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Carbohydrates as an addiction

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

  1. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I gave you a funny rating for the last line of your post lol.

    What you call excuses are sometimes reasons. I have been on keto for a while now. On Friday I blew it bigtime and am still suffering from that. I was quite shocked that I had fallen off the wagon so badly and quickly as I thought I had learned all the triggers and have strategies to deal with them. I normally have a few seconds to stop and think. This time was different.

    I have worked out it was for me a natural reaction to events of the day which caused stress, and the whole incident has shown me that I need to do an adrenal reset diet again to stop the extreme adrenalin response to a small amount of stress. Sometimes binging on the wrong carbs is a symptom of something else. I am not making excuses. I will deal with it so I don't have the same problem again.

    I find that most people who willfully have carbs knowimg they are bad for them don't use the excuse that they are addicted to them. it's more the 'life's too short and I may get knocked over by a bus tomorrow so why should I stop eating the things I like?' type of reasonimg. The same reason I have heard from smokers.

    I think you and I will have to agree to differ on this one.
     
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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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    I got no problem with that Zand what kind of world would it be if we were all the same?
    God forbid everyone was like me. ;)
    :bag:
     
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  3. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Carb Addiction and Food Addiction:
    Here are Drs David Unwin and Jen Unwin talking about GP led LCHF and how patients lives are improved.
    Right at the end he talks about Carb Addiction and Food Addiction at the request of one of his patients!

     
  4. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I said that carbs are like a poison to me. Not that they are!

    There is quite a lot of fecal matter in production food and of course most vegetable crops are covered in manure!
    Margarine or axle grease as it was called around here is a perfect example of a food that is synthetic and typical of manufacturing process.
    By the way you can't call it margarine now, it is a spread!

    I have never been able to eat it, I would rather not have anything! The two times I have mistakenly ate it, I have been violently vomiting for most of the day, and it's instant!
    Similar to my lactose intolerance, butter is the same and various cheeses and dairy produce. But for some reason I was persuaded to have full fat Greek yogurt, I can manage a few big spoons, but not too much! (I wonder why?)

    Smell has a lot to do with enjoyment of the food we eat, it is along with sight and taste, which gives you the hormonal response you get initially, texture is another, once in the mouth and of course taste. If what you put in your mouth, is not right, that is another response. It's about how your brain/body likes what is there and stimulus is a huge part of good digestion!

    I have found since going very low carb, some carbs don't smell as nice as they used to, especially white bread, it is off putting, now! Rice doesn't smell nice either, never liked pasta, it's the texture! Even my nemesis, potatoes, are not right!

    As I say, that is me! Weird and wonderful!
    And so healthy because I don't eat the foods that I am intolerant to!
     
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  5. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have never eaten margarine even when it was thought to be healthy but meat fat was certainly used as axle grease whereas margarine never was, urban myths and derogatory names prove nothing.
     
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  6. jpscloud

    jpscloud Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hope this isn't off the rails for the thread, but I am one who believes the addiction model with sugar, and possibly some unrefined carbs too, but I also agree some of us can overcome addiction - I also stopped smoking 26 years ago.

    Recently I've been experimenting with restricted time eating and fasting, both of which I can now do very happily and mostly without carb cravings. However when I try to go very low carb or keto, I start to obsess about carbs, behaving more and more like an addict until I cave in.

    I can be very strong in so many ways but this one is my nemesis!
     
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  7. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks for starting this thread @ianf0ster :) The comparison between carbs and drugs got me thinking.

    Carbs can cause 'brain fog'. This is usually cited as being a bad thing, and yes normally it is. However I have realised that a couple of times recently I have used carbs as comfort and the effect has been to dampen down my anxiety and depression. Rather than being a bad thing, they have helped me get through a few difficult days and have had a soporific effect on me (again usually a bad thing, but not this time) They have taken the edge off of the anxiety so that I could function.

    Up until now I have always thought of any 'fall from the wagon' as being a failure...must do better. Now I realise I am doing fine. For me it's only like someone taking a painkiller for an occasional headache. You don't do it unless you really need it as it doesn't have any effect at all if your body becomes used to them, and can sometimes cause the headaches if you overuse them. Same with carbs.

    If the only health condition someone has is T2, then they may not understand where I am coming from. I am balancing 6 conditions and sometimes T2 has to take a back seat while I look after my whole self.
     
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  8. sweetierufus

    sweetierufus · Member

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    I've often felt sugar with high fat is addictive for me as my binges tend to be high sugar , high fat treats . I've never binged on apples so never felt it was just the sugar alone. Only started reducing carbs recently and found it hard at times. Never realised how much of a supermarket is taken up with carb products. Whether truly addictive or not carbs are everywhere and very accessible.
     
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  9. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    sweetierufus, I hear you. Processed foods are formulated to be addictive. I know sugar is addictive because when I started the LCHF/Keto diet in 2015, I experienced significant withdrawal symptoms. It was rough. I actually bought a box of 9 gluten-free peanut butter cookies to get through it. I stored them in the freezer. When the cravings became so intense I had to have some sugar, I'd pull that box out and have 1 frozen cookie. When that box was gone, I had to purchase a second box. Thankfully, I only ate half of the second box and was able to throw the rest away after a month or two. That was a good day.

    I greatly limit grains today and rarely have sugar, but I do eat small amounts of fruit and berries daily. At least I'm getting intact fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals.

    But I also know wheat is addictive, because when I gave up eating wheat (also rye and barley) in 2011, I experienced withdrawal symptoms then too. I was miserable for weeks, until a friend introduced me to a gluten-free baker. Symptoms abated once I started eating sugary, gluten-free confections again.

