sugar sugar

Mar. 9th, 2017 06:59 pm
kindkit: Rupert Giles drinking a mug of tea and reading (Buffy: Giles and tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
So I'm trying to cut down on my sugar consumption. I love sweet things, but I increasingly feel like having a lot of sugar isn't good for me, and I worry about things like diabetes. My blood sugar was absolutely fine the last time it was tested, but I still worry. Mostly, I think, it's that becoming diabetic would be humiliating, as though I had failed by succumbing to a godawful victim-blaming trope that I detest. (N.B. I realize this is an internalized fat-phobia thing, and I don't believe I think about people with diabetes that way; I only apply it to myself.)

I'm cutting down on sugar, not cutting out; my decision at the moment is that if I make it myself, I can have it, but I'm going to try to avoid storebought sweets and especially soda. I figure, if I've baked a cake, at least I've baked a cake, but eating Oreos is no kind of accomplishment. (Girl Scout cookies, on the other hand, I may have to make an exception for. After all, it's a good cause!)

The soda thing though . . . AAARRRGH. When I was a kid we drank a lot of soda unless we were really broke, in which case it was Kool-Aid. Or, god forbid, water--our water at home had tons of dissolved iron in it, so much that all the sinks etc. got rust-colored stains, and it tasted nasty. Plus my mom loved Coke and it just seemed normal, if we had some around, to drink several big glasses of it a day.

When I was in college I mostly stopped drinking soda. This was partly snobbery (I wanted to be grown-up and sophisticated!) and partly spending a year in France, where soda wasn't literally on tap for free at the cafeteria. I hardly ever drank soda for the next, oh, twenty years.

And then I started working in retail, which is hard and tiring and sometimes you really want a sugar boost, and the soda was right there conveniently for sale. So I'd have a soda once or twice a week, and then I started at my new job and for various reasons it became a soda every day, and then I started buying six packs of it in the grocery store because it was cheaper, and then of course I started drinking it at home as well.

I want a soda really badly right now. *twitches* And I'm frustrated with myself for having become a soda drinker again after so many years. (Incidentally, my decision was triggered by this truly horrifying recent xkcd cartoon.)

I don't think soda/sugar is literally addictive, but soda is delicious and bubbly and sweet and caffeinated, and hard to give up because it hits so many pleasurable buttons. I don't want to drink diet soda because I don't like it, and I also have a vague sense, based on various clickbaity ads on the internet, that artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Then there's fruit juice, which mixed with sparkling water has a nice soda-ish effect, except that fruit juice seems to have so much sugar added to it that you might as well just have a Coke. Seriously, I almost bought some grape juice the other day, then I looked at the label and the second thing on the ingredient list was high fructose corn syrup. Et tu, Welch's?

Hence I am currently making iced herbal tea. I do actually really like drinking plain water, but sometimes I want flavor, especially now when I've got a soda monkey on my back. (<--- Irony. I don't for heaven's sake want to turn into one of those people earnestly lecturing about how Bad Foodstuff X is addictive, totally addictive, just like meth, and also if you keep consuming it you will have five undigested pounds of it in your stomach when you die.)

I'm not really looking for advice or anything, just wanted to talk about it. Also I just ordered a reusable yogurt container from amazon.com, so I can take yogurt with me to work without (a) throwing away a lot of wasteful packaging, and (b) having to buy and eat those little pre-packaged cups of yogurt with fruit, which are all lowfat or no-fat but have tons of sugar. Instead, or so I have told myself, I can bring good-quality whole milk yogurt with no weird thickeners or anything, and I can have as much as I want of any kind of fruit I want, and only as much sugar as I choose; I genuinely prefer a significantly less sweet yogurt to the packaged kind. However, I can't help feeling like I have just bought the most ridiculous, unnecessary, gadgety thing in the world. Generations of my working-class forebears are looking over my shoulder and asking, "You just bought a special container for yogurt?" (Dear ancestors: it will save money in the end, because those little cups of sugary yogurt are expensive.)

on 2017-03-10 03:03 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
Posted by [personal profile] lilacsigil
Ugh, I know that self-victim-blaming impulse re: diabetes. My blood sugar is fine, but I'm on metformin for PCOS and I get really mad at myself every time that I tell someone medical, "No, no, I don't have diabetes." And I absolutely don't judge anyone who does!

