Calvin's Train of Thought

Sugar, Sugar Everywhere - March 16, 2016

As the Christmas break began, I transitioned to a wheat free diet. I was inspired by the book Wheat Belly to try this back in 2013 when I lived in Saskatoon. The basic idea that resonated with me at the time was that Wheat is high on the glycemic index, causes your blood sugar levels to spike, and feeds a vicious feedback cycle of sugar highs and lows which contributes to obesity, diabetes and so on. Now, I am not sure I agree with Dr. Davis’s assessment which (to exaggerate a bit) places wheat at the root of all our physical ailments. However, even if he is totally off base with his assessment of wheat, if you avoid the foods that contain wheat you tend to avoid a lot of the garbage food out there – and to fill the void you may need to increase your intake of healthier foods. So, in practice, his approach seems to work.

I began the Christmas break at around 285 or more pounds (at one point before, I had weighed in at 290 pounds) and as of this morning I weighed in at 261.5 pounds. Not too shabby.

But I still have a ways to go. I still eat too much meat, and a LOT of cheese. Not that meat and cheese are bad for you on their own, but – as the scriptures say – in all things, moderation. So, I am trying to increase my intake of vegetables, which among other things means more salads.

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to start making more of my own chef salads. So off to Wal*Mart I went to buy the needed ingredients – some peppers, some cucumbers, some ranch salad dressing, some ham, and so on. Now, since I returned to the wheat free lifestyle in earnest, I have been paying more attention to labels of the food I buy, and have been astonished by the places I find wheat. I have also noticed something else disturbing – the places that sugar is found. Yesterday, I decided to pay special attention to the sugar. Well, forget buying ham without sugar in it! I found one that didn’t have sugar in the list, but was coated in carmel something – which I rightly or wrongly interpreted as sugar. (I think I MIGHT have found one without, but it cost too much for too little ham). I settled on turkey instead.

Then I set out to look for ranch dressing. Once again, bottle after bottle contains sugar. The closest thing I found to sugar free contained concentrated pineapple juice. I gave up buying ranch dressing and decided to make my own.

One of the ingredients that I needed was mayonnaise. So I started looking for mayonnaise. Once again, I ran into – you guessed it – more sugar! Seriously! Why do these things all contain sugar? This is ridiculous!

I did some more research and settled on making my own Mayo and from that my own salad dressing. A bit time consuming, but not all that hard (though, I did have a few failed attempts before getting the mayonnaise recipe figured out).

The point behind this post is this: Sugar is everywhere – in most sauces (even Sirracha has it), most processed meats, most jerky, and on the list goes. And as I keep finding sugar in more things, I keep asking myself, “What is sugar doing here? This does not make sense!”