Why I’m Healthier Burning Sugar
Why I’m Healthier Burning SugarMar 19th, 2014 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Beyond The First 90 Days, Still Pressing Play with Coach Chris, Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., Living the Fit Life, Nutrition & Weight Loss
Funny thing is, I was paleo and then restricted carb for years. I thought I was at the forefront of healthy eating. So much so that when I first encountered the work of Ray Peat PhD back in 2010 or 2011 (can’t remember for sure) I was convinced he was wrong. It didn’t jive with my view of nutrition. I mean I was pretty well read on nutrition so how could I be wrong?
I didn’t think much about him for a couple years until I read one of Matt Stone’s work. In a list of authors he lists as people who may have influenced him was Dr. Peat’s name. And after reading Matt’s book I promptly went back to Dr. Peat’s site (raypeat.com) and started reading – again.
Now I’m not going to try to condense Ray Peat’s work here. In fact, I’m not sure I could even point you to which articles to start with but perhaps the following would be a good choice (I’ve put some notable quotes from the article below):
“Following the old reasoning about the sugar disease, the newer kind of obese diabetes is commonly blamed on eating too much sugar. Obesity, especially a fat waist, and all its associated health problems, are said by some doctors to be the result of eating too much sugar, especially fructose. …In an earlier newsletter, I wrote about P. A. Piorry in Paris, in 1864, and Dr. William Budd in England, in 1867, who treated diabetes by adding a large amount of ordinary sugar, sucrose, to the patient’s diet. Glucose was known to be the sugar appearing in the diabetics’ urine, but sucrose consists of half glucose, and half fructose. In 1874, E. Kulz in Germany reported that diabetics could assimilate fructose better than glucose. In the next decades there were several more reports on the benefits of feeding fructose, including the reduction of glucose in the urine. With the discovery of insulin in 1922, fructose therapy was practically forgotten, until the 1950s when new manufacturing techniques began to make it economical to use.”
“A lowered metabolic rate and energy production is a common feature of aging and most degenerative diseases. From the beginning of an animal’s life, sugars are the primary source of energy, and with maturation and aging there is a shift toward replacing sugar oxidation with fat oxidation. Old people are able to metabolize fat at the same rate as younger people, but their overall metabolic rate is lower, because they are unable to oxidize sugar at the same high rate as young people. Fat people have a similar selectively reduced ability to oxidize sugar.”
“Many stressors cause capillary leakage, allowing albumin and other blood components to enter extracellular spaces or to be lost in the urine, and this is a feature of diabetes, obesity, and a variety of inflammatory and degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (Szekanecz and Koch, 2008; Ujiie, et al., 2003). Although the mechanism isn’t understood, fructose supports capillary integrity; fructose feeding for 4 and 8 weeks caused a 56% and 51% reduction in capillary leakage, respectively (Chakir, et al., 1998; Plante, et al., 2003).”
“In monkeys living in the wild, when their diet is mainly fruit, their cortisol is low, and it rises when they eat a diet with less sugar (Behie, et al., 2010).”
I highly recommend reading the whole article but you can see from just a few extracts that Dr. Peat, along with the work of others, strongly suggests that our diet problems are not sugar related per se (sugar being a mix of glucose and fructose). The issue I’m trying to assess is whether I can get my metabolism to speed up just by adding the added calories from fruit and some starches. (Starches are decidedly less optimal than fruit as they don’t have fructose.) My thought is I can but that it will take time.
This brings me back to Matt Stone’s diet recovery book where my big issue is that there is no road map provided to guide you to how to fix your metabolism optimally. In fact, other than telling you to eat more calories via sugar, starch and saturated fats (plus add more salt to your diet) there is no guidance. This may explain why Mr. Stone recently admitted in one of his newsletters that his list of people who have lost the weight gained is rather limited. (Click here to read my prior post regarding this subject)
Here are my thoughts. Just adding calories may be fun in the short run but will add fat. Adding more calories in the form of fruit is probably a better path because you get the glucose and fructose without any significant fat and you get some helpful antioxidants as well. And as ‘proof’ of the positive leaning effects of eating a lot of fruit, go try to find a fat fruitarian. (Note: I’m not advocating a fruit only diet as I think it’s missing key nutrients but I have noted that those following such a diet tend to be very lean.) So I’ve been eating a lot more fruit. Below is a sample of how I’ve been eating – targeting between 1900 – 2300 calories a day:
- Upon waking: 2 – 3 bananas
juice of 1 orange
1 coconut date roll
- Breakfast (90 minutes later): oatmeal (1/4 cup dry) with 1 scoop protein, 1/2 cup whole raw milk, and maple syrup for sweetening
- Lunch: Smoothie with 1 cup mixed berries, 1/2 cup other fruit 1 scoop protein, 1 small carrot, 1/3 beet, Shakeology
- Afternoon snack: fresh or dried fruit (this week has been strawberries, mangoes, dried apricots and/or prunes)
- Dinner: Lean meat, salad and sometimes a starch (potatoes or rice)
- Late night snack (optional): small dish of low fat ice cream
Most people will tell you not to eat dried fruit. They’ll say it’s too concentrated in sugar. But my argument is that this is exactly what I need and, quite frankly, is the only way to significantly up my total calories from fruit because fruit doesn’t have a lot of calories and I don’t have the time or inclination to eat a mound of food for a snack.
I’ve just made the change to this fairly high fruit diet so I’m waiting to see if this rips the extra weight I gained off of me. I lost 1lb last week so that was a good start. I’ll keep you all updated!