Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Shift in Tastes

I noticed it for the first time a few weeks ago. One of my labs was having a cake and ice cream party for someone's birthday and it didn't tempt me in the slightest. Today, I looked at a box of candy on the table at work and it seemed distinctly unappetizing. My taste for sugar has all but disappeared.

When I was a child, I couldn't get enough sugar. My parents would buy reduced sugar cereal and I would add a heaping tablespoon of sugar to each bowl. My favorite part was the sweet slurry at the bottom after the cereal was gone.

By the time I went to college, I knew sugar was unhealthy. It took massive amounts of willpower to keep myself from gorging on donuts and ice cream. Often, my willpower wasn't enough. Since then, I've been gradually refining my diet and the cravings have become more manageable. Sugar binges became rare.

In the past six months, I've made some new lifestyle changes based on my current understanding of nutrition and health. I've reduced my carbohydrate intake, drastically reduced my grain intake, and increased my fat intake. Most of my carb intake comes from vegetables now, with small portions of legumes from time to time as well. I've also added interval training and weight lifting to my exercise routine, which was formerly a 30 minute bike commute every day.

After an adjustment period of 3-4 months, my tastes have changed. I don't crave sugar or starchy foods anymore, and I can't get enough fat. I could eat practically nothing but fatty meat, but I don't for environmental and financial reasons. I do eat a lot of eggs, and an amount of lard, butter, olive oil and coconut oil that would make Dean Ornish weep. I see it as a very good sign that my body has made the shift from a carbohydrate-burning metabolism to a fat-burning one. Since carbohydrate and sugar cravings are related to insulin levels in my opinion, my insulin has probably dropped.

I'm going to get my bloodwork done sometime soon; I'll post it on the blog so you can all see how my self-experimentation is working. Then we can decide whether I'm onto something or full of hot air. I'd like to know my total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, fasting insulin, HbA1c and perhaps glucose tolerance.

Thanks to Andrew Huff for the CC photo.

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