Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More on sugars, our bodies and how we still know so little (maybe TMI)

So, this TED talk still has me thinking about diet and how people are sensitive to different things, etc. That's why there are so many diets out there and why what works for one person doesn't work for another. It's also why it should be seen as a way of eating versus a temporary diet.

I was thinking of how people just handle carbs/sugars differently and why that is? We don't know why. There is still so much we don't know about the human body. And so many things can go off kilter. It's actually amazing how anyone is disease, syndrome, disorder free.

I just read an article on NPR, Got Gas? It Could Mean You've Got Healthy Gut Microbes.  It's title basically gives you the idea of the article, but that got me to thinking too. So... if a family eats the same diet (mostly). Like many families do, then how do each member of the family react differently to the food.

I'll take our dinner the last few nights. It was pork loin cooked slowly in pureed peppers and onions first sauteed in canola oil and then broth added to simmer for an hour or two. Then, to serve, I added a huge dollop of sour cream to temper the onions and added smoked paprika and salt to taste. This was a LOT of sauce per person and it was served with polenta. Everyone ate the polenta except me. And served on the side with a green salad.  We ate that meal three nights in a row.

So, first the sugars? I can't have the polenta because it will make me want to eat more than I need. Everyone else is not like that in the house. They are not insulin resistant. They will not get hungry as soon as I will from eating carb rich foods.

The reaction of our digestive system? My mother in law's stomach was fine the first night. She vomited it up the next night and she ate just crackers the third night. She can be sensitive to onions - sometimes. My husband turned into a hot air balloon. Full of non-smelly gas. My older son - it didn't really do anything to him. He just had his normal amount of stinky gas here and there. Me? Nothing. I almost never have gas from anything I eat.

Then there is toilet differences. My mother in law needs to drink prunes or metamucil to keep her system going. My husband and teen are like clockwork - once a day, about the same time every day. And me? Ah... this is interestng. WHEN I am eating carbs, I go every day, when I drop the carbs? I go maybe every 3-4 days. AND I'm not constipated. It happens easily - no straining - nothing. I simply don't have as much waste produced when I don't eat carbs. My body uses the food more efficiently with less waste products.

How can we all be so different with similar diets? Different way we process sugar. Different way we get gas. Different way we produce poop and the amount of poop we produce. We're all human. We should "run" the same right? Well, we don't. And we don't know why!

This led to some night time talk between my husband and I last night. We were talking about how probably the next big thing with medicine and science will be learning about the symbiotic microbes/bacteria in our bodies. More than half the cells in our body don't belong to 'us'. They are bacteria. We understand a little bit about bacteria's role in digestion, but not much and we basically know nothing about any other symbiotic relationships.

It gets quite fascinating. We think we know so much, but the more you look and learn, the more you realize how much there is still to know.

So, back to sugars then. My recent 'learning' has been that I don't process sugars properly. I've known this for awhile. A lot of people don't process sugar properly. Yet, the medical field, the diabetic experts, etc are still behind the curve ball in treating patients with sugar problems. They treat the symptoms and don't look for the root.

Some rogue doctors are moving forward. My dietician when I developed gestational diabetes while pregnant told me to eat very low carb - it worked. My primary care doctor told me to eat low carb, and it worked. No one yet has told me to eat a high fat diet or a high protein diet. They only thing said was to eat less carbs. That implicitly means the others have to be increased. 

On a daily basis I eat more fat than protein. All sorts of fats - oils, meat fats, nut fats, etc. They are so satiating. And my blood work when eating a diet consistently like that? Lowest cholesterol ever. Highest 'good" cholesterol ever. Low blood sugar levels. Great triglycerides, etc. By eating a fatty diet. When I ate a carb heavy diet? High cholesterol. High blood sugar levels but luckily, good triglyceride levels. More fat made me thinner, more energetic, happier, and healthier.

When will that become more mainstream medical knowledge? Or will it? WHO SAYS that this is a universal truth for all humans? Maybe that is where we go wrong with medicine? We try to fit everyone into the same peg hole. Maybe our dietary needs are more individual than that? Maybe there aren't universal truths about nutrition?

It's an interesting thought!


  1. Why are you using canola oil? Full of inflammatory Omega 6s and nothing beneficial in it whatsoever.

  2. Because that's what I have. I mostly use olive oil. And I just bought unrefined coconut oil. I sometimes use peanut oil too. As I said, I'm not a scientist and I'm not into macro-nutrients. I keep learning and keep tweaking.

    1. Oh, and butter, of course... and if I have it, bacon grease. And, after roasting a chicken, I will save the juices/fat and use that too.