Why Do People Eat So Much Sugar Simulating Food?
At first, we had some trouble believing that most of the food we ate every day caused inflammation. We couldn’t stop wondering how things could have taken such a bad turn. Out of all the wonderful foods we could pick from, most of our meals consisted of sugar-simulating food. Why was that? Was it even true? Was it indeed the case that the food web, and everyone we know, live off, is as damaging and can lead to as many problems as scientists predict? Okay, here we go:
We are both nearing our forties. Sure, we look twenty-five by candlelight. In other words, we were born in the 1970s, and so we grew up in Sweden at a time when the common man had no idea what sugar-
simulating food was. This was during the era when the Food Administration recommended that we consume six to eight slices of bread (a sugar-simulating food) per day, and our home economic teachers happily waved the “Plate Diet Model” around (which was made up of mostly sugar-simulating foods).
According to this plate model, a meal should consist of 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent fiber, and 20 percent pr protein. As we know now, broccoli and red cabbage are good carbs, but for some reason the Food
The administration opted to put all vegetables in the “fiber” category.
This means that the plate’s 40 percent carbohydrates go mostly to sugar- stimulating foods such as pasta, bread, rice, and cooked potatoes (we will look more in-depth at potatoes later, so hold that thought). We grew up with a food model in which almost half of our meal consisted of sugar- simulating food—food that is nutrient-poor but rich in “sugar,” food that leads to inflammation and chronic disease.
It ’s not surprising we were confused.
Another reason why sugar-simulating food is such a large part of our diet today could be that we’re so used to eating the least healthy part of, say, seeds and grains while giving the good-for-you parts (the hull and germ) to livestock. Take wheat, for example. Wheat can be roughly
separated into three parts: the hull, germ, and flour.
The flour consists only of empty calories while the bran (hull) and germ are the healthy parts. Strangely enough, ours is a food culture in which we consume the flour (the empty calories) and leave the hull and bran to the pigs to aid their digestion, as well as to farmed minks to give them glossy coats.
If we had done the opposite and concentrated on the germ and hull, our food would have behaved completely differently in our body.
Elevated blood sugar and elevated insulin levels are important factors in type 2 diabetes, which in turn increases the risk of developing many other chronic diseases.
A third reason why we eat so much sugar-simulating food is that a lot of food has been refined (heated, for instance), which transforms fiber to sugar.
Before raw ingredients are processed by food manufacturers (or in-home in the kitchen), glucose is encased in fibers to enable it to go all the way down into the colon, where it is released to be used by good bacteria for energy, which has a positive effect on the body and will not spike blood sugar. But if raw ingredients are manipulated to become sugar- simulating products before we ingest them, glucose is released as soon as it hits the small intestine and results in quick energy and a spike in blood sugar, which can damage the body’s organs in the long run.