Don't shoot the messenger--Sweet Potatoes and Sugar cravings could be craving for fat
After listening to the latest Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness podcast,Episode 24 with guest Beverly Meyer I started reading her blog.And what I read today is about sweet potatoes.:)
We’re talking sweet potatoes today, and I will add “don’t get mad at me for saying so”….. Those sweet, starchy tubers that have become a part of the grain-free Paleo Diet community may be causing you more problems than you think. Let’s evaluate. In my DVD, I offer advice on testing whether a food is working for you, or not. When your digestive system is happy, you should have NO GAS whatsoever, and your bowels should move easily, with formed, banana-shaped stools once or twice daily.
Starchy foods have complex carbohydrate structures, making them hard for Humans to digest, sometimes leaving undigested food fragments fermenting in the gut. I.E., gas! Gas or bloating is a clear indication that food is fermenting, and that’s never a good thing. On the specific carbohydrate Diet (the diet that took me to grain-free, not just gluten-free), sweet potatoes, potatoes, grains and beans are not allowed because of their complex, hard-to-digest structure. Surprisingly, winter squash such as Acorn, Butternut and Spaghetti Squash are easier to digest and have less carbohydrates. Pumpkin too!
Another issue with yams is their high calorie content, almost entirely in the form of sugars, causing two problems – blood sugar swings and weight gain.
If you agree with Mark Sissons that 50 -100 grams of carbs a day is the correct range for weight loss, or 100 – 150 a day for weight maintenance, then 25 grams of carbs in a 5 inch sweet potato may be too much for you. And if you struggle with high or low blood sugar, as I feel ALL humans do, then those sugar calories can play havoc with your focus, sleep, hunger and energy.
When humans crave sweets, we generally are actually craving FAT. Since we can convert sugar to fat (triglycerides, or the fat on your belly) we will seek sugar as an alternative if we’re not eating enough fat, particularly saturated fat. In my clinic I highly recommend Green Pasture’s coconut oil with Ghee. It’s more “buttery” than straight coconut oil, and it is the ONE FORM of dairy many of us super-sensitive dairy people can tolerate. Ghee is pure butter FAT containing no milk sugar (lactose) or milk solids (proteins) for the immune system to target and attack. (The immune system’s job is to target foreign proteins and attack them. It ignores fat. Lucky us!).
Experiment with removing sweet potato along with grains, beans and sugars. Watch your digestive system get happy! Then try a week or two deliberately eating sweet potatoes and watch for gas or disturbed blood sugar. If it occurs, you have your answer – avoid except in occasional small quantities.