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S/O Giving up sugar.. how do you do that if you can't eat much fat?


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Because generally speaking, the advice I tend to read/hear/get is to try something like Paleo, but I don't think that will work for me because I have to be very careful to eat hardly any fat.  It causes horrendous digestive problems when I do, so it's almost a complete no-no.

 

However eating sugar doesn't do me any good, and I know (from years of experience) that cutting out sugar and refined carbs is the one thing that works when I'd like to lose some weight.. so.. have you any ideas for me?  I'm fine with using Stevia or xylitol in smallish quantities.

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I think that the best way to give up sugar is to just go cold turkey and do it. No easing into it. Same with the other carbs. You'll go through a couple of days of withdrawal and then the cravings are gone. I wonder if you'll find that without the carbs, that fat won't cause you digestive problems.

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I had to eat very low fat most of last year due to a pretty mangled gallbladder. I was pregnant and couldn't have it removed. My situation was a little different because I needed more calories than usual due to my pregnancy, but I ate a fair bit more sugar than was usual for me that year. I found it virtually impossible to eat low enough fat while still limiting sugar very much. I needed calories from somewhere. There's only so much boneless skinless chicken breast you can eat. I ate constantly and still lost something like twelve pounds while pregnant.

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What kinds of fats are you eating that are causing digestive issues?

 

I would wonder this too. Do you know what causes this problem for you? Have you had your gallbladder checked out (or is it already removed)? Have you tried anything like probiotics or digestive enzymes or bile salts, etc.? (You don't actually have to answer if you don't want to, I'm just kicking ideas around, mainly because I'm dealing with my own post-gallbladder-removal digestive issues  :glare: )

 

I don't have advice outside of what's already been offered (I like justasque's take on it), but I would want to figure out what was causing the digestive issues with fats. IMO, good fats are especially important for lots of your body's functions. 

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Why not eat low sugar/sweetener, low fat? Good veggies, fresh fruit, lean protein (turkey, beans), whole grains. No added sweeteners, and only a bit of "good fats" each day (avocados, nuts or nut butter, etc.).

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but fiber. Helps fill you up and when you're satisfied there are far fewer cravings for something sweet. Fruit works, too. Our favorite is one-ingredient banana "ice cream" which you can dress up about a hundred different ways.

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Because generally speaking, the advice I tend to read/hear/get is to try something like Paleo, but I don't think that will work for me because I have to be very careful to eat hardly any fat.  It causes horrendous digestive problems when I do, so it's almost a complete no-no.

 

However eating sugar doesn't do me any good, and I know (from years of experience) that cutting out sugar and refined carbs is the one thing that works when I'd like to lose some weight.. so.. have you any ideas for me?  I'm fine with using Stevia or xylitol in smallish quantities.

 

High lean protein (fish, chicken), high complex carbs (fruit, veg, wholegrain rice, pasta, etc.), low fat?  That's essentially what I'm doing at the moment (I can have sugar but most of the sugary things I enjoy are laced with fat).  I'm losing weight easily (despite that not being my aim).  I am pretty much eating as much as I can and still not getting too many calories.

 

L

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I believe there are healthy alternatives for every craving. So if you want to give up sugar, find sweet alternatives that satisfy you. I for one love smoothies, raisins, yogurt with banana & kashi, even a bowl of cereal. :)

I found that my taste buds adjusted as I gave up sweeteners, so that fruit now tastes very sweet to me (and things like doughnuts taste horrible).  I treat myself to berries (often bought frozen as they are easy to use year-round) and other high-quality fruit.  

 

It is worth looking at a list of sugar substitutes, so that you can avoid them as well.  And don't buy anything that includes ingredients that you wouldn't normally use in your cooking.  You'll find that most prepared foods are off-limits; in fact most of a typical grocery store is!  You really will end up shopping around the outside of the grocery store - low-fat dairy, lean meats and seafood, fresh (or frozen) fruit and veg, nuts, beans, whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat pasta.   

Also be wary of anything that says "whole grain" or "wheat"; it's often not 100% whole grain.  "Wheat flour" is regular white flour; you want 100% whole wheat flour.  

