On how to enjoy the cream and butter in your life :)

22 November 2011

I have been thinking about eating and food quite a bit for a while. I stopped eating sugar (well pretty much, I still eat fruit and the very occasional chocolate, or piece of cake if I feel under social pressure to do so). My resolution to stop eating sugar was triggered by watching this eye-opening video, a talk by Dr H Lustig, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics. It runs over 1 1/2 hours, but provides amazing insight, so I would say it is definitely well worth investing the time.
Around April time, I stopped eating the sweet stuff and I don’t miss it at all. Once you get used to not eating much sugar, lots of ready-made foods suddenly taste revoltingly sweet. Ketchup for example.
What I eat instead of sugar is fat. Delicious fat. Olive oil, nuts, more olive oil, butter in mashed potatoes, cheese, you name it, I eat it. But I don’t put on weight. How can this be? I have come up with my own theory. This is very simple (common sense? naïve??), because I am not scientifically trained in the field:
Sugar gives you a short rush of energy as your blood sugar levels go up. The downside is that those levels plummet very quickly and you’re immediately in need for another fix – although you haven’t even used up the energy you have just gobbled up. And there you go: too much energy, but still hungry for more. The excess is being stored on your hips, bottom and belly…
Fat on the other hand makes things taste gooood. It brings out the flavour in vegetables, it makes puréed soups smooth, creamy and delicious. It gives foie gras a wonderful ‘mouth feel’ (So I have been told)… and so on. But it also fills you up. And keeps you full for a long time. If consumed in large quantities it makes you feel very sick, so you instinctively don’t have too much of it (ever tried to drink a pint of cream? Me neither).
My new motto is thus: If you don’t want to put on weight, it’s better to avoid sugar than fat.
Obviously, I am not implying that eating deep-fried butter (without sugar) or fish and chips for breakfast on a regular basis will help you to slim down. What I mean to say is simply that sugar is much worse and fat is much better than its reputation.

Why do I write about this now? Because today, I found a much more eloquently worded and scientifically sound blog posts arguing along the same lines. This blog, which is maintained by an insightful and clever vet from London, really affirmed what I have come to believe since earlier this year. Go on, read it, and you will from now on enjoy the fat in your food without a trace of guilt 🙂 .

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