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Carbohydrates as an addiction

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by ianf0ster, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Other thing is that it could be a male / female difference. Could be that cravings for carbs or other foods are stronger for females overall? Dunno. Just an idea.
     
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  2. There is no Spoon

    There is no Spoon I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    And the question here would be what lies/ excuses did you till yourself to keep smoking?

    All smokers know its bad for them I used to walk into my corner shop and ask for a packet of Minty Death I loved to quote Denis Leary " smoking takes 10 years of your life but it's the last 10 years in the nursing home wearing adult diapers. You can have em."

    And the battle cry of the smoker " I can't give up":banghead:
    :bag:
     
  3. There is no Spoon

    There is no Spoon I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert got to think some women have more will power then men and vise versa.

    The will power think was all encompassing not limited to food. ;)
    :bag:
     
  4. Walking Girl

    Walking Girl Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No, my point was food binging and addiction are not one and the same. So, in my example carbs are no more addictive than proteins and fats.

    I’m not belittling anyone’s struggle either. Eating disorders are very real. They are a mental health issue, and for some can be serious enough to result in death. But what they are not is the result of a physical addiction IMO.
     
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    #84 Walking Girl, Sep 1, 2019 at 12:33 AM
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  5. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    I smoked around five packets of Marlboro a day, I worked in a high stress area at the mines and it was not till my annual company medical that the mines doctor picked up I had a COPD developing. I gave them up then not only for my health but for my partner and kids.

    As for the the ones that say they can't give up their smokes or carby treats are they are just fooling them self.
     
  6. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What an interesting thread!

    I must admit I operate from the assumption that sugar is addictive, and sugar as a big-time carb. The light-ups in the brain when folks eat it, the studies on rats and the cocaine/sugar analogy - all 'that stuff'.

    When I was diagnosed type two, I felt I had to give up on sugar the same way folks who are diagnosed with COPD have to give up on the smokes - in terms of trying really hard not to die too early (and lose kidneys, feet etc etc). Buried two friends in the last year who had COPD - one gave up his three pack a day habit too late, his words, and the other could not give up her habit. I had nothing but compassion for her - I cared about her a lot - but she would not even discuss giving up cigarettes - it was just too hard for her, and I saw that.

    I think giving up high-carbs, especially particularly yummy carbs, can be the same for folks with CVD and diabetes. I see it all the time, and again, I have a lot of compassion for these folks. The last time was sitting with a woman with loss of sight in one eye, about to find out if she was losing sight in the other, at a birthday party surrounded by cake and coke and cupcakes - which she of course loved and was eating. Life is hard, and having a reward system in place with substances that make you feel that good can make it feel more bearable.

    Whenever I am in a high stress situation (like when my first friend died from COPD last year) - I have huge longings for ice cream and licorice allsorts - my old go-to feel-good carbs - the ice cream with the dynamite high fat combo with the sugar. I had to use a LOT of willpower to avoid eating them during that time, and I am very grateful for my partner for helping me through that, in the supermarket. If sugar (as the ultimate high-carb substance) isn't an addiction - it sure feels and acts like an addiction! I was prepared when my second close friend died from the consequences of a tobacco addiction.

    I know folks who cry out "Don't make me give up my bread!" Literally. And who cannot give up sugary drinks and food, which after all, is everywhere and packaged of so alluringly - what a hard thing to kick if that is your go-to reward. And it is super cheap and oh so available. Even in the face of CVDs and sometimes-chronic diseases - like diabetes can be. That sure seems like food and drink corporations and government supported addictions to me.
     
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  7. There is no Spoon

    There is no Spoon I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You should have said that somewhere it is clear, succinct and to the point.

    I did not get that from your post.
    :bag:
     
  8. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Guys, can I gently remind you of the original topic of this thread - carbohydrates and addiction.

    Many of the meanderings on this thread are interesting topics, but there are other threads where they might more usefully and appropriately explored.

    On the addiction front, the video that @Guzzler linked in post 21 is well worth a watch in terms of defining addiction. The short audience participation exercise starting at around the 3.28 mark is very, very informative and I personally found it very enlightening. I’m linking to it again to save people scrolling back through many posts.

     
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  9. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I am a bit luckier. I enjoy carbs, rather than am addicted to them. My strategy relating to that is not to dispense with them totally. Then the trick has been to find lchf foods (that are not carbs) that I enjoy. As an example I mentioned earlier, double cream. Since going lchf I eat a lot of double cream now as I enjoy it. Finding a low carb alternative to the carb element of our old diet seems to be the trick.
     
