Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome surprise

Welcome surprise: avoiding wheat and dairy for blood sugar reasons resulted in small but welcome weight loss

My doctor mentioned Syndrome X (a.k.a. metabolic syndrome)  about ten years ago.  It is a mixture of symptoms: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, overweight, beginning heart/artery problems, all related to insulin resistance and waistline fat.  Recently, Dr. Martha Herbert published "The Autism Revolution".  She stresses the effect of the "beige diet", what I call the white stuff: white flour, white rice, and all the dozens of ways baked goods and bread stuff are made with sugar and fat but few vitamins and minerals, few basic nutrients.  Some people point to the fact that only in the last couple of hundred years did people such as modern Americans have access to so much food, much of it featuring high calories and sugar.  One comment I saw included an estimate that humans in pre-historic times ate 22 grams of sugar a year while modern Americans eat 150-180 pounds per year.  

It isn't just about sugar but about food energy intake and usage.  High energy foods that aren't burned are stored in fat, especially waistline fat.

My doctor has also mentioned that the current standards for "pre-diabetes" and diagnosis of diabetes are 10 points lower than a decade or so ago.  The newer definitions are blood sugar readings of 100+ and 126+.  I realize the body doesn't use strict numerical lines. Things in nature tend to be on sliding scales.  Looking over sources on the problem, I got interested in The Blood Sugar Solution by Mark Hyman.  

I haven't followed him strictly since I still drink coffee and have a drink of alcohol each evening.  For me, it boiled down to skipping wheat in all forms and to skipping milk and most dairy.  Breads seem to have some white flour mixed in and I can't be sure I am not eating substances that speed up digestion.   It is easy to recognize wheat products if I stay alert so I dropped them most of the time.  I see that my milk cartons say that 8 oz. of skim milk has 12 sugars so that, ice cream and other dairy goods have been skipped.  Mozzarella cheese sticks are labeled as zero sugar and they help with my appetite and calcium worries.

All I was trying to do initially was get my blood sugar reading on my home (inexpensive and non-professional) meter down.  I haven't been real successful but I intend to keep working at it.  Meanwhile, I have lost three pounds in three weeks, a very stubborn three pounds and I am happy to see them go.  If I can lose three more, I will have a body mass index of less than 25 for the first time in a decade.

I did a little modeling for art classes in college and have developed some vanity so I would like to be back in the vicinity of shapely.  Still, Lynn and I both agree that looking 40 or less at age 70 is spooky, not attractive.  I am pretty sure I don't have to worry.

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