 

Brown rice is nice; make it in batches to store in the fridge; add veg and meat and feta and microwave for a nice meal.  Ditto for pasta.  Omelettes for breakfast with lots of veggies.  Sauteed vegetables with beans or pieces of meat or seafood, served over pasta with a bit of Parmesan or feta is delish.  Add fresh herbs for lots of flavor.  The key is to use quality fresh veggies and fruits, because they'll be full of flavor (and full of fiber, which will fill you up!)  Simple one-dish meals (veg and protein over rice or pasta) work better for this style of eating than the traditional American "slab of meat, mound of veg, mound of starch" approach.  Sandwiches can work if you can find decent whole wheat bread (which isn't easy); make sure you stuff them with plenty of veggies.

 

Some of this food is more expensive than you may be used to, at least on the surface.  But fruit and veg and whole grains are very filling (*much* more so than other foods), meat and fish can be used sparingly as an accent, and beans and lentils are very cheap.  If you can find an inexpensive produce outlet, or join a CSA, all the better.  

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I just want to throw out this idea: Are you SURE that the fat is what is giving you tummy problems?? I thought it was for me, but when I cut down my carbs (LCHF diet) the tummy problems went away. And now that I look at the trends, the high fat things that I THOUGHT were triggering the problems were usually part of a high carb dish (make sense?). Now I eat a lot of fat and no tummy problems. (I eat about 25g of carbs a day and I did have my gallbladder out about 3.5 yrs ago, just fyi).

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Thanks for all your thoughts.

 

I probably should have explained why I have a problem with fatty foods, which would have answered these comments and questions!  My apologies.  I wrote it late last night (for me) and didn't think to explain.

 

What kinds of fats are you eating that are causing digestive issues?

 

 

I had to eat very low fat most of last year due to a pretty mangled gallbladder. I was pregnant and couldn't have it removed. My situation was a little different because I needed more calories than usual due to my pregnancy, but I ate a fair bit more sugar than was usual for me that year. I found it virtually impossible to eat low enough fat while still limiting sugar very much. I needed calories from somewhere. There's only so much boneless skinless chicken breast you can eat. I ate constantly and still lost something like twelve pounds while pregnant.

 

 

I would wonder this too. Do you know what causes this problem for you? Have you had your gallbladder checked out (or is it already removed)? Have you tried anything like probiotics or digestive enzymes or bile salts, etc.? (You don't actually have to answer if you don't want to, I'm just kicking ideas around, mainly because I'm dealing with my own post-gallbladder-removal digestive issues  :glare: )

 

I don't have advice outside of what's already been offered (I like justasque's take on it), but I would want to figure out what was causing the digestive issues with fats. IMO, good fats are especially important for lots of your body's functions. 

 

 

Consider ox bile to help with fat digestion. I'd want to deal with the fat digestion issue too, or more importantly.

 

 

I just want to throw out this idea: Are you SURE that the fat is what is giving you tummy problems?? I thought it was for me, but when I cut down my carbs (LCHF diet) the tummy problems went away. And now that I look at the trends, the high fat things that I THOUGHT were triggering the problems were usually part of a high carb dish (make sense?). Now I eat a lot of fat and no tummy problems. (I eat about 25g of carbs a day and I did have my gallbladder out about 3.5 yrs ago, just fyi).

 

I had my gallbladder out 3 years ago because they found using Ultrasound that it was chock full of stones.  I'd had excruciating pain for months prior to the Ultrasound.  My consultant assured me that my liver would take over the job of bile regulation, and that within 1 month to 1 year of having the operation I wouldn't have any digestive problems of any kind.  Not true!  From about 6 weeks on, I had the most appalling d1arrh0ea which would last all morning, and I would be back and forth to the bathroom up to 15 times in 3-4 hours - such that it wasn't worth even going downstairs until it was over.  I planned nothing for the mornings because I would inevitably have to cancel any arrangements.  In addition, I had a lot of stomach pain and bloating.

