Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-26-2007, 11:06 PM   #1  
Ironman in Training
Thread Starter
 
Idealmuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,780

S/C/G: 302/205/150

Height: 5'5

Default Help me with Sugar/Dates/HFCS Confusion

Poking around on the web I see dates are called "natures candy". It looks like to GI on them is really high. If I'm avoiding most empty sugars in general because it causing bad cravings which leave me out of control, then should I be avoiding dates? I've noticed that most fruits don't cause the same cravings as empty sugars and carbs though. I guess that would be the fructose? I'm a bit confused about how the different sugars effect me.

I'm specifically thinking about the jocalat larabar I just ate. I've been buying them as a "treat" because they are made from all natural mostly raw things. The ingredient label on this one says: dates, walnuts, hazelnuts, cocoa mass, cocoa powder, cashews, coffee

I don't feel like it effects my cravings like say a big cookie would, so is it okay to be eatting these even though the GI on dates is high?

Okay and here is the kicker that fries my brain a bit... if fructose doesn't cause food cravings then why is high frutose corn syrup not the same?
Idealmuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2007, 11:39 PM   #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Hill Country
Posts: 2,579

S/C/G: 218/175/155

Height: 5'6"

Default

I would say that consuming dates on occasion are fine as long as it doesn't trigger cravings. I like Cliff Nectar bars myself and having one every now and then hasn't hurt my weight loss efforts.

That being said, HFCS is primarily Fructose with just a little bit of glucose in it. I believe a ratio of 80:20 is commonly used, but there are varying levels of it. The process that corn goes through to become HFCS is involved and hard to explain, but the process uses a lot of chemicals and even GM (genetically modified) enzymes. It's about as far from natural as you can get. Google how it is made if you are interested. There are articles that explain it better than I can. HFCS is also much sweeter than sugar and they use the same amounts as when sugar was used. So products taste sweeter than they used to. I think this leads to people being used to a sweeter taste.

Fructose is processed by the liver. So, when you consume it, insulin and leptin are not released into the blood stream. Both these chemicals cause your body to realize that you have eaten. So, your body doesn't recognize that it is full and theoretically you end up eating more.

Regardless, HFCS and regular sugar are empty calories. They contain no vitamins, no minerals, and no fiber. Fruit does. Fruit also contains glucose, not just fructose. The glucose and fructose are more balanced in fruit from what I understand.

The way I see it, fruit isn't the enemy because of the other things in it. Fruit does produce an insulin/leptin response in the body and the fiber in the fruit helps keep you feeling full longer. Plus fruit contains vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.

Are you following a low-GI diet? Dates may have a high GI rating, but there are other things in the bar that could lower the GI. When you are combining things at the same meal, it's hard to know what the true GI of something is.

It is also my opinion that nature knows best. Something grown on a tree seems a lot better than something made in a lab. I think the closer to the original form the better off you are too (i.e. an apple is better than 100% apple juice, the 100% juice is better than a juice drink with only 10% juice.)

I don't know if I've explained this very well, but I hope this helps.
zenor77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 12:04 AM   #3  
Ironman in Training
Thread Starter
 
Idealmuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,780

S/C/G: 302/205/150

Height: 5'5

Default

No, I'm not following a low GI diet per say, but I am trying to make less "sweet" choices since I do have a sweet tooth. I still have my occasional skim latte with syrup and what-not, but I am trying to cut back on empty carbs and sweets as much as possible because I notice a world of difference in my control levels when I increase protein and fiber a tad more healthy fats and less of the "empty" stuff.

So it's not the frutose in fruit that doesn't case the same sugar spikes it's the balance of frutose and glucose? Guess it can't be as easy as trying to avoid one or two types of sugar can it? heh.

I suppose the nut fats in the larabar really help balance out the natural sugars from the dates... so as long as I don't feel the "I have to eat 4 of these" feeling there isn't much harm I suppose even though whole fruits and natural nuts would be a better choice.

I have read up on HFCS a bit I have to admit it initally confused me a bit because I always associated frutose with fruit which didn't appear to effect me negitively (blood sugar wise)... but I see now that fruit has low frutose in comparison and excess frutose is converted to fats which is one of the reasons HFCS is so bad because its in everything and overkill.

Your answer did help a bit. Thank you.

I guess the main issue since I'm not diabetic, is to figure out what I have issues with and not bring those things into the house. That's been what's working thus far... I don't see any reason then not not buy these despite the high carb count... unless anyone else sees a downside? I'm looking for not a "perfect" diet, but one that I can live with for the long haul (i.e forever)
Idealmuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 01:01 AM   #4  
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

Unfortunately, so much of the learning curve has to be done with experimentation. I stay away from dried fruits because I tend to overeat them (a handful of raisins has a lot more calories than a handful of grapes, but they go down just as quickly if not more so). Since the raisins are sweeter, I also end up reacting to them more like candy than fruit. Dried apricots do not seem to have as dramatic effect (I don't know why, maybe it's psychological, maybe they're a little less sweet, maybe I just don't like them as much as raisins, don't know). So I think your strategy of figuring out what you have issues with is the best, of not only, way to go.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 07:46 AM   #5  
3 + years maintaining
 
rockinrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,070

S/C/G: 287/120's

Height: 5 foot nuthin'

Default

I also stay away from dried fruits, including raisins. They are delicious though. ESPECIALLY dates. To me it just doesn't "feel" right. I don't know. I think it's just too much sugar for me. It starts a bad cycle for me. Not to mention they are quite high in calories and me being a calorie snob and all, I like to find things that give me more volume for my calories.

