I just wanted to say that I have made an account on Marks Daily Apple simply to write on this particular thread. I was looking up the EXACT same question on Google as to why table sugar is allegedly so much worse than other natural sweeteners, and I want to thank Lukey for starting this thread. Some of the posters have had very insightful and common-sense answers to the question, but I gotta ask: why the hell are others giving Lukey such a hard time for asking a perfectly legitimate question on a health food forum?! You guys need to relax. The Internet is such a wonderful place to argue and debate valid points, but there really is no need to troll the guy.
That being said, I've been on the paleo diet for almost 4 weeks now (trying to complete that whole9 30 day challenge to reset my body). I think though that there is no compelling reason to cut out cheese so in a few more days I'm going to start reintroducing it into my diet. However, I've been tackling the issue of consuming small amounts of sugar (which isn't a grain or legume, of which I am cutting out 100%). I understand the theory behind why grains and legumes are unnecessary, or outright terrible, for human consumption, but sugar has been a difficult one to figure out. If fruit can be consumed in small amounts daily, I fail to see why small amounts of organic unrefined cane sugar cannot be eaten daily as well. I guess I have settled on the concept of everything in moderation, and that includes sugar too. Anyway, I'll stop rambling on now.
Akraw, welcome aboard. Things can become unnecessarily chippy sometimes, but that's not unique to this thread or the MDA message boards; it's pretty much everywhere on the Interwebs. Thus goes civility when everyone is anyonymous.
Lots and lots of good answers in this thread indeed. Highly processed carbs in general (acellular, or broken down from the cells of their plant sources) contribute to diabesity, most notably white flour, sugar, and HFCS. As one poster noted, the fructose seems to be the problematic component WRT fatty liver and diabesity, but there is some disagreement over whether one can overdo fruit - does too much fruit tax the liver? Or are the companion elements of fiber and nutrients protective against the effects that processed sugar exerts? I think fruit consumption is a subjective thing, do what works for you. When I was more concerned with losing weight, I eschewed fruit except for berries. I'm less concerned with that now, but I can't eat a lot of fruit daily - an apple a day is enough for me.
As Mark has written, every kind of food has a whole spectrum of choices. Our best option when eating meat would be local grass-fed animals raised without grains, hormones, antibiotics, etc. Down the spectrum might be animals raised on organic feed, and finally conventionally raised meats. Same with sugar and sweeteners. I use a little raw honey in my yogurt, and sometimes add just a little blackstrap molasses to marinades. When Mrs. FW gets the urge to splurge and bakes a non-Primal cake or cookies, we use turbinado sugar. (Most white sugar is also GMO, so unless it is specified as cane sugar or organic, that's a consideration as well.) Even Mark puts a little sugar in his coffee.
The bigger point is that you're avoiding the preponderance of "hidden" sources of sugar and HFCS (spaghetti sauces, ketchup, cookies, crackers, cereals, etc.) and eating wholesome real foods. Fruit isn't bad per se, and you may moderate it as you see fit. A little honey daily isn't going to be a deal-breaker. Go more for natural and unrefined sources, and whole foods.
So yeah, you're on the right path.
Thank you very much, Finnegans, it is nice to be a part of this community.
To give a bit of background, my wife and I have been struggling with our weight for a few years so we decided to try calorie counting (using the APP Lose It) and basically just eating whatever we wanted. Although we worked out on our bikes somewhat excessively, we basically ate whatever we wanted, provided it was within our calorie budget. At first we dropped a few pounds, but soon afterward we plateaued for weeks which turned into months. every day we'd get on the scale and we didn't drop an ounce. You can imagine how frustrating it was because according to 'Conventional Wisdom' we were doing everything necessary in order to lose weight.
