Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living in a grain and sugar-free world

Almost impossible to make happen. My stevia even has rice maltodextrin in it. Maltodextrin is made from starch and whatever anyone wants to say, in the body it's sugar.

And that is so difficult to get across to people. They think when I say no sugar I mean that white granular stuff sold in bags labelled sugar. Um no. I mean that and honey, agave nectar, fructose, many starchy vegetables and many varieties of fruit. Whatever they are in person, once they hit my digestive tract they become sugar and are every bit as destructive as the white granular stuff.

The same with grains. I cannot eat any grains. Period. That is difficult for folks to wrap their heads around. A year ago it would have been for me.

Then I discovered primal living. But first, let me explain the "why" of this regime. I have osteoporosis and I'm pre-diabetic. The pre-diabetic is manifested by a hemoglobin A1C score of 5.7 and morning fasting numbers in the 90s and up to 113 one morning last week.The A1C should be 4 point something and the other number should be 83 to 85.

As I was doing research about osteoporosis I ran across many articles discussing phytic acid and its effect on bones. The phytates in grains grab minerals in your intestines, bind to them and carry them out of your body in your feces. My endocrinologist had told me (based on some tests he had me take) that I don't absorb calcium, that it just goes right through me.

So I began to wonder if all the grains I was eating (for good health) were causing my osteoporosis. I could never get a definitive answer out of the good doctor but he did say research had shown that a REALLY REALLY low-carb diet and no sugar did not harm health.

Then I discovered Mark Sisson and read the articles on his website and decided his information made sense and that it couldn't hurt to begin eating like our paleolithic ancestors.

A tidbit: agriculture began about 10,000 (give or take a few) years ago. We were hunter-gatherers for about a million years and our genes think we still are. Our teeth and our digestive tracts are designed for a diet of meat, green vegetables and a few berries, in season. Basically, if we can kill it or pick, we can healthily eat it.

Well, what about all that science we've been drowned in for the last 60 years? You know, eat a low-fat, high-carb diet to be healthy. Well, it's basically bad science, much of it paid for by Conagra, the soy, corn and wheat growers, all the processed food giants--you know, all those folks who have a reason we should eat lots of grains, sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup mostly), and processed food.

Anyway, Mark Sisson wrote a book titled Primal Blueprint which I bought and read and it just made sense. Then I bought The Evolutionary Diet, Primal Body--Primal Mind, Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Solution. Lots of science and in a couple of the books, lots of anecdotal information. Basically, for all our advances, we're still genetically darned close to the folks who ran down giant beasts for food and got their exercise trying not to be devoured by large tigers.

My fervent wish is to live to be 100 so I can tell all the climate change disbelievers and the libertarians who are living in a savage world of people killing for food because the seas have risen and extreme weather conditions have interfered with crop production, so I can give the Bronx cheer and yell, at the top of my lungs, "I told you so." I'm pretty certain living primally can help make that happen. I will have to figure out a way to keep from being killed by the marauding hordes. The old folks will be easy game.

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