There's no one right answer here. We all need to find our own way - what works for us - and what doesn't.
rockinrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 09:18 AM   #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northeast
Posts: 194

Default

I would echo what kaplods and rockinrobin said...dried fruits are hard for me....I love them, and the "doesn't feel right" hits it on the head for me, as I seem to have the same trigger reaction to the sugary taste that I would get from less nutritious options like candy or cookies...
specifically, as to the larabars, my experience with them was that at first, I chose them because they were all natural, no added stuff, just fruit and nuts...but the reality soon became that they triggered a binge...I just started looking forward to them too much, and when I stopped at one, felt deprived...so i cut them out...
That said, like others have said here, you have to do what works for you, and if you have no similar reaction to them, then I say go for it...
VeggieGirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 12:48 PM   #7  
Ironman in Training
Thread Starter
 
Idealmuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,780

S/C/G: 302/205/150

Height: 5'5

Default

Thanks.

I too don't buy dried fruit, becase it's too easy to eat too much quickly. I hate rasins, but I like most of the other ones. I actually am not a big fan of dates to begin with, but I do like these bars. Since the Larabars are pre-packaged I think I just have to keep an eye on how I behave with them. I assumed the higher calories in them were from the nuts and higher fats. (It took me awhile to convince myself that fat was OKAY because those are healthy fats but that's another story) but I guess it's also from the high sugar count.

Sugar still confuse me a bit but I guess in a nutshell the more simple/refined the sugar is the worse my body will act in response and I have to monitor that product by product.
Idealmuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 01:15 PM   #8  
Just Me
 
nelie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,707

S/C/G: 364/--/182

Height: 5'6"

Default

I buy Lara bars for my DH and before I cut back on my carbs a bit, I was also eating them once in a while. They didn't cause me cravings surprisingly and they are very portable. I packed a few for DH on our upcoming trip.
nelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 01:42 PM   #9  
3 + years maintaining
 
rockinrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,070

S/C/G: 287/120's

Height: 5 foot nuthin'

Default

I have not had this particular bar. So I certainly can't speak exactly about this one. But ANY other bar I've ever had leaves me TOTALLY UNsatisfied. It doesn't feel like a meal or even a gratifying snack given the high calorie content. It's over so quickly. It doesn't fill me and it leaves me wanting more. Way back when I first started my journey I bought some of the South Beach Diet Bars. I brought them with me when I was out for a few hours or more (I work from my home), but I quickly found they didn't do the trick for me. Now when I'm out and about, I fill up a ziploc bag with a measured amount of Kashi Go Lean Cereal. It takes me more time to eat (a good thing), it's less calories and better nutrition AND it actually fills me up and doesnt' leave me begging for more.
rockinrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #10  
Ironman in Training
Thread Starter
 
Idealmuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,780

S/C/G: 302/205/150

Height: 5'5

Default

I agree most of them do nothing for me either Robin, but I guess because of the nuts and fiber in these I do feel full for awhile, and they are really dense. It's less of a glorified candy bar then the others given the natural ingredients. Probably again not the best choice as opposed to say an apple with peanutbutter, but easy for on the go snacks.

I've only tried the Cherry and the Choc/Coffee Jocalat and the Mole (which was too spicey for me as it had Chili in it) I bought a few others to try yesterday.

I in general am not keeping anything sweet/snacky in the house besides some sorbet and these bars... and I just ordered some vitamuffins to keep in the freezer.
Idealmuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2007, 01:51 AM   #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 154

S/C/G: 288/252.8/160

Height: 5'7"

Default

I love Lara bars and they don't send me into a binge or cause cravings at all.

BUT Luna bars? OMG, I cannot just eat one of those. I don't know why the Lara bars are not the same. They don't seem as sweet as the others maybe?
emilyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2007, 08:28 AM   #12  
I wanna be SUPERWOMAN!
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,158

S/C/G: 175-180/ 120-125

Height: 5'6 1/2"

Default

Larabars are awesome. I ate one this morning, and it was delicious. I didn't get any cravings at all... in fact, it filled me up better than most cereal bars do and even a lot of energy bars... maybe because it's natural? I also don't get the urge to eat, like, ten of them, the way I do with some others.
NightengaleShane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2007, 08:49 AM   #13  
Finding My Bliss
 
SoulBliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,916

S/C/G: Fit & Fat!

Height: Tall & Strong, Baby!

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyk View Post
I love Lara bars and they don't send me into a binge or cause cravings at all.

BUT Luna bars? OMG, I cannot just eat one of those. I don't know why the Lara bars are not the same. They don't seem as sweet as the others maybe?
The biggest difference is that Lara bars have only a few ingredients and are a whole foods product. Luna bars are VERY processed.
SoulBliss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 180

Default

Not to go off track or to tempt anyone ---BUT have any of you ever tried Medjool Dates? Boy oh boy, now THOSE are the real deal. They're bigger than regular dates, softer, chewy, and oh so delicious. Unfortunately, they're about 60 calories EACH!! Sometimes, I'll buy some, and I'll spread cream cheese on them. I'm telling you that it tastes almost like cheesecake. But as some of you have mentioned, they're hard to resist, so I really do have to keep them out of the house.

Last edited by lynnm39; 07-03-2007 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Typo
lynnm39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 09:56 AM   #15  
3 + years maintaining
 
rockinrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,070

S/C/G: 287/120's

Height: 5 foot nuthin'

Default

These Lara bars sound like something I just might want to try. Thanks for letting us know about them.
rockinrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:43 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.