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  • Tomatoes, sugar etc.

    I've read the Primal Blueprint, but I think I need to get a clearer picture about sugar, especially in tomatoes and tomato products. Apparently, tomatoes are high in sugar, natural sugar. I'm interested in making my own sugar free ketchup. It would invariably start with tomato sauce or paste. Yesterday, using tomato paste, the can said "tomatoes", nothing else yet there was sugar and carbs in the nutrition list. Is this natural sugar and OK to use more of as it's found in natural foods? I've lost the weight and reached my goal and I seem to be holding steady at 115 lbs, plus or minus a pound. I'd like to expand my eating a bit, while staying primal. Is sugar, sugar, wherever I find it, natural food or processed or does natural sugar in unprocessed food behave differently in my body? I need to mention that sugar and sweetness are a "trigger point" for me and I really try to avoid sweet stuff or 1 Oreo and I'm headed down the road to disaster. I'm planning to re-read the Primal Blueprint again and possibly discover if I missed any information. This question also applies to natural carbs. Last week I got brave and baked a yam, worried I might gain weight because of the carbs I took 3 days to eat it. If there is something in the archives, would you point me toward it?

  • #2
    Tomatoes are fruit. They have natural sugar. So do carrots. So do onions. You can make the ketchup from regular tomatoes, but chances are it will not be sweet enough since most tomatoes in the grocery store are not ripened properly and 'sugariness' does not develop. If sugar is a huge concern, do not eat more than 1 cup combined of fruit and tubers a day.
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    • #3
      Since you are not trying to lose weight there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying naturally occurring sugars and carbs in the form of whole foods.

      I understand about trigger issues but I really think that there is a world of difference between oreos and some tomato paste. Oreos are refined sugar combined with refined starch. That hits your bloodstream all at once and can definitely cause problems.

      Some people are extremely sensitive in this regard and an indulgence in fruit can send them straight into the oreo bag but I don't think that's you.

      From your other threads I also know that you are eating plenty of good fats like coconut oil, so you are pretty balanced.

      Tomatoes are one of the few plants I still like on my mostly meat diet. Delicious.

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      • #4
        A. do not fear sugars from natural food sources such as fruits and vegetables.

        They are not full of the refined crap in an oreo.

        B. If you feel that a food is going to cause you to go too far and cause you to slip into binge territory because of the sensation of sweetness then monitor that food or moderate it until you feel that you are in control of it instead of it controlling you. Overcome your fear of it... you dealt with eating that yam. You controlled your reaction to it. You ate it slowly. Success. Maybe you could eat a larger portion next time keeping in mind that you are still within your caloric needs for the day(if there is ever weight gain from eating carbs after carb restriction and you are within your caloric needs it is simply a bit of water retention and will pass), keeping in mind that you are in control of your interaction with that yam, and have another successful experience.
        This seems to be more about your thinking and eating recovery... forming a good positive strong relationship with food where you are in control.

        Best wishes.
        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Leida View Post
          Tomatoes are fruit. They have natural sugar. So do carrots. So do onions. You can make the ketchup from regular tomatoes, but chances are it will not be sweet enough since most tomatoes in the grocery store are not ripened properly and 'sugariness' does not develop. If sugar is a huge concern, do not eat more than 1 cup combined of fruit and tubers a day.
          I planned to punch up the sweetness with some Splenda, just enough to sweeten the ketchup a little more. I won't be starting from whole tomatoes, I just want to mix something together from sauce or paste. ("no sugar added" type) Thanks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
            Since you are not trying to lose weight there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying naturally occurring sugars and carbs in the form of whole foods.

            I understand about trigger issues but I really think that there is a world of difference between oreos and some tomato paste. Oreos are refined sugar combined with refined starch. That hits your bloodstream all at once and can definitely cause problems.

            Some people are extremely sensitive in this regard and an indulgence in fruit can send them straight into the oreo bag but I don't think that's you.

            From your other threads I also know that you are eating plenty of good fats like coconut oil, so you are pretty balanced.


            Tomatoes are one of the few plants I still like on my mostly meat diet. Delicious.
            There are quite a few natural sugar and carb foods I'd like to try. Peas is one along with carrots. I've also noticed that onions are on the high end with carbs. I've lost 130 lbs. and a great dread is that I'll step on the scale (once a week only) and see a weight gain. I've dropped over 100 lbs 3 times and 3 different ways in my adult life. Primal, by far has been the easiest but now, I think I'd like to find something else to do although I plan to eat Primal the rest of my life.
            Forgot to add, your picture is lovely!
            Last edited by Rosemary 231; 08-12-2013, 01:42 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cori93437 View Post
              A. do not fear sugars from natural food sources such as fruits and vegetables.

              They are not full of the refined crap in an oreo.