    As for fat being a trigger...I haven't experienced that. Have never binged on bacon, avocado, butter, or olive oil.

    My question for you, is it the sugar that triggers you? Or the fat? If ice cream triggers you? Does unsweetened heavy cream trigger you too?

    Processed foods are formulated to be addictive. And almost all processed foods have sugar added, including bread to increase shelf life!

    Did you know that wheat is addictive? You might find this article interesting...

    Wheat Is An Opiate by cardiologist William David, MD

    https://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/04/wheat-is-an-opiate/

    You can also do a search on "wheat opioid" and you'll get links to lots of studies. :)
     
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  10. sweetierufus

    sweetierufus · Member

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    Fat has never been a trigger for me, however things like doughnuts with high sugar/ fat I've found one is never enough. It could just be rubbish processed foods, work colleagues have brought in supermarket cupcakes and the traffic light system is red on everything!:eek: Avoiding those. Only recently diagnosed diabetic and feel everything I thought I knew about 'healthy' food was all wrong. all been turned on its head. Learning something new everyday.
     
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  11. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    If you learn only one thing may it be that the traffic light system is completely rubbish!
     
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  12. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Will-power always ultimately fails.

    This is a hypothesis taken from the worlds of Gambling and Financial trading.
    What it means in practical terms is that everybody has a limited amount of capacity for postponing an 'immediate fix' for a longer term reward.

    In Gambling and Financial Trading even successful intelligent skilled speculators will almost inevitably take a position purely out of an invalid reason such as boredom, because eventually they run out of the will-power not to do it!. They way that the best speculators deal with that is to :
    A). Pre plan, knowing that it is inevitable and arrange things so that it does the least damage.
    B). Organise thing such that the temptation is as rare as possible.

    The same strategies can be (but usually aren't) used in Dieting and Nicotine addiction.

    Knowing that they will eventually succumb, I feel that a dieter should choose a diet/lifestyle that:
    A). Is sustainable over the long term.
    B). Can be achieved with the minimum exposure to temptations.
    C). They actually enjoy/like some parts of it - substituting one (less harmful, or even virtuous) food pleasure for a more harmful one.


    Thus it amazes me that so many people embark on severely calorie restricted diets instead of going LCHF which can work for almost everybody except perhaps strict Vegans - because for example Avocado by some.
    OK there are some people who can manage, e=and even enjoy, fasts of over 24 hrs - even more than 1 week. The medical evidence suggests that for a normal healthy weight person, a fast could last for up to 2 months before death!
    But on those occasions where I've had to fast for over 36hrs I found it really tough. Note these were not a complete fast since I was allowed clear liquids.

    In trying to diagnose why my BG figures are suddenly different I fasted for 23 hrs yesterday - and I was really hungry!
     
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  13. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I work in a department of 21 people. 3 of us eat LCHF/Keto, another off and on. They have candy out at all times. And on our birthday, we're expected to bring in a treat. On the high stress days, which are few, it's a struggle. Being diagnosed with diabetes didn't save my life. Finding the diet that puts it in remission did. Like you, I had no idea how unhealthy my previous "healthy" diet was. And I was following the recommeded dietary guidelines. It's difficult watching my coworkers unknowingly harming their health. I think about it every day. I want to educate them, but not sure how yet. For now I am modeling health eating.

    I listen to Robert Lustig's presentations on YouTube regularly so I don't forget how addictive and damaging processed foods are to my body. Everything he says is based on science. He has dedicated his career to educating us. He says eat real food. Protect the liver, feed the gut (by eating real, whole foods with its fiber still intact). There's an excellent interview with him on the Diet Doctor Podcast on YouTube.

    What you're doing right now is changing the course of your life. :)
     
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  14. sweetierufus

    sweetierufus · Member

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    thanks Winnie53

    I read Sugar the Bitter truth years ago, just wish I listened!

    I will defiantly watch his videos to remind me why my previous dieting hurt my body. Especially with all the sugar addicts in my workplace. Although I would never wag my finger as I'm no saint myself!:angelic:
     
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  15. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm the only person I know who can't go half a day without a slice of bread and not suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Are carbohydrates addictive? Make your own mind up :pompous:
     
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  16. mr_cat

    mr_cat · Well-Known Member

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    I think fasting without liquids is not the best of plans, by clear liquid i guess you mean water.
    We don't last long with out that!
    I think the record fast is over a year by someone who had a lot of body fat in reserve:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_Barbieri's_fast
    :eek:
     
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  17. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No, clear liquids certainly include water, but they also include Tea (without milk), clear (not cloudy) Apple juice, Rehydration mixes (i.e. containing dissolved sugars and salts) etc.
     
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  18. mr_cat

    mr_cat · Well-Known Member

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    Ah so wine could also be on that list theno_O:)
     
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  19. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Please could we stick to the thread topic which is about carbohydrates and addiction.

    Many thanks.
     
  20. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The following paragraph is from the DietDoctor web site in an article that focusses on Alcohol, but I think is very suited to this thread:-

    Even if you are able to successfully stop one addiction, addiction transfer, also called addiction-interaction disorder, is a well known phenomenon. Jonsson notes that many sugar addicts can become alcoholics. Likewise, alcoholics who quit drinking often turn to sugar in an attempt to control cravings. Studies show that patients undergoing bariatric surgery, who can no longer overeat, have a 20 % higher rate of post operative problems with alcohol dependence.

    Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases: Alcohol and other substance use after bariatric surgery: prospective evidence from a U.S. multicenter cohort study

    '>9
     
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