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  10. Listlad

    Listlad Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    With reference to the doughnuts in the video clip. These days I often sit in Krispy Kremes with my family and do not eat a single doughnut. I like them but have self control enough to stop eating them.

    PS I dont sit there salivating throughout, either. :D
     
    #90 Listlad, Sep 1, 2019 at 10:03 AM
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  11. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    what????

    I said that as part of a comment about knowing our starting point and how to tackle addressing addiction. I have not said that addiction means one cannot ever stop something. Its just much harder. And we can be forgiving and gentle on ourselves as we work at it, knowing how much harder we have to struggle, and set smaller goals and steps to recovery. It also influences how we think about any future intake of what we are addicted to.

    just like alcoholism. I dont think anyone would suggest that stopping drinking is as easy for an alcoholic as it is for someone who just likes the buzz of drinking. We recognise how much harder an alcoholic has to work to keep sober, and that he or she cannot got back to any alcohol without serious repercussions.

    Many us the term addiction flippantly, in the same way they use OCD or other serious medical terms to mean something relatively small. Addiction, for some, is real and serious and should be borne in mind when treating them and how we view them and their struggles.
     
  12. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As an aside, I gave u smoking cold turkey about 12 years ago. Dealing with the way my body wants carbs is much, much harder. A daily struggle. And I dont consider myself an addict, compared to some I have seen struggle with this.
     
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  13. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    A number of posts have been deleted for derailing the thread.
     
  14. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Surely the only way of overcoming any addiction is to recognise it for what it is? Take alcohol for instance, stopping the denial and admitting you have an addiction is the first step. That's not using it as an excuse not to succeed, it's a very important step towards success. The statement 'I am an alcoholic' says ' I am fighting this, but it's hard', it doesn't say 'I am addicted, it's not my fault'.

    Are carbs addictive? Not in the same way as some other things perhaps, but if having some makes you crave more, than yes they are. This doesn't mean you always give in to those cravings, just that you acknowledge they are there. That's called strength and empowerment, not weakness.

    I haven't ever said 'It's not my fault, I am addicted to carbs' I have said 'No thank you, the cake looks lovely but I won't have any as once I have one slice I won't want to stop' So yes I use the term addiction as an excuse...an excuse not to eat carbs, not an excuse to gorge on them.
     
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    #94 zand, Sep 1, 2019 at 3:32 PM
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  15. Caeseji

    Caeseji Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Wanted to weight in on this myself but been busy skipping around north Wales on holiday but checking in when I can. I enjoy carbs, I love myself some root veg and all that stuff along with rice on its own and pasta but I don’t consider myself an addict at all in that context, I miss the CONVENIENCE of them really in that they are a decent filler and in most if not all foods out there that are made for us.

    Now fats and carbs together is a different story, I myself can stop with sweet stuff. Yes I had a massive sweet tooth but I never binged in chocolates and so on but you know what it was? Fatty, carby, salty and savoury snacks, they ruined me as I could polish off stuff like that in my sleep and just keep going. I reckon it was the salt as I noticed my body at that time craved it and above all else? It craved protein. I could have a whole pack of cold cuts no problem or a can of tuna.

    I think that was the main reason I could switch to low carb and get results easily as I started giving my body what it really craved. The salt and protein that it desperately wanted above anything else but I was only feeding it a surrogate by way of meaty crisps and cheesy snacks.

    I do honestly believe like any substance it can be an addiction but usually it’s mixed with something else to up that bliss factor that they food companies adore so much. I’m with Cian Foley of Don’t Eat For Winter fame these days, it’s rhe autumnal instinct that gets us far more than carbs in isolation.
     
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  16. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    It can be an addiction, it can also be a mental health issue, it can also be a food problem, it can also be a hormonal issue, it could be your gut biotic, it could be your intolerance or an allergy that you are sensitive to certain foods.
    In my case, it is that carbs cause high glucose levels quickly. My insulin response is too much and I go hypo.
    It is because of a trigger in my brain that because of my initial insulin response is weak, my brain wakes up my pancreas to produce too much insulin.
    My condition is controllable by dietary means.
    I am not addicted, it is my hormones, glucose, glucagon and insulin that causes the problem, they are not working correctly!
    The symptoms of RH, are numerous, including cravings, need to eat, hunger, troll the food areas, looking for a quick fix! This is a symptom not an addiction, it is my brain telling my conscious mind to give my body more carbs, so it can ease the brain's need to try and balance the battle between glucose and insulin! (There are of course other hormones at play here!)
    This is why I fast and eat very little and of course in constant ketosis to stave of the symptoms and the trigger that starts the viscous circle!