              B. If you feel that a food is going to cause you to go too far and cause you to slip into binge territory because of the sensation of sweetness then monitor that food or moderate it until you feel that you are in control of it instead of it controlling you. Overcome your fear of it... you dealt with eating that yam. You controlled your reaction to it. You ate it slowly. Success. Maybe you could eat a larger portion next time keeping in mind that you are still within your caloric needs for the day(if there is ever weight gain from eating carbs after carb restriction and you are within your caloric needs it is simply a bit of water retention and will pass), keeping in mind that you are in control of your interaction with that yam, and have another successful experience.
              This seems to be more about your thinking and eating recovery... forming a good positive strong relationship with food where you are in control.

              Best wishes.
              Thanks, that encourages me. I plan to add a little bit slowly here and there. I believe you are all saying that natural sugars and carbs react in the body differently from processed sugar and carbs. So there is no need to regard them the same as a processed sugar cookie. Is this right? If so, great! I'll just start slowly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rosemary 231 View Post
                There are quite a few natural sugar and carb foods I'd like to try. Peas is one along with carrots. I've also noticed that onions are on the high end with carbs. I've lost 130 lbs. and a great dread is that I'll step on the scale (once a week only) and see a weight gain. I've dropped over 100 lbs 3 times and 3 different ways in my adult life. Primal, by far has been the easiest but now, I think I'd like to find something else to do although I plan to eat Primal the rest of my life.
                Forgot to add, your picture is lovely!
                My goodness. That is a lot of size changing. I can see why you might be apprehensive but you are home now. This is not a diet you go on or off, it is a new way of living.

                Congratulations on your success.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  My goodness. That is a lot of size changing. I can see why you might be apprehensive but you are home now. This is not a diet you go on or off, it is a new way of living.

                  Congratulations on your success.
                  Thank you. I know I can do Primal for the rest of my life. Just small steps while I creep up on a broader eating plan. Naturally, you know that being the obsessive type, I'll be on and off the scale a lot. Once I'm confident the weight is stable I'll get over it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rosemary 231 View Post
                    I planned to punch up the sweetness with some Splenda, just enough to sweeten the ketchup a little more. I won't be starting from whole tomatoes, I just want to mix something together from sauce or paste. ("no sugar added" type) Thanks.
                    Do you think you ketchup could go without sweetening the ketchup. It is likely the sweetness itself is a trigger for you, not whether it is sugar or some other sweetener. Americans have particularly sweet food. Sauces in other parts of the world are flavourful, but rarely sweet. Having succeeded so well in shedding the weight, I can understand your desire to reincorporate some of the old foods, but this is perhaps one bridge you need not cross.

                    I ditched sweeteners about thirty years ago and found that I adjusted and after a while didn't miss them. Interestingly, when I ditched wheat about four years ago, I found that vegetables like carrot and onion seemed sweeter than they had. So now I enjoy the natural sweetness of foods. When it comes to cooking, I just leave the sweeteners out of sauces, maybe adding a little bit more salt to lift the flavour
                    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by peril View Post
                      Do you think you ketchup could go without sweetening the ketchup. It is likely the sweetness itself is a trigger for you, not whether it is sugar or some other sweetener. Americans have particularly sweet food. Sauces in other parts of the world are flavourful, but rarely sweet. Having succeeded so well in shedding the weight, I can understand your desire to reincorporate some of the old foods, but this is perhaps one bridge you need not cross.

                      I ditched sweeteners about thirty years ago and found that I adjusted and after a while didn't miss them. Interestingly, when I ditched wheat about four years ago, I found that vegetables like carrot and onion seemed sweeter than they had. So now I enjoy the natural sweetness of foods. When it comes to cooking, I just leave the sweeteners out of sauces, maybe adding a little bit more salt to lift the flavour
                      I'd probably do best tapering down the sweetness until I didn't notice it was missing.

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                      • #12
                        I agree with peril about ditching the artificial sweeteners as well and getting your taste buds reoriented to reality. They really do shift. For me eating cherry tomatoes tastes like eating candy.

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                        • #13
                          For me, naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are not triggering at all. A bite of chocolate, on the other hand.
                          F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                          "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Damiana View Post
                            For me, naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are not triggering at all. A bite of chocolate, on the other hand.
                            I'm not really concerned about natural sugar triggering a "sweet frenzy". The natural sugar I'm concerned with is in higher carb vegetables and fruits, that I didn't eat as I lost weight, giving me an insulin spike. Many of those sugars you don't even taste. I just want to increase my variety of food now and hold my weight where it is. Probably what I should have asked originally was, does my body treat natural sugar in food, such as peas, the same as it deals with processed sugar? I think I need to take small steps, trying one food addition at a time, and checking the scale, after eating it for a fair amount of time to see a reaction. Obviously, 2 Tbls. of coconut oil a day has caused no increase. When I weighed after a week, I had gone up a half pound but then, just as quickly, came down that same half a pound.
                            Last edited by Rosemary 231; 08-13-2013, 09:13 AM.

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                            • #15
                              you know weight fluctuations of even a couple pounds are totally normal, so well done on not freaking out.

                              no, the body will not react the same to a tomato as it will to a snickers, but instead of making "ketchup" with sweetener, why not just make a good salsa?

                              if you're very worried, be sure to consume higher-carb veggies/fruits with some fat and protein at the same time. that will slow the insulin response.
                              As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                              – Ernest Hemingway

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