Sugar sucks? Really?

sugar, metabolism, ray peatI recently saw Sarah Wilson showing her new jumper with SUGAR SUCKS on it and it made me wonder… is this getting a bit too negative, counter productive and perhaps even wrong?

The thoughts kept popping…

  • is it heading down the certain food is ‘bad’ type dialogue which may lead to eating disorders where people are fearful of food?
  • it’s certainly great to learn more and be aware, but is negativity to this extent necessary or even accurate?
  • even Sarah herself said that she hasn’t quit sugar entirely but pared it back to sensible levels (‘I quit sugar’ was more catchy than ‘ I reduced my sugar intake somewhat.’)
  • so it’s actually a quantity issue – not the fact that sugar itself is no good

I get it that Sarah’s view on sugar was ‘out there’ from the start, she was a maverick where everyone else took their time to catch up and sometimes you need to be a bit bold, cheeky, and controversial to get people to pay attention. Fair enough.

And I too was an anti-sugar crusader a few years back. I’m sure I was addicted, as it did wacky things to me and along with a few other foods, it was the cause of me being at least 20kgs (40lbs) overweight and totally miserable.

So I went low carb, stopped eating grain completely and any commercially made sweet stuff and put Rice Malt Syrup (no fructose) in my home made treats – so not cutting out sweets entirely, but it seemed to regulate my appetite. I didn’t binge eat any more and I felt for the first time in my life, that I could eat like a normal person and not feel so out of control.

It was awesome!

But what if it wasn’t about the sugar, but more about the other stuff lurking junk food that was causing the problem? Food additives, unsaturated fat, trans fats, colours, additives, preservatives, starches and grains?

And what if it’s more about the type of sugar, how we eat it and how much we have, relative to our activity and body’s needs?

This is why I am finding the information from Ray Peat so fascinating, because it completely says the opposite to the ‘No Sugar’ camp. And it always puzzles me – how can it be? Scientific testing on both sides, real life testimonials on both sides saying completely the opposite – swearing black and blue that they are right and totally working for both parties????

Here are some bits and pieces from the ‘Sugar is Ok’ camp:-

– Glucose is necessary for our liver to convert thyroid hormone T4 to T3, which drives metabolic rate and fat burning.

– Sugar is a thermic food and assists healthy, fast metabolism

– It is unsaturated fat that damages the mitochondria of the cells and affects its ability to process glucose correctly.

– Glucose is fuel for the brain and muscles – sure the body can convert protein and fats into glucose but it is a taxing process on the body and contributes to stress effects and aging. So it’s better for the body to eat it in the most easily digestible and absorbable form possible – preferably fresh fruit.

sugar, metabolism, ray peat

– Starches like flour products and even whole grains are more problematic than sugar (due to the work the body has to do to convert it down to glucose to use it. And it raises insulin higher!)

– The best sources of carbohydrates for the body are fresh fruit and raw honey

– A balanced amount of fructose is great because it doesn’t affect insulin levels (see more on fructose benefits by Kate Deering here.)

– The type of sweet food you eat is critical

– Eating the sweet foods correctly is super important, ie along with a bunch of nutrients, so the sugar can metabolise in the body properly. (For example it takes 50mcg of magnesium to digest 1g sugar, and if you don’t have that in your system, it takes it from your stores, like your teeth and bones.)

– and eating the right amount of sugar for your body and daily activity output is probably the most crucial factor

Even the ‘No Sugar’ camp says that it’s ‘excess sugar consumption’ that is the problem – causing the list 3 pages long of metabolic diseases – funnily enough the ‘Sugar is Ok’ crew say exactly the same thing.

So there we are – in actual fact both sides agree. Funny that. It just doesn’t seem like it.

So the ‘no sugar’ guys have done a great job to at least draw attention to the over consumption of sugar issue – because it’s the excess part that in fact is the big bad guy.

Excess kale negatively affects your thyroid too – but we don’t dump on kale. And even too much water can cause problems.

So let’s keep it positive and accurate people. The truth is it’s only excess sugar that really sucks and probably our understanding of the whole thing too. But that’s not as catchy is it?

Happy, healthy, and feeling good!


Kristy x

Crunchy Raw Protein Cookies

adrian alford photography, paleo, vegan, coconutContinuing the theme of ‘lunchbox or travel snacks,’ another recipe evolved and this may be my current favourite!

It just astounds me how a raw cookie can be crunchy. Totally tastes like it’s cooked, only it’s not!

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Rich Chocolate Travel Bars

dates, chocolate, cacao, healthy, snacks, weightloss

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While I totally love my normal fudge/chocolate creations, they are strictly fridge to mouth options only, as they melt into a gooey mess within half an hour of being out of the chilly environment.

Not so practical for the lunchbox or if you want to take travel snacks.

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Go metabolism go!

metabolism, bmr, slimbirdy, loose skin, weight loss, losing weightSo just an update on how this ‘Go Metabolism Go’ trial was working for me and what if anything, has tripped me up so far. The original story here.

So I’m about 2 months in and yes I have noticed some changes.

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Raw ‘Coconut Butter’ Bounty Cookies

coconut butter, paleo, raw diet, healthy, ketoAfter I nixed the peanut butter for peanut powder – less damaging unsaturated fat – I ventured to try Coconut Butter. So that’s not the oil but just the coconut meat mixed together to make a kind of butter.

So brought the jar home from my local health shop and was excited to try it. Open it up and… it is as hard as a rock! What the…

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Dr Ray Peat – fast metabolism & healthy hormones.

metabolism, hormones, loose skin, Dr Ray Peat,

Just reading some new information from Dr Ray Peat and it really interested me from a number of angles:-

  1. It encourages a healthy high metabolism
  2. It supports healthy thyroid function
  3. It supports healthy hormone function

There were stories of low carb dieters who had been low carbing for some years and their health had started to deteriorate.

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MacDate Slice with Coconut Cream Icing

dates, healthy, weight loss, adrian alford photography, loose skin, losing weight,

I’ve given up on coconut flour – that’s firmly in the too hard basket – it requires incredible patience and nearly a chemistry degree – and I have neither! Well no patience with cooking anyway – with people, that’s another story. I posted a coconut flour recipe run down on facebook last week from people who are far better at it than me – see it here.

My forte is melt and mix slices because they work like 99% of time – easy, easy, easy – and that’s the way I like it!

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Loose Skin – A Solution

Loose skin, postpartum, skin firming,

Nearly all women who have had children encounter this. So does anyone who has lost weight and also the rest of us who may have trashed our skin by alcohol, smoking, junk food, lack of nutrients and many more reasons.

So that probably is about 80% of the population who has this issue!

Loose skin.

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Simple Zucchini Slice – Grain Free

zucchini, healthy, grainfree, paleo, dairy free, ray peat, recipe,

I had attempted the traditional recipes of this slice from ones found online however, firstly I don’t eat flour, so I balked at that ingredient.

I attempted to make one with coconut flour even allowing for the 1/3 cup to 1 cup of normal flour ratio as coconut flour is a whole other animal, however the result was too cakey, too dry, too sweet for a savoury dish and totally not the taste for which I was aiming.

I remember from my childhood days my cousins used to make this and I remember it being the same cakey texture. Nice for cake but not for this.

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Dairy tales – yes or no for you?

milk, dairy, dairyfree, estrogen, intoleranceOf all the addictive things I have cut out of my diet, dairy products were one I had left in for the longest time, despite reading other’s bad experiences of it.

Even though the Paleo and Vegan peeps both shun dairy, I was convinced that I had the Northern European gene that had adapted to dairy and so basically was immune to all the supposed negative effects that plague others.

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