    I have posted many times because of my body and the way my body reacts to carbs, I have always thought that some foods are like a mild poison, or some compound, that will eventually kill you in the long term. A slow acting poison, or something akin to an allergy.
    Carbs are really bad for me, but for everyone else, less so and of course how much is individual as their own condition.
    I also gave up smoking nineteen years ago and it was hard, but not as hard as the realisation that I cannot have a chip buttie ever again!
     
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  17. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am fortunate that I don't have your problem. But interestingly I was reprimanded by a Moderator for suggesting that Carbs are like a poison. Dr Cywes in the video link I posted says that he tells his teenage patients that Carbs are like Dog Poo.
    He asks them :
    1. Would you eat Dog Poo?
    2. What if it was pretty and didn't smell bad?

    They always say no way would they eat dog poo.
    Personally I'm not too sure of that! I have eaten a close, but worse equivalent, though I didn't realise it at the time.
    Has anybody used Margarine? Did you realise that rodents and insects don't even recognise it as food and that it is so stable it almost never goes off - even after years?
    How on earth was I persuaded to eat such garbage? Obviously Humans are less picky about their foods than Rodents and insects - both of which will eat Dog poo !
     
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  18. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    ianf0ster, I think we all need to distinquish between healthy and unhealthy carbohydates. Grains, root vegetables, fruit and berries, and sugar in any form are triggering for me. Broccoli is not.

    I think it's a mistake to refer to real, whole foods as "poison" (unless it truly is poisonous, of course). If I were starving, I wouldn't hesitate to eat starches or fruit.

    Keep in mind that Dr. Cywes is working with morbidly obese people, some of whom will die if they don't lose the weight or have the surgery. I am continuing to listen to his "Diabetes Understood" presentations. It's always interesting to hear a clinician's take on a health issue when they have the clinical experience, but I don't agree with everything he says.

    ETA: I also want to say that there are many causes of obesity. While I've known some whose obesity is due to eating lots of starches and sugars, I know others in which that was not the case. I personally weighed 100 pounds up until my late 20's. Then I was put on a medication that caused a huge weight gain in a very short period of time. My doctor wasn't concerned at all. I lost some of it when I went to work at a restaurant at age 38, then slowly gained for the next 10 years. My weight peaked at 185 pounds. That year, I lost 20 pounds on the low fat, low carb South Beach diet. I lasted a month on it, but kept it off for the next 6 years. This all occurred following the US dietary guidelines though I ate butter not margarine.

    In 2015, I lost 26 more pounds on the LCHF/Keto diet, then spent the next 3 years regaining 18 of the 26 pounds lost. My downfall wasn't so much the food. It more due to being under a tremendous amount of stress.

    Stress levels are back down now, and I've lost 13 of the 18 pounds regained. 5 more pounds to go, but I intend to continue with my slow and steady weight loss eating real, whole foods that include carbohydrates daily.

    Are some carbohydrates addictive for me? Yes, and I love how they taste and how they make me feel, but I eat them wisely and continue to follow the LCHF/Keto diet, but now also use time restricted feeding. Three days a week, I eat two meals a day in an 8 hour window.
     
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    #98 Winnie53, Sep 1, 2019 at 10:11 PM
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  19. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Please let us not have this thread derailed yet again.

    There has already been extensive moderation required because people argued and strayed off topic.

    The idea of ‘carbs as poison’ is covered by the forum rules are which are clear on the subject (link to them in my signature):

    Forum Rule C12 bulletpoint 4 - the blanket declaration that any food or food group is ‘poison’, or ‘bad’ is unacceptable and will be subject to moderation.
     
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    #99 Brunneria, Sep 1, 2019 at 10:36 PM
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  20. There is no Spoon

    There is no Spoon I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I stand by every word.

    None of us are perfect each and every one of us use a variety of excuses every day to avoid or get out of doing things, why would this be any different?
    :bag:

    P.s. don't call me Surely. :p
     
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