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Thread: How bad is a little sugar?

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  1. #1

    How bad is a little sugar?

    I started a thread a few days ago asking for help with going Primal while recovering from an eating disorder (binge/restriction) I read a lot of helpful info and the basic summary of most of the info was as someone who has a disorder relationship with food, I should be careful restricting foods since it can be a slippery slope. I've been eating primal foods for about a year now, I don't do grains, sugar or the bad oils, I eat mostly organic meats, eggs and veggies, no fruit aside from tomatoes, avocados, and lemon in my water. I do however really enjoy coffee, it's part of how I enjoy starting my day. I drink 1 of those canned Starbucks Doubleshot espresso drinks every morning. They have 19 grams of carbs, 18 of it is sugar. The ingredients are not great, but they aren't too terrible they have espresso, cream, milk, sugar (not HFCS, but actual sugar), and asorbic acid. I don't consume any other sugar all day, is this going to impede my weight loss efforts? I've heard cinnamon can help reduce insulin spikes, so would it be beneficial to add cinnamon to the coffee to cause less of a blood sugar impact? Should I just count it as my 20% and quit worrying?
    Last edited by ar0e; 10-14-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    I personally don't worry about using a little sugar in a dessert treat I make for the family. And it's your body/life, so ultimately it's up to you.

    However, I can think of several reasons why you should skip it:
    1. It sounds like you are trying to lose weight, and 'liquid calories' are probably one of the easiest sources for you to exclude.
    2. If you are completely eliminating fruits, 3.5 teaspoons of sugar in a coffee might be a little hard to rationalise. If you're ok with sugar, why exclude fruit?
    3. Is there a sugar-free alternative? If there isn't (or at least, one that doesn't have a long chemical-ese ingredient list) then perhaps you could put it in the 'processed foods' camp and consider making your own coffee at home and use cream?
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
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  3. #3
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    an entire pint of strawberries has 17 gms of sugar, and 1/2 the calorie of your drink.

    as someone who struggled with anorexia and disordered eating for a very long time, i get the "slippery slope" aspect of feeling deprived. but i would much rather have some fruit with grass-fed cream than a can of sweet coffee. your body, your choice.
    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

  4. #4
    After I typed this post I realized I made a mistake by using the word 'bad' to describe a food. I'm trying to get away from associating feelings with foods, but it's really hard. My natural thinking is that if I enjoy a food, it must be 'bad' for me and it must be the reason I'm not losing weight.


    Quote Originally Posted by noodletoy View Post
    an entire pint of strawberries has 17 gms of sugar, and 1/2 the calorie of your drink.

    as someone who struggled with anorexia and disordered eating for a very long time, i get the "slippery slope" aspect of feeling deprived. but i would much rather have some fruit with grass-fed cream than a can of sweet coffee. your body, your choice.
    Thanks, for some reason I have this irrational fear that all fruit is off limits, yet I drink sugar in the coffee. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you put it that way.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar0e View Post
    After I typed this post I realized I made a mistake by using the word 'bad' to describe a food. I'm trying to get away from associating feelings with foods, but it's really hard. My natural thinking is that if I enjoy a food, it must be 'bad' for me and it must be the reason I'm not losing weight.

    Thanks, for some reason I have this irrational fear that all fruit is off limits, yet I drink sugar in the coffee. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you put it that way.
    is part of your thinking that you may binge on the fruit? i have berries once or twice per week and it's very easy to stick with just that. other than that no other fruit, no sugar. it gets easier. i promise.
    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

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by noodletoy View Post
    is part of your thinking that you may binge on the fruit? i have berries once or twice per week and it's very easy to stick with just that. other than that no other fruit, no sugar. it gets easier. i promise.
    Honestly, I don't think I'm afraid I'll binge on fruit, I just feel guilty when I binge on anything that is not 'okay' in my head because of something I've heard/read. I guess my problem isn't so much the binges, its the feelings of guilt and shame that go along with eating at all. Like if I have 12 sweet potato fries, I feel like a failure, so then I feel like 'what's the point?' and eat 30 more. I do the same thing with wine, I'll have a 5oz glass with dinner and then feel like I did something wrong so I'll drink 2 more glasses and eat 6 squares of dark chocolate. I guess it's not that bad because I'm not gaining weight, but I really want to lost about 40 pounds at least.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar0e View Post
    Honestly, I don't think I'm afraid I'll binge on fruit, I just feel guilty when I binge on anything that is not 'okay' in my head because of something I've heard/read. I guess my problem isn't so much the binges, its the feelings of guilt and shame that go along with eating at all. Like if I have 12 sweet potato fries, I feel like a failure, so then I feel like 'what's the point?' and eat 30 more. I do the same thing with wine, I'll have a 5oz glass with dinner and then feel like I did something wrong so I'll drink 2 more glasses and eat 6 squares of dark chocolate. I guess it's not that bad because I'm not gaining weight, but I really want to lost about 40 pounds at least.
    If you went to the frig to get an egg and dropped it on the floor would you say,"Oh, F it they're all ruined" and drop the rest of the eggs in the carton on the floor too? How crazy would you have to be to actually think you had to do that? "I had a bad cookie and now I have to eat the whole bag" is no different. Culturally, it's more acceptable, but it's no less psycho.

    I don't think the Primal BP (or any other eating plan) can address the twisted, emotional relationship with food that leads to that kind of thinking. I don't think it would have worked for me anyway. I had to figure out how to stop punishing myself with food before I could really be satisfied with a primal diet.
    50yo, 5'3"
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    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

  8. #8
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    I don't think anything below 50 grams is all that harmful. But if you're me, 50 becomes 60 becomes 150 and then you wake up a month later covered in haagen dazs and nutella with no recollection of what happened.
    “The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris

  9. #9
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    I am covered with Haagen Daz!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaohinon View Post
    I don't think anything below 50 grams is all that harmful. But if you're me, 50 becomes 60 becomes 150 and then you wake up a month later covered in haagen dazs and nutella with no recollection of what happened.
    THis is so true of me, having gone from LC to 50, 60 etc. to the point where I have gained weight. Not a pretty sight!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaohinon View Post
    I don't think anything below 50 grams is all that harmful. But if you're me, 50 becomes 60 becomes 150 and then you wake up a month later covered in haagen dazs and nutella with no recollection of what happened.
    LOL - Yes, that, EXACTLY. For me, the "slippery slope" of sugar consumption is in reality an abrupt and painful 50-story vertical drop.

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