 

I first tried cutting out sugar and refined carbs for several months, because historically my body has been sensitive to that, especially in combination with yeast, which always caused pain and bloating.  That made no observable difference whatsoever to my digestive problems.  Then, for the next few months, I tried first a wheat free diet, followed by a fully gluten-free diet.  That helped a little with the bloating, but not fully, and didn't reduce the bathroom visits.  After that, I wondered whether maybe I was sensitive to dairy products as two of my kids have been dairy intolerant as babies, so I tried it.  It helped, but didn't get rid of the problem fully.  Also, my acne suddenly cleared up - so I now know what was causing that!  Finally, I twigged that it could be a problem with fat because my gallbladder had been taken out.  So I tried that, and bingo! - suddenly my stomach was 99% fine!  And has been for a couple of months.

 

I had always been of the opinion that a low-fat diet was a modern fad, and I've never really been interested in shopping or cooking low-fat, but now I have no choice if I want to have any energy at all, or any chance of doing anything in the mornings.  This problem is one of the reasons why I haven't been on the forum for months - I simply didn't have the energy to be part of the conversations and discussions here.  Same goes for a number of homeschool groups and events that we used to dip in and out of.  We just had to bumble along in a very limited way.  

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Thanks for all these suggestions.  

 

Why not eat low sugar/sweetener, low fat?  Good veggies, fresh fruit, lean protein (turkey, beans), whole grains.  No added sweeteners, and only a bit of "good fats" each day (avocados, nuts or nut butter, etc.). 

 

 

I think that the best way to give up sugar is to just go cold turkey and do it. No easing into it. Same with the other carbs. You'll go through a couple of days of withdrawal and then the cravings are gone. I wonder if you'll find that without the carbs, that fat won't cause you digestive problems.

 

 

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but fiber. Helps fill you up and when you're satisfied there are far fewer cravings for something sweet. Fruit works, too. Our favorite is one-ingredient banana "ice cream" which you can dress up about a hundred different ways.

 

 

High lean protein (fish, chicken), high complex carbs (fruit, veg, wholegrain rice, pasta, etc.), low fat?  That's essentially what I'm doing at the moment (I can have sugar but most of the sugary things I enjoy are laced with fat).  I'm losing weight easily (despite that not being my aim).  I am pretty much eating as much as I can and still not getting too many calories.

 

L

 

 

I believe there are healthy alternatives for every craving. So if you want to give up sugar, find sweet alternatives that satisfy you. I for one love smoothies, raisins, yogurt with banana & kashi, even a bowl of cereal. :)

 

 

I found that my taste buds adjusted as I gave up sweeteners, so that fruit now tastes very sweet to me (and things like doughnuts taste horrible).  I treat myself to berries (often bought frozen as they are easy to use year-round) and other high-quality fruit.  

It is worth looking at a list of sugar substitutes, so that you can avoid them as well.  And don't buy anything that includes ingredients that you wouldn't normally use in your cooking.  You'll find that most prepared foods are off-limits; in fact most of a typical grocery store is!  You really will end up shopping around the outside of the grocery store - low-fat dairy, lean meats and seafood, fresh (or frozen) fruit and veg, nuts, beans, whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat pasta.   

Also be wary of anything that says "whole grain" or "wheat"; it's often not 100% whole grain.  "Wheat flour" is regular white flour; you want 100% whole wheat flour.  

Brown rice is nice; make it in batches to store in the fridge; add veg and meat and feta and microwave for a nice meal.  Ditto for pasta.  Omelettes for breakfast with lots of veggies.  Sauteed vegetables with beans or pieces of meat or seafood, served over pasta with a bit of Parmesan or feta is delish.  Add fresh herbs for lots of flavor.  The key is to use quality fresh veggies and fruits, because they'll be full of flavor (and full of fiber, which will fill you up!)  Simple one-dish meals (veg and protein over rice or pasta) work better for this style of eating than the traditional American "slab of meat, mound of veg, mound of starch" approach.  Sandwiches can work if you can find decent whole wheat bread (which isn't easy); make sure you stuff them with plenty of veggies.

Some of this food is more expensive than you may be used to, at least on the surface.  But fruit and veg and whole grains are very filling (*much* more so than other foods), meat and fish can be used sparingly as an accent, and beans and lentils are very cheap.  If you can find an inexpensive produce outlet, or join a CSA, all the better.  