It's lucky I don't like soda, though, because I can taste artificial sweeteners and they taste absolutely awful to me!

on 2017-03-10 07:50 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
Posted by [personal profile] lilacsigil
It's true, and I'm already immoral enough being fat and taking anti-depressants!

on 2017-03-10 03:38 am (UTC)
cathexys: dark sphinx (default icon) (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] cathexys
I hear you on the self-shaming. I grew up with what my dad called the three Ds...(Dick, Dumm, Diabetes) and when I became pre-diabetic it really hit me hard. (Though I seriously think it might easily have be sugar intolerance > weight gain rather than the inverse!)

Anyway, sorry TMI...I just wanted to say that I'm so with you on the iced herbal teas. That's pretty much all I drink these days, and it's refreshing enough, tasty enough, and with my Arctic cooling cup so nicely cold that I barely miss cokes. I try to have low caffeine, so I do a lot of green tea or mix a tasty regular tea half and half with decaffeinated. It at least feels cheaper and healthier :D

So...just saying yeah on the herbal iced tea. (And I started with a little bit of Splenda but I've stopped that entirely...)

on 2017-03-10 04:01 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] the_rck
I'm trying to limit my sugar intake, and I've had decent luck with stevia when I can get it on its own. I have issues with erythritol and inulin, so a lot of commercial stevia products have been bad for me. Sweetleaf's liquid has proven to be safe. Stevia is potent stuff. I like things sweet, and five drops of the Sweetleaf stuff is enough for a strong cup of chai.

Stevia doesn't taste quite the same as sugar any more than honey or agave do. It's herbal and has been used in parts of South America for centuries.

I have allergy issues with aspartame and sucralose, so I've been looking hard for alternatives.

I'm mainly mentioning this because some Mio flavors are stevia sweetened and because my husband drinks a lot of Zevia brand soda which is sweetened with stevia and erythritol. If you don't have issues with the latter, it might be an occasional option.

on 2017-03-12 01:38 am (UTC)
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] laurajv
I like to chew a fresh stevia leaf now and then, but LOATHE the taste of every commercial stevia product I've tried. Stevia, I have concluded, is Weird.

on 2017-03-10 06:28 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: Beautiful fat woman in a red corset (Fat: Corset)
Posted by [personal profile] st_aurafina
I love soda, and I worry about it, too - there's so much weird literature out there about sweeteners possibly being as bad for you as sugar, and nobody seems to know what the heck is going on, and ughh, so much fatphobia and body-shaming involved in the whole thing. The same with low-fat dairy - at the moment, studies are saying that low-fat has no benefit above full-fat. (I'm happy to go with that, because the thickeners are really gross in texture for me. Nice, naturally thickened greek yoghurt is so good.)

Ugh, I just hate the politics of nutrition, it gets in the way of actually helping anyone.

on 2017-03-12 01:50 am (UTC)
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] laurajv
There are a bunch of dieticians in my grad program, and I've had some super-interesting conversations with them.

Every one of them has the same nutrition (not "diet" or "weight loss") advice, fwiw: the best nutritional choice almost anyone can make is just to eat more vegetables. Add them to whatever you are already eating if you like. Don't worry about the calories, don't worry about cutting out something to make room for them; just eat more vegetables if you can swing it at all.

FWIW.

on 2017-03-10 05:40 pm (UTC)
halotolerant: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] halotolerant
Reading around the sugar tax that's coming in the UK, the situation with sugar-sweetened beverages, as far as I understand it, is that the problem is that they are liquids. Liquids do not trigger the saiety response as solids do -those 'this much soda contains this many chocolate bars' things demonstrate that it's much much easier to consume sugar as a drink, and whereas you'd probably feel full or ill eating that much sugar as pure sugar, once it's suspended in liquid it becomes easier to take more.

I don't know how I'd cope if my tea supply was cut off, so I feel the challenge of not drinking these drinks at work :( I too hate drinking plain water, tbh it makes me feel bloated. If I feel like any more caffeine at a given time will stop my heart, I go for a herbal tea and just mutter under my breath *g*

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