal with checking urine for ketones? Are ketones wanted or not wanted?
[/quote]They are wanted up to certain level. This is indication that your body began using fat as a fuel.
Diabetics check for ketones, because too much of them means danger of ketoacidosis - a life threatening state in an un-checked run-away untreated diabetes.

For actual numbers check

Please notice that ketone bodies are: acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Yes, that is the same acetone that is used as a paint thinner or nail varnish remover.
A breath of someone in a nutritional ketosis, or a diabetic in a state of ketoacidosis might smell of acetone.

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