I had read a few blog posts by Susan Neal on some writing blogs, so I got her book: 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates: Healthy Eating for Healthy Living with a Low-Carbohydrate, Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
I confess I went into the book not planning to get off sugar completely—I mainly wanted to keep sugar consumption under better control. Plus, nutritional studies can be confusing because many of them contradict each other. For instance, it seems like one year, studies say caffeine is bad for you. Then another study another year will say it’s beneficial. And back and forth it goes. But even though I wasn’t sure what to believe about all the facts Susan shared, I knew I generally need to eat more healthy foods and less sugar and fewer carbs.
Susan goes into why sugar is so addicting. For one thing, consuming sugar releases the feel-good chemical dopamine which can lead to addiction. And probably for some people, sugar needs to be eliminated completely.
Susan also goes into why wheat causes so many problems for people today. It has been crossbred to resist drought and changed so much in the process that the body doesn’t recognize it as food. On the other hand, some people seem to eat it with no apparent problem, so perhaps some are more sensitive to it than others.
These crops are genetically engineered to be resistant to the carcinogen glyphosate, which is the primary ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. Farmers who produce Roundup Ready crops are free to spray Roundup on their fields throughout the growing season, as the plants are resistant to this herbicide. In the United States most of the nation’s corn, wheat, oats, soy, and sugar beets are Roundup Ready crops.
My son had also found this news about Roundup in his research after his wife and son became gluten-intolerant.
Besides all that, many foods today are so processed and developed for a longer shelf life that little nutrition is left.
Susan recommends eating foods that are as close to their original form as possible and as few processed foods as possible. She acknowledges that this probably can’t be done all the time due to eating out, visiting others, and considering other family members’ choices.
Susan also deals with the spiritual side of fighting temptation to eat the wrong food by encouraging the use and memorization of Scripture and dependence on the Lord. Though we agree in many areas, I think we must come from different faith traditions, especially in the area of spiritual warfare. I wouldn’t agree with everything in this section of the book, I very much appreciated the spiritual emphasis.
Susan shares a multitude of studies, tips, facts, outside resources, and recipes.
I also read through Susan’s Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. It’s designed for a group study accompaniment to the original 7 Steps book, but it can also be used by individuals.
Overall, this is a good source of information and encouragement toward more healthy eating.
(Sharing with Carole’s Books You Loved)
I’ve followed a low carb diet since 1999 for metabolic reasons. Eating sugar/carb causes insulin release and surges, and some folks bodies just can’t tolerate that – it is what is behind all the type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
This sounds interesting, although I’m not sure I want to read it because I do love my sugar 🙂 I probably am addicted since I enjoy desserts so much. I too have noticed so many people lately with problems with wheat, gluten, etc. Does seem like it’s likely that that comes from Roundup, GMO’s, etc. So many lately are having success with low-carb/Keto/etc diets. Not sure I could do it since I enjoy carbs.
I’m not sure if the book made clear, but while wheat has been (traditionally) cross-bred for decades, it has not been genetically modified to resist glyphosate (RoundUp). However, I have friends who garden professionally and are exposed to glyphosate that their clients use. They have developed not only gluten intolerance but also dairy intolerance as well.
I think what makes a change in one’s diet is the compelling result. When I finally discovered I was allergic to wheat and took dietary measures, symptoms I had never associated with eating wheat disappeared. The results in my bloodwork also made me strive to reduce carbs/sugar.
I think that’s key–finding what works for us individually. There’s conflicting information out there, but we need to experiment to see what works best for us.
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