Tuesday, January 24, 2017

You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.

I talked a little about releasing weight in my last post- and I mentioned the 5 letter word that can surprisingly bring out the fight in a lot of people. I say this because I am on a Migraine support group on Facebook and I know that whenever the issue of sugar is brought up, people immediately get angry. On other posts on nutrition, you see the same kind of reaction. Perhaps you aren't surprised by this, but I was. I knew I ate a lot of sugar but I didn't realize just how much until I started looking at ALL the food I eat. But before I get into specifics about what I have done to change my diet, it's important to look at WHY and HOW it came to be that sugar was such a mainstay in our diets. In September 2015, I read an article on (what else) migraines and how sugar is an inflammatory. The idea suddenly struck a chord with me and I began tossing out dietary changes in my mind. A friend of mine had eliminated sugar in her own diet so I talked to her about my thoughts. She  recommended that I watch 'That Sugar Film' to get more information. What I learned was fascinating...

In 1955, the government started looking at what causes people to gain weight after Senator George McGovern had a heart attack. He decided it was time for recommendations that would help people know what to eat to prevent heart disease. The intent was good. The result was not good. Two scientists were at the forefront of the argument at the time: Ancel Keys was one of the scientists who argued that fat was the leading cause of heart disease and unwanted weight gain. On the other side of the discussion was John Yudkin. He looked at the dietary history of humans, the the data on heart disease and he was struck by its correlation with the consumption of sugar, not fat. Keys' study was flawed because he shown a correlation between heart disease and saturated fat, but he had not excluded the possibility that heart disease was being caused by something else. Unfortunately the institutional power and the money was behind Keys and fat was demonized. The food industry responded by cutting back on fat in food and increasing the sugar to improve the taste.

When I initially began my journey, I was having a migraine 2-3 times a week and that was in spite of taking 3 preventatives. They weren't always migraines that kept me from working or from activities but it did always affect my day. And it did mean I was taking too much pain relief- a medication that  reduces the vascular inflammation associated with migraines but also carries with it very ugly side effects. But the preventatives themselves also affected my daily activities.  I took two seizure meds and though they kept me from having debilitating migraines, they caused a great deal of spaciness and lack of concentration. There were also other side effects that I wasn't able to track as easily, like the potential for gall bladder problems.  All of this added up to my desire to find another way to address my migraines.

I still wasn't sure but it was worth a shot!
Migraine brain (without the pain)

*This is a really brief summary of what occurred but you can learn more by going to this article or reading the book That Sugar Book by  Damon Gameau or watch the film 'That Sugar Film' for a more entertaining look at the topic.


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