Finally, my wife had the common sense to check online and try to find us a diet (I hate that word) that would actually produce results. We discovered the paleo diet which we're on at the moment. We have thrown out every single grain, legume, and processed bag and/or box of crap. It's been 25 days now and we've both lost 20 pounds. We seriously cannot believe it. As I said earlier, we're doing that 30-day challenge, but after these next 5 days are up, we're going to be switching to Primal. I have nothing against the paleo diet and I applaud anyone who decides to change their lifestyle to that degree, but I admit I miss cheese too much. I really don't care about losing grains (it's more the convenience of a piece of bread that makes it so appealing than the cardboard taste) and I disliked legumes anyway. I don't miss soda, junkfood, or most anything processed. I miss cheese. A lot. So we've been discussing going Primal which really isn't all that different, with the exception of the inclusion of cheese, so suffice it to say I CANNOT WAIT till Halloween! We have a Whole Foods nearby which provides grass-fed animal cheese products so I am so freakin' excited to start throwing cheddar and parm in our meals again!
Anyway, some of our favorite meals include sugar, and although I didn't want to make a habit of eating it, I wanted to see if I could include it in meals that absolutely require it. I'd much rather use raw honey or maple syrup in recipes, but some things simply require sugar. I'm basically just wondering if this inclusion of sugar (and honey and maple syrup) will throw our diets off track, because we have at least 40 more pounds to go to reach our "ideal weight". Realistically, are these sugars something we can put in our meals once a day? once a week? once a month? Obviously I'm not talking about large amounts, but we're just worried the reintroduction will screw us up. I guess we won't know until we try it out!
Depends on the source ( whole foods like fruit versus eating a handful of table sugar), the amount , the individual person and their specific needs, and the context of the rest of the diet/lifestyle. I eat fruit, dark chocolate, and have some high quality ice cream every month or two. There are people out there, including some on this board, that would say I'm insane, but I think it's more insane to demonize an apple in the same way that you'd demonize a giant sized candy bar. Stephen Guyenet had an interesting article on sugar and obesity and basically pointed the finger at highly palatable drinks sweetened with sugar and hfcs as one of the big factors in obesity iirc. Makes sense, because if someone drinks three bottles of soda a day, that's over 750 calories that can be torn through in a matter of minutes. I know many people that drink soda instead of water, and most of them are out of shape.
Totally off topic--good to see you, @lex!
Anyhow, beverage calories are especially bad because the body doesn't respond to them like food calories in terms of satiety, so you can consume a lot of calories from drinks and still feel hungry.
[QUOTE=Lukey;941384]This is getting a bit off topic guys, i'm not talking about fruit i'm talking about sucrose. I know that mark sisson and robb wolf say it's bad for you, and it wasn't available for us to eat regularly, but WHY is it bad. It's just glucose and fructose[/QUOTE]
It isn't "bad". What is bad is the amount that people consume these days. Processed foods are purposely loaded with tons of sugar, fat and salt in order to stimulate our palate and get us addicted to those strong flavors. And it works, as I can say with certainty that when I first started eating Primal, I thought the food was quite bland tasting. Having given my tastes time to change, I truly taste the foods I'm eating now without all the additives, and it's very delicious!
Anyway, sugar itself is not bad, just the quantity that is consumed in every day SAD foods that is bad. It's in EVERYTHING these days, and being combined with high fat content, it's a complete recipe for disaster. It drives up insulin levels inhibiting fat burning, so all that lovely fat that is being eaten goes straight to storage, causing the obesity epidemic that we are currently struggling with.
Mark takes a spoon of sugar in his morning coffee if I remember correctly, which is totally fine as long as that works for him and doesn't lead to more sugar cravings later in the day.
[QUOTE=Owly;987135]Totally off topic--good to see you, @lex!
Anyhow, beverage calories are especially bad because the body doesn't respond to them like food calories in terms of satiety, so you can consume a lot of calories from drinks and still feel hungry.[/QUOTE]
Yep, and in some people they have the paradoxical effect of making them feel more thirsty, causing them to drink even more of the stuff. The only sugary beverage I drink is pomegranate juice, and that's a small glass of 100% juice every couple of days.