 

There's some good ideas here.  One of the things I was hoping for was some meal ideas, so these were great.. please keep them coming!  Please bear in mind that they must be almost fat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and yeast-free, and it is better if it's wheat/gluten-free too.  (I know WF and GF are different things, but for me it isn't critical.  I've been tested for coeliac and it was negative.)  It feels like it's a very restricted diet and I don't have the energy or time to be cooking different meals for different people; everyone has to eat the same thing.  However, it's not a problem if I cook spaghetti bolognese for example, and just don't have the pasta myself.

 

Thanks again!  Your contributions are much appreciated.

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We eat salads with protein on top for lunch nearly every day, and protein + veg nearly evening for supper. If you vary things enough, it's not too bad. In any event, it's better than the health complications. My kids eat a much wider range of foods than their peers.... To add more calories for them, I add on lots of fats (butter, nuts, olive oil, etc).

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Tagines are a good category.  Lots of veg and filling chick peas/garbanzo beans, with interesting flavours and (if you choose) zero fat, as they don't rely on frying to start the dish.  If you prefer to avoid the couscous, you could serve with with brown rice.

 

I do a lot of simple fish dishes.  Cooking in foil, either in a steamer or in the oven keeps the flavours in well.  I would just not use the oil/butter in that recipe - just a quick spray on the foil to avoid sticking.

 

Poached whole chicken is a recent discovery for me.  The chicken comes out very tender, and if you make it in advance you can chill the resultant stock and scrape off the fat.  Then once you have eaten the chicken, you can make a second round of stock from the bones to make....

 

Asian noodle soups.  You can make these with noodles (rice noodles if you like), good stock, leafy veggies and either chicken or fish.  I like to put fresh ginger in mine and skip the soy sauce.  If you have good stock, then you don't need it.  

 

Have fun!

 

L

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We eat a lot of bowl centric meals because dinner time can be challenging here. You start with a grain or a starchy veg, add in some protein, a green veggie, and then other veggies as you like. Baked potato bowl topped with pinto beans, salsa, water sauteed peppers and onions, and some spinach. You could swap out the pintos for chickpeas, the potato for millet, and then go with North African spices and some water plumped raisins. Black beans and lime-cilantro quinoa plus veggies. Etc, etc.

 

You might also look into some of the cookbooks and recipes from people like John MacDougall or even Forks Over Knives/Esselstyn. You don't have to be vegan to use them, but they'd be a good jumping off point because they match your guidelines.

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I had my gallbladder out 3 years ago because they found using Ultrasound that it was chock full of stones.  I'd had excruciating pain for months prior to the Ultrasound.  My consultant assured me that my liver would take over the job of bile regulation, and that within 1 month to 1 year of having the operation I wouldn't have any digestive problems of any kind.

 

That's just crazy! Any basic Internet search will tell you that's not true. I can't believe a medical professional would tell you that :( 

 

I had a similar problem. I was told that the first 6 months would probably (but not necessarily) be bad, but then after that my body would adjust. I'd most likely have to eat small meals and avoid fats. But my first six months were a breeze--I had no problems at all! It was the next six months that were horrible. I couldn't eat anything without it launching me into the kind of stomach problems you describe. It's horrid. I don't blame you for doing what you have to do to control it. I'm still not entirely sure I have my issues solved yet!

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Check out some vegan recipes. I find that vegan dishes are often more creative, with a wide variety of whole food ingredients. They are naturally low fat. Post punk kitchen is a wonderful place to start.

You can search for vegan paleo or low fat vegan or gluten free vegan recipes. I have Kindle books for each of these.

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Because generally speaking, the advice I tend to read/hear/get is to try something like Paleo, but I don't think that will work for me because I have to be very careful to eat hardly any fat. It causes horrendous digestive problems when I do, so it's almost a complete no-no.

 

However eating sugar doesn't do me any good, and I know (from years of experience) that cutting out sugar and refined carbs is the one thing that works when I'd like to lose some weight.. so.. have you any ideas for me? I'm fine with using Stevia or xylitol in smallish quantities.

AMDG

 

We mostly use fruit for the sweet or as a sweetener.

 

For example, we make "ice cream" with frozen bananas and cherries and cookies sweetened with bananas, dates, raisins or some combination.

 

I haven't used the other kinds of sweetener yet.

 

Especially since you have some digestive issues, I strongly recommend looking at some of the side effects of some of the sweeteners, especially xilitol.

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AMDG

 

We mostly use fruit for the sweet or as a sweetener.

 

For example, we make "ice cream" with frozen bananas and cherries and cookies sweetened with bananas, dates, raisins or some combination.

 

I haven't used the other kinds of sweetener yet.

 

Especially since you have some digestive issues, I strongly recommend looking at some of the side effects of some of the sweeteners, especially xilitol.

Any chance you'd share one of your cookie recipes?

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That's just crazy! Any basic Internet search will tell you that's not true. I can't believe a medical professional would tell you that :(

 

I had a similar problem. I was told that the first 6 months would probably (but not necessarily) be bad, but then after that my body would adjust. I'd most likely have to eat small meals and avoid fats. But my first six months were a breeze--I had no problems at all! It was the next six months that were horrible. I couldn't eat anything without it launching me into the kind of stomach problems you describe. It's horrid. I don't blame you for doing what you have to do to control it. I'm still not entirely sure I have my issues solved yet!

 

Yeah.. very frustrating.  It's extraordinary, to me, that a consultant of the relevant discipline would peddle such nonsense.  I think he needs to be updated!!

 

In a way, it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one, although obviously knowing how bad it can be I wouldn't wish it on anyone!  I'm not sure that I have it all worked out either, but you know how it is - we're busy, we're mostly not loaded - so you do your own research and slowly refine what works for you.  You also become very alert to your own body, which I think is a very good thing.  I know very quickly if I've pushed my dietary boundaries too far, and I'm onto the stage of assessing how much fat I can tolerate.  One thing that does throw me off though, is that because of my CFS/ME, I can tolerate more on good days than bad.. so that has to be factored in too.  Complex!

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AMDG

 

We mostly use fruit for the sweet or as a sweetener.

 

For example, we make "ice cream" with frozen bananas and cherries and cookies sweetened with bananas, dates, raisins or some combination.

 

I haven't used the other kinds of sweetener yet.

 

Especially since you have some digestive issues, I strongly recommend looking at some of the side effects of some of the sweeteners, especially xilitol.

 

 

Oh - interesting.  Too much sweetener does make me feel bloated, which is why I don't want too much of it.

 

I can get a dairy free frozen dessert here called Swedish Glace, which is rather nice, but I don't eat much at a time because of the sugar content.  Adding a little fruit is good - a forgotten treat!  :tongue_smilie:

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AMDG

 

Well, I apologize for not actually having a recipe.  I've had to just play around but this is what I do:

 

a couple of v.e.r.y! ripe bananas -- such as ones you'd use for banana bread 

a few dates, pitted and roughly chopped OR a handfull of raisins OR something else sweet.  I would like to try figs but haven't yet.

Place into food processor and blend till you have a fairly smooth, kinda liquidy, batter-like mixture.

 

Stir in enough oats to make it cookie-dough-like and let sit till oats are a bit softened, not too long.  Stir in anything else you want.  I used walnuts and next time I'm going to use walnuts and raisins.

 

I used a cookie scoop and scooped out all the dough into cookies.  I had to look up a recipe for regular cookies and I used that temp and cooking time but don't remember what it is, just now.  I think I cooked it less time than they called for, though.

 

They were quite good in our opinion.  However, please remember, if you haven't been eating added/refined sugar for a while, these are yummy and sweet.  If you have only just now given up sugar, you might find them too . . . not sweet.  When we first tried several of our now-much-loved recipes, they were not satisfying b/c they were't sweet enough.  After a number of months at sugar free, we think they're great!

 

And about the ice cream . . . banana, banana and cherry, banana and cherry with almonds and a bit of almond extract are well liked by my daughter and me.  I like banana, cocoa, vanilla, and almonds.  It isn't sweet enough for my daughter.  The cocoa really uses up most of the sweetness of the banana.  

 

We also tried frozen cherries and lime juice to make a cherry limeade sherbet.  I was the only one who liked it.  My daughter thought it was too tart.

 

Oh, I think I'll try a bit of baking soda or powder next time in the cookies.

 

I hope you